It’s hard to admit this, but this isn’t going to be pretty. These years – the ones standing between you & I and adulthood, they’re going to be hard and I won’t help to make them any easier. Right off the bat, I can tell you there will be too much drinking, a lot of it will be shitty beer, but some of it will be enough hard liquor to age my liver about five years in the span of a few months. Don’t worry though, only about half of my self-destructive decisions during this time will be made under the influence. Those decisions will probably involve getting kicked out of bars, making out with a strangers, & stumbling through my college campus while posting things on social media with #YOLO. Inevitably, I’ll drunkenly have a philosophical conversation with some homeless people, waste all my pancakes at iHop, and call the cops we pass on the street “sexy” because my best friend dares me too. To add insult to destructive injury, I’ll probably engage in some meaningless sex that will only slightly make me feel like a cheap prostitute, and will result in no less than complete irrational drama as a consequence. Sadly, my sober antics won’t be anymore wise. I’ll probably get involved in some ill-conceived attempt at young love, for which neither of us will know how to untangle ourselves from because we’re in our twenties and we don’t understand the effort that goes into supportive and loving relationships. We’ll stay together just long enough to hate ourselves – fingers crossed at least one of us walks away unscathed and without permanent emotional scars. Then, eventually, I’ll have some blow up with my roommate and/or best friend over our idea of what “maturity” means. We’ll both be wrong, but I probably won’t realize that until after I’ve said the most hurtful and private things in the book because, at the time, it’ll be more worth it to burn the bridge to the ground than communicate like normal human beings. Similarly, there will probably be a professor, mentor, or boss that will try to steer me in a productive direction that I will rebuff because I’m too ungrateful to understand that opportunities don’t just fall from the sky. I’ll be young and talented, and I’ll think I’m above having to pay my dues because, didn’t you know our generation invented Facebook and all of our ideas are the next big thing?! Somewhere in here my parents and I will have a falling out too. It won’t be ugly, but I’ll forget how much they sacrificed in order for me to act this overprivileged and that will most likely make my mother cry endlessly. I’ll finally learn what real disappointment and heartbreak feels like and if I’m lucky I’ll only experiment with a few drugs, venturing only a little off course before I realize that I’m wasting my time. I’ll sink all my self worth into what others think of me, putting up way too much information about my life on social media for the little attention it provides – probably half naked, and definitely with a red cup. Honestly, this could last for a while. My behavior while trying to find out what I value, and who I am in life could end up doing a lot of harm to myself and those around me. Luckily I’m apologizing in advanced because I know that it’s just the necessary evils that comprise growing up. I’ll learn the difference between things that need to be said and things that don’t, that respect can’t be given unless I respect myself, that love loss is better than no love at all, all the cliches in the book. It’ll be hard going down this self-destructive path for a few years, in what feels like all alone, but we’ll make it through, I promise.