The Day I Became An Adult Was When I Stopped Giving A Shit What Other People Thought

The Day I Became An Adult Is When I Stopped Giving A Shit What Other People Thought
Jessica Polar

This was my official college essay that I sent out to all my dream schools. New York University, Fordham University, Boston University. They all denied me. Perhaps it was because when prompted with the question “What event marked your transition from childhood to adulthood,” I answered with the following shenanigans.

I have a history of running late to the bus stop. My junior year consists of intense early morning cardio in an attempt to make it on time. It wasn’t uncommon for me to bug my mother for a ride to school. Then the first day of my senior year arrived. I would approach the day like any other morning before school; wake up, eat breakfast, brush teeth, get dressed, do hair, pack bag, then catch the bus. Unfortunately, I still ended up running late and evidently missing the bus on my first day of school.

In the car, as my mother nagged me about her driving me, I came up with a solution to my problem. As opposed to sprinting to the bus with my 20 pound book bag, (which on several occasions has ripped open, spilling my books onto the ground) I would instead ride my Razor scooter every morning.

Yes, the Razor scooter, I as a 10-year-old, saved my allowance to afford.

The next morning I did just that, I grabbed my book bag, said goodbye to my mother, hopped on my Razor, and scooted away to the stop. I was able to get to the bus stop in less than half the time and I didn’t require any breaks to catch my breath like I did from running.

As I casually arrived to my destination, several glares of judgment darted my way. I could hear what my peers were thinking:

“Why does she have a scooter?”

“Did she really ride her scooter to the bus stop?”

“What a weirdo.”

And so on.

Normally one would feel outcasted or unaccepted if they knew people judged them harshly this way. I myself would normally feel outcasted or unaccepted if I knew people judged me harshly this way. However, for once in my life, I did not care what others thought of me and my scooter. Why should I care? It’s a brilliant idea, riding my scooter saves me both time and energy. I had no intention of stopping. My one friend said to me “I heard people laughing at you when you walked into the school with your scooter.”

I said, “I don’t have the energy to care what others think of me.”

Surprised by my radical response she said, “Most of the world cares what people think”.

Annoyed by this “logic,” I finished with:

“And I pity those people because they’re too busy worrying about satisfying others.”

Life is far too short to care what people think of you. Living up to everyone’s standards is a literal impossibility; there is no way it can be done. My happiness comes first; I negate what others have to say. In the end, I don’t feel anyone else’s pain and I don’t experience anyone else’s happiness. I feel my pain and I feel my happiness and no amount of judgment could affect how I feel about myself. The second I stopped caring, was the second I stopped living as a child.

Though some see a teenage girl riding her scooter to the bus stop as a sign of immaturity, I see it as a sign of maturity. Maturity is not measured by how grown up you act, maturity is measured by how unaffected one is by the judgment of others. How can one call themselves an independent adult if they are constantly swayed by the words of others?

A firm stance in life shows maturity and the ability to go about the day unaffected by others is a part of growing up. Breaking away from the shackles of society’s norms has given me the freedom to live my life to its fullest.

So as an adult among children, I will continue to scoot by those who struggle in life because they were too scared (immature) to simply pick up a scooter and make their life easier. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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