Thrive Global on Campus//

Adulting Like a Pro

University marks new beginnings, a new life, countless opportunities, and also the transition into adulthood. In the process of keeping our grades up, saving and spending, and meandering our way through the confusing labyrinth that is adulthood, we sometimes forget that we're not there yet, it's just the beginning, with a long way to go!

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Community stories are not commissioned by our editorial team, and though they are reviewed for adherence to our guidelines, they are submitted in their final form to our open platform. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Source: Urban Dictionary
Source: Urban Dictionary

Welcome to our special section, Thrive on Campus, devoted to covering the urgent issue of mental health among college and university students from all angles. If you are a college student, we invite you to apply to be an Editor-at-Large, or to simply contribute (please tag your pieces ThriveOnCampus). We welcome faculty, clinicians, and graduates to contribute as well. Read more here.

Ah, university, the sudden, awkward transition from scraggly teenager to a full-fledged adult! University is a lot of things; rushing into ridiculously early 9 a.m. classes, partying the night away, joining a plethora of clubs and societies, even grinding away for that essay due in two hours! As time passes, one realises that being a university student is many things, both good and bad, but it surely isn’t easy.

I walked into the campus of Macquarie University in February, an innocent undergrad who had watched too many chick flicks portraying university life as a fairytale filled with soirees, dresses for every occasion, and a lot of prince charmings. It was all exciting; the unrestricted freedom, a possibly blooming social life, and the opportunity to finally get a taste of the adult life! If only I could rewind time and tell myself that it wouldn’t be the cakewalk I was expecting, and that being an international student in university demanded grit, grinding, and a level of perseverance I didn’t know I had in me.

This is the time where we slowly begin to unravel the meaning of words like responsibility, wise spending and saving, which I’ll admit, sounds daunting yet compelling. So you take baby steps, reducing daily splurges to perhaps weekly or monthly splurges, discovering the city on your own, keeping an eye out for a drop in the petrol prices, you know, adult-ish things! As the baby steps progress, we feel proud of ourselves, yes, we too are responsible! Adulting memes are posted on the Gram, calls are made to the family to boast a bit, and life seems to be running smoothly, who said adulting was tough? 

Once the magic wanes and university becomes another mundane aspect of your life, the smooth sailing runs into turbulent waters, because juggling good grades, a social life, and perhaps a parttime job begins to spiral out of control. It is as if there is no turning back once you label yourselves an adult, now you have to live up to those expectations and standards as well! Somehow in the newfound and seemingly endless struggles of adulting, we forget that we are simply nineteen or twenty-something-year-olds, with a whole life ahead to live, make mistakes in and learn. However, when that little nugget of knowledge is forgotten, our shoulders are hunched with unnecessary burdens, slowly burning us out till the point of physical, mental and emotional exhaustion.

It took me about half a dozen breakdowns throughout the year and numerous calls to my parents to understand that university signifies of the beginning of adulthood, leaving plenty of space for mistakes, speed bumps, and bouts of childish behaviour. We feel like we can conquer the world during these few years, and we definitely can, just not in one shot. It’s okay to see your bank balance dipping into the double digits, it’s okay to completely breakdown and cry it all out when you’re exhausted, spending on good food is essential because your body needs it, and it’s completely alright to bug your parents, adults, or close ones with numerous calls and texts when you need a shoulder for support, you’re human after all. 

And so, to all my fellow university students, you will find out while meandering around this labyrinth, that adulting is like any other thing in life, you bounce with joy on receiving your first paycheck and you groan in irritation upon discovering that laundry detergent is actually more expensive than you thought. There will be highs, lows and unimaginable twists and turns, resulting in the metamorphosis of a young student to an older, hopefully, wiser adult! Until then, take advantage of night-long adventures and binging on your favourite shows, adulting can wait! 

Subscribe here for all the latest news on how you can keep Thriving.

More on Mental Health on Campus:

What Campus Mental Health Centers Are Doing to Keep Up With Student Need

If You’re a Student Who’s Struggling With Mental Health, These 7 Tips Will Help

The Hidden Stress of RAs in the Student Mental Health Crisis

Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

You might also like...

Thrive Global on Campus//

Occupational Therapy: An Untapped Resource in Student Mental Health and Well-being

by Leah Goodman
Thrive Global on Campus//

If You’re a Student Who’s Struggling With Mental Health, These 7 Tips Will Help

by Stephanie Fairyington
Thrive Global on Campus//

3 Tips for International Students to Easily Settle Down on Campus Without Being Overwhelmed

by Purvi Tantia

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.

- MARCUS AURELIUS

We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.