Nowadays, it’s easy to feel like everyone has their life together and you don’t. Your friends’ Instagram stories are filled with workouts in Gymshark leggings you can’t afford, looking stunning on nights out, or on cute day trips to the Roman Baths. What they don’t post, though, is the countless bowls of pesto pasta, the crying in their room over deadlines and failing to make it to the club because they drank too much at pres. In short, no one is perfect all the time.
I have always tried to be as real as possible on social media. This is partly because I find oversharing my life incredibly therapeutic, but also because as much as shouting about removing the stigma from mental health is great, the only way to really do it, is to show your reality unapologetically. And truth is we all have moments where it feels like everything is going wrong, and you just don’t know how everyone else does it.
I’ve realised in the last couple months that there are two major misconceptions about ‘adulting’. The first is that adulting is really just about knowing, and then actually doing, the small, self-care things you need to be a functioning human being. Some of these are incredibly boring yet important, like making sure that the washing up or laundry doesn’t pile up. Some, like spending a little more than usual on gingerbread lattes because you know they motivate you to study, can make a world of difference without seeming typically ‘adult’.
The second is that adulting isn’t about never making stupid decisions, but just realising you have to pay the consequences for your actions- something my friends and I discovered last term. If you decide to kick in your kitchen window, you may well have to pay £200 in damages. Leaving your room in an absolute state before going out and having to clear all the papers, laptop, clothes, and god knows what else off your bed when you bring someone back, is also slightly embarrassing.
In my opinion, however, the ultimate adult thing is realising that it’s okay to not have your life together sometimes. When there’s been a major change in your life, such as moving away from home and suddenly having 100 extra things to think about, it’s pretty natural to let some things slip. I used to love baking but in first term the only cake I made was for the LGBT+ Bake Off. It was described by Antony Amodoroux himself as ‘tasting like bread’ (*cries*). I also decided that clubbing counted as exercise (newsflash: it doesn’t) and so my already pretty bad fitness is now virtually non-existent.
So, I considered making a hundred new year’s resolutions about healthier eating, actually doing the reading and problem sheets, and no longer oversharing my life to everyone I meet (no one likes a blabbermouth and not everyone wants to know the details of your lesbian drama). But then I realised that these things will only come with me being in a better mental state, which certainly won’t come from beating myself up about not being the perfect adult at 18. University, especially the first year, is the prime time to make a few regrets. While I’ve already forgotten a lot of the whirlwind so far, the things I remember about uni are laughing with my friends over the bad decisions and adulting fails, not the days I had my life perfectly together.