The Baker Orange

Graduation brings scary, real-world responsibilities

Story by Dominique Adkins

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04/04/08

How do I say I’m scared? How do I say I know graduation is less than two months away, but I still don’t feel ready? How do I say I have no idea what it means to be an adult?

I feel like once I walk across that stage in Collins Center, I’m supposed to have all of this knowledge and wisdom that will explain how to live life and be a “grown-up.”

But I still want to watch cartoons on Saturday mornings and eat cereal with animated characters on the front of the box. I’m not prepared to deal with things like real jobs, marriage, insurance and mortgages, and I don’t feel like I’m ever going to be.

These past four years I’ve attended Baker knowing that when it came time for me to leave, I would be adequately prepared for the “real world,” and it would all work out.

Well, Baker failed.

Or maybe I failed.

Either way, it sucks because I’m still just a kid.

I think about the people that I look up to in my life and the mistakes they’ve made, and know I don’t want to make the same ones, but I have no clue how to avoid them.

My pastor who committed an affair, my aunt and uncle who divorced after 25 years of marriage and my friend’s dad who was laid off for stealing money from his company… those mistakes cannot be fixed with a kiss from mom and a Band-Aid where it hurts.

When adults mess up, they mess up big, and I am not ready for that responsibility. That being said, I know that I have to take it.

Unless I want to move back home and let my parents take care of me the rest of my life, (and I don’t think they would be too pleased with that decision), I need to step up and face whatever happens.

I need to accept that I will make mistakes, and I need to acknowledge that they will be hard, if not impossible to fix.

I just need to trust that no matter what happens, my friends and family will always be there, not to pick me back up but to give me the strength to pick myself back up and move on from whatever situation I manage to put myself in.

Am I terrified to see what happens after graduation? Yes.

Will I face it with all of the dignity I can muster and do my best in every circumstance? Of course.

And now that I think about it, that sounds pretty adult to me.