Sunday October 25, 2015

Growing Up

By Noelle Jacobs

Growing up. As kids, we are all eager to enter the adult world and leave behind the trials of playground banter and fights in the classroom over crayons and toys. Little did we know what we were giving up and what we were going to encounter in the years ahead of us.

For me, I don't know if "growing up" hit me in high school, not even when we were told we had to start looking at colleges freshman year. It also didn't hit me when we started applying to those colleges junior year, and then again, I wasn't phased when we started receiving acceptance letters. The college decision looked less to me like growing up and more like excitement for the next chapter. That excitement, and soon to follow nerves, followed me through freshman year at UD, even among all of the homesickness and stress with classes. It wasn't until this year, my sophomore year, that I started realizing that college, while fun and still young in nature, is the final gateway to adulthood.

This first realization came with the approaching career fair. As an engineering major, I was told that I had to go with 30+ resumes and talk to as many companies as possible in the allotted 4 hours in hopes of landing a co-op position for the spring semester. For those of you unfamiliar, the co-op program is most popular among engineering majors, though some other majors participate as well, and is an opportunity to get hands on full time work experience in the engineering field before graduation. It puts your studies on hold, but provides a wonderful opportunity not many people get. Engineers are strongly encouraged to participate which, in addition to the stress of classes, adds an extra task similar to that of applying to colleges junior year of high school.

So, I went to career fair, fully clad in my professional get-up (pencil skirt, blouse, and blazer), with my 30+ resumes and talked to companies nervously as I hoped they liked me and would want to interview me. It was one of the weirdest feelings being there with people who were looking for full-time jobs, talking to professionals who now played part in dictating part of my future, and getting my portrait taken for my LinkedIn profile.

This was only the first realization. That night, I received a phone call from a company for an interview and the next day, an email from another company for an on-site interview. This was my entry into what I feared most, the interview process. Not only was I deathly afraid of interviews, but I was now highly aware that these were all steps to growing up. I went through the interviews swimmingly and just last week participated in two more interviews with companies in hopes of finding that co-op position.

Through this process, and now playing the waiting game, the talk of growing up hasn't really quit. My roommate and I talk almost every night about how we are growing up and there's nothing we can really do about it. But as I'm writing this, I realize that we have actually done quite a bit. From decorating our small Christmas tree way too early and watching a Christmas episode of Gilmore Girls to drinking hot cocoa while watching the Barbie Nutcracker movie, we've done little things that are just fun and young and are fully apart from all of the co-op and class stress.

Growing up is really scary, but it's the reality of things and the only thing we can really do is make sure we remain young in some ways. That isn't to say we aren't supposed to mature, because that's definitely something that college helps with, but don't be afraid to let loose and have fun or just stay in and watch a Barbie movie to escape from the stresses of the approaching world of adulthood.

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