Sunday, May 25, 2014

Being a Big Girl: Another Step in Adulthood

What a month. I'm now a junior in college; it feels like it was just yesterday that I graduated high school. Time really flies when you do what you love. I finished the torturous finals week and was ready to start my summer. I was only home for three weeks, and boy, did they put me to the test.

I knew coming back home was going to be difficult. My grandmother's health was declining, friends were in town for only a short while, and I was only going to be home for three weeks. I had a lot to do in a short amount of time. My first week was spent with family seeing as my friends were just then entering their finals week. I visited my grandmother on almost a daily basis, checking in and making sure everything was ok.

Days pass by, and her health deteriorated rapidly. She was having a hard time just doing basic things, like breathing. She was able to make it through Mother's Day, but shortly there after, she took her last breath. My grandmother passed away on May 18, one week before I was supposed to leave for the summer.

I apologize for starting on a sad note, but when you lose someone that close to you, it needs to be stated first and foremost. I was able to catch up with my friends, patch up differences with old friends, and make new ones as well. I was able to see a few friends of mine that I haven't seen since I was 10 years old. I met new people at my grandmother's memorial service and at random restaurants all over the city.

However, this past week alone has taught me that I'm not just Mom and Dad's daughter; I need to grow and be on my own. Yes, that's what college is for, exploring new found independence, but eventually, you come home. Sometimes, you see your parents in their weakest states and have to be their shoulder to cry and depend on. Other times, you realize that your siblings will age and become more and more mature; they don't need you to mother them anymore.

I've had both revelations this past week. Being the oldest, I am already someone that the family depends on with petty housework and babysitting. But when I became an emotional pillar for my mother, that's when reality really kicked in. I have to grow up and stop acting like a child. I have to be there for my family (as everyone should always be there for their families), but I also need to grow and flourish as an individual and as a journalist.

This past week, I had the amazing opportunity to get a tour of Halas Hall and meet with the communications department of the Chicago Bears. I was able to pick their brains for knowledge and frankly anything that could give me an edge in the extremely competitive journalism field. I wanted to make my name resonate in their minds and make them remember me as maybe a future potential employee, not just a star struck Bears fan.

Now, as you're reading this, I'm on my way to Omaha, Nebraska, to start my first professional internship. I've had this position since March, and now the anticipation is over. I'm taking my first baby step into adulthood by making my first solo road trip to another state. I'm going to get a taste of what living off of the Mom and Dad fund (well, not entirely off) is going to feel like. Only two years separate me from the real world. It's time to grow up and become a big girl.