Welcome to: Adulting 101

I’m officially an adult! You’re probably thinking, did Alexandra just turn 18? Well, the answer is no. As a 20-year-old rising Junior at Duke, I’ve been a government certified adult a short while now. But now, with just a few more days until starting the Moxie Project in NYC, I’m starting to feel like a real adult, real fast… and boy, is it scary. 

But Alexandra, you’re pretty independent.” Sure, I’ve been cooking for myself for a few years now, and yes, I’ve dealt with government offices, and yeah, I call to make doctor’s appointments… by myself, thank you. I’d say this is quite the achievement as adult-level status. And yet, the thought of having an actual internship in New York City, managing a strict budget, and applying all that I’ve learned in my Women’s Studies and Psychology courses to hands-on, real life, situations, makes me realize I’m not as much of an adult as I think I am.

During my time at Duke, I’ve held two work-study jobs, jobs tailored to be as accomodating as possible to students and their schedules. Soon, however, I’ll be working with Queens Family Justice Center, assisting with children of survivors of intimate partner violence. Now, I’ll be working a real job, an hour away 9AM-5PM, where the well-being of children of survivors is in my hands. Nothing seems more real than this, and I’m both incredibly excited and incredibly terrified of the experience. What if I have no idea what I’m doing? What if my supervisors don’t like me? What if I do something wrong? Without the Duke bubble safety net to keep me comfortable, I’m having some serious doubts.

On top of that, having a budget and working an hour away from home means I’ll have to do weekly meal-planning and prepping! I’ve always seen meal-planning when it comes to diets. Now, I actually have to know what I want, and make it, in advance. No food points to save me, no skipping meals, and no last minute Chipotle…unless I want to kiss my wallet goodbye.

Regardless of how new this all is, being able to work with my Moxies, developing life-long professional and personal skills, and genuinely practicing all that I’ve learned in class, is an opportunity I’m really lucky to have, and I’m ready for it. I’m ready to take on these challenges and face my doubts. No matter how old, or young, we are, being an adult is a process that takes time, and a lot of discomfort. This summer, I can’t wait to keep learning how to be the adult I want and need to be. I’m ready.

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