As we progress through different stages of life, we realize that many things we considered as constants have changed dramatically or vanished altogether. That naïve sense of security we felt as we were running through playgrounds is no longer there and neither is the soothing embrace of our parents after we fell and scraped our knees. In middle school, we realized that others could be mean. In high school, we suddenly realized that we were growing up and responsibilities came flooding in. Some lost sleep because of their social life. Others were kept up by academic anxiety or thoughts of the future. No matter the reason, what we all felt was frantic; it was startling, but it was natural.
Adulthood doesn’t lightly knock on the door – it often busts it down. No wonder that so many dream of being “forever young.” Being able to legally purchase a drink or enter your favorite social venue are meager payoffs for intrusive thoughts of complete independence. Doesn’t it feel so freeing to be away from mom and dad? It does…until your bank account begins to hover right above the big zero or you’re in your bunked bed, miserable with a fever, longing for a few words of encouragement that will certainly not come from your absent roommate. Oh, to be a freshman again! To harbor thoughts of college adventures beyond the wildest high school dreams. As eager we are to get away from the shackles of normality, the unfortunate truth remains – we long for steadiness and support. It’s easier being a dependent, and it really begins to show once you pass the midway point of your undergraduate career.
Lately, I’ve been losing sleep. These issues have been in and out of my head for the longest time, but they become especially prominent when you’re on the brink of graduation. Being a first semester senior spells many things, of which most prominent is sleep deprivation. Whether you’re obsessing over an upcoming exam (or, in my wretched case, the LSAT) or are just unable to fall asleep before an ungodly hour, you’re likely a walking zombie and you will remain that way. What’s that you say? Going to bed at ten tonight because you have a test in the morning? Interesting theory, but wholly impractical. Insomnia is within the essence of college culture. The time you’ll be spending tossing and turning in a dark room to the rhythm of the neighbor’s iTunes playlist would be better spent in your neighbors room raging uncontrollably. Okay, okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a little. You shouldn’t blow things off just because your environment doesn’t allow you to pursue them in the way you’d like. It would be to your benefit, however, to discard any notions of normality that happen to be lingering in your brain from your cozy “normal” life. Welcome to adulthood, a realm where a “sleep schedule” is virtually an undefined term, where a helping hand doesn’t come cheap, and where your previous reality might as well be a fairy tale.