As I sit here with heavy eyelids and slightly shaking hands at work on a Friday texting several other friends who are perhaps even more nauseous than I am, I can’t help but wonder, will there be a day when I’m “too old” to be hungover at work?

 

In college, Friday hangovers were the norm—an opportunity to brag about how fun your night was as you trudged to your 11 a.m. class. And at 23, it feels slightly different (unfortunately work lasts much longer than those 50 minute classes), but not terribly different. I don’t feel too far removed from college. A lot of my friends still seem to think they’re in college. So, this maturity level is normal for our age, right?

 

I think at 23 maybe it is. But what about in our mid-20s? Late 20s? Is there some magical (frightening) age when being hungover at work is no longer okay? When drinking excessively whenever we feel like it isn't okay? When occasionally foregoing responsibilities isn't okay?

 

Some weekend mornings, I barely have it in me to fall out of bed and roll onto the couch for the day. My parents (my measuring stick for all adult things) never rolled onto the couch for the day. And while they’re 30 years my senior, they were my age once. In fact, my mom was engaged at 24. Scary, right? My mom was getting married at my age and here I am making out with boys in bars and cutting them out after date two. 

 

However, in the past two years, I’ve been slowly navigating out of this lifestyle. Sometimes I go on adventures with friends and have meaningful conversations and read incredible books and cook delicious dinners and I genuinely enjoy it. Sometimes I stay in on the weekends and wake up early to meet friends for a nice walk and coffee. I’m starting to picture my more “adult” life and I’m really okay with it. And while I’m not quite ready for it to be permanent, I think it’ll be okay once it is.

 

Even now, I get tired of our pre-adult lifestyles. Tired of meaningless hookups and events planned solely around alcohol. When I hang out with certain people, I’m a younger version of myself, one I don’t necessarily want to be anymore. We encourage each other, and in so doing, we also stunt each other. Some of our once close friends no longer seem to provide the influence, support, and love we need to become the best versions of ourselves.

 

But I think that’s part of this whole process. We grow up, we grow out, we outgrow. Our friends don’t always grow with us. And it’s sad when we move past once beloved relationships and lifestyles. But that’s part of life, isn’t it? We have to do what’s best for us, even when it means leaving some things and some people behind. We may not be the permanent adults yet, but we’re on our way. So here’s to figuring out who we are, who we want to become, and who we want there with us.

Published by Jacqueline Miller