Don’t Feel like an Adult

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

I turned 18 a while ago. I feel like I’m still a kid. I keep envisioning this future where I’m doing okay, and I’m actually a very classy lady. I’ve asked my fiancé (wedding is planned for about five years in the future, have to get through college first) to stop calling me things like “cute”. I don’t want to be seen as a little kid. We’ve been dating since Junior year and he almost looks the same. But sometimes when I look at him I see how much of a man he has become. I don’t feel like I’ve aged at all since I was 16, and I’m worried that I will never look like an actual adult woman. I think it mostly stems from not feeling like one… I thought in college I’d get my chance but their restrictions on freshmen are strict. I feel like I’m never going to get the chance to grow into a woman from this girl form of mine. I’m also worried he will leave me behind in that department… How can I feel more the way I want to?

A:

“Caretake this moment. Immerse yourself in its particulars. Respond to this person, this challenge, this deed. Quit evasions. Stop giving yourself needless trouble. It is time to really live; to fully inhabit the situation you happen to be in now.” ― Epictetus

I appreciate how important it is to feel more mature but I think the real deal is to feel authentic. I am suggesting that you savor the experiences you’re having now. When we are constantly striving to be something more, different, or better we can lose the experience of the moment. As a freshman in college you are just beginning to take in many rich experiences. Take them in and allow yourself to fully take part in what is happening around you. If you are constantly living in the future you will miss what you need to be experiencing now.

Some of these experiences will be organized and planned, and others will be random and come at you by surprise. Take the time to be immersed in what is in front of you now.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 28 Aug 2013

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2013). Don’t Feel like an Adult. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/08/28/dont-feel-like-an-adult/