Why Turning Nineteen Is All of a Sudden a Really Big Deal

So tomorrow – well, a couple hours - I turn 19. It’s a really odd number, in my opinion – looks weird, I guess – but what’s stranger is the age that it makes you. I could go into vast detail about my separate feelings about the weird age restrictions in the U.S. – you can drive when you’re 16, but you’re not really an adult until 18, yet you can’t drink until 21…what? – but that’s for another rant-y blog post that I don’t feel like writing when I’m stuck in the “under” category. At any rate, nineteen is one of those years where you feel a step older, but you don’t particularly get to do anything important. Still applying for day jobs, I feel like I’ve stated my age at least five times a day for the past week, and “eighteen” has such a different feel on the lips than “nineteen” does.

“Eighteen” seems to scream “I’m young! I’m fresh! I can operate several different social media sites while still maintaining a thriving life good enough to tweet about!” whereas “nineteen” has the dulcet tones of “I’ve gone off to college. I apparently know what I’m doing with my life. I’m sophisticated in the way that I’ll refuse to play beer pong with PBR…but Miller Lite’s okay.” My mother has had several terse conversations with me about how I can’t have a mid-life crisis before I hit twenty, but I disagree. I’m applying for internships left and right, no retailer will hire me for a summer job, I’m stuck editing my resume until early hours of the morning – I feel as though I’m already 24.

I don’t really want to get started on if this is a good thing or a bad thing. I find growing up one of those scary concepts that won’t become less scary the more you write about it. And I know I have no place to complain. I’ll grow up one way or another, but the more I write this the more I realize that age is nothing more than a number. And as someone who’s been mistaken for fifteen a few too many times, I guess that’s true.

So bring it on, nineteen. Let’s do this.