by Tyler Fransen
It’s been a pretty stressful time for me over these past few weeks, and I’ve done a lot of self-reflection to try and ease my stress and practice mindfulness.
Naw, I’m just messing with you, I ate an entire bag of chips by myself while cry singing Foreigner’s “I Want To Know What Love Is.”
The truth is, I need an adult. However, the sudden realization that being in need of an adult whilst I am (technically) one myself, causes me emotional distress that can only be soothed by snack foods and 80’s power ballads.
Why do I have to be an adult though? That’s the real question! I’m 21-years-old, I’ve never had more than $1,000 in my bank account and, even if I did, half of it would go towards textbooks anyhow.
I don’t make enough money to live on my own; I’m probably going to have to live with my parents after I graduate until I get a stable job. I’m also fairly certain that the only thing I know how to cook without burning the house down is Kraft macaroni and cheese.
Yet the government wants my tax money. Politicians want my vote. Credit card companies want my signature. Are they out of their minds!
Let’s just start with the fact that in 12 years of public education, even with an economics course, not one iota of my days in school were spent learning how to pay taxes. I had not developed any tangible skills of living on my own before I entered college, and when I got to college I didn’t have to worry about food or shelter because I had a dorm and a meal plan.
However, meal plans and dorms do not exist in the real world. In fact, the only real world equivalent to a meal plan is food stamps, and the only thing comparable to dorm living is prison. Food stamps and prison, not a happy citizen does this make.
I had to work here in Grand Junction for the summer and, in doing so, got an on-campus apartment in North Avenue that required me to buy my own food. I also had to do what was previously unthinkable: get up in the morning to, gasp, go to work!
Buying my own food, living on my own, getting up to go to work, good lord I’m an adult! Except not really because, as previously stated, I could only cook pasta. Also the job I was working allowed me to choose my own hours because I was the boss.
I did have one job where I needed to show up on a scheduled time, but it was a lot of fun working there, once I actually figured out what I was doing.
So what was my problem? I clearly survived didn’t I. I had food on my own, I had a place to live, what’s the issue? My issue was when I was thrown into the metaphorical fire no one gave me so much as a fire extinguisher or even a bucket of water. The world failed me that day.
The world in which I live in did not adequately prepare me for being an adult, and I’m pretty upset by that fact right now.
I think I’m more upset at the fact that this isn’t just an issue with my generation and myself though; generations behind us that are five or even 10 years younger than us are probably going to experience similar, if not worse, conditions than we did.
Education failed me and I know for a fact that it’s the same education system that failed a lot of other people.
Schools need to start teaching things like the ability to make dinner for yourself and a loved one without prepackaged instructions. Education should teach societal practices like how to pay taxes, or how to vote or even something as simple as how to work in a stressful environment.
Otherwise you’re going to have an entire generation of people who will, like me, not know how to be a proper adult in society.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I just bought the greatest hits of Lionel Richie and a bag of spicy blue corn chips and I’m not coming out of my room: you can’t make me!