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Growing up

| Tuesday, January 27, 2015

In approximately 15 days, I will celebrate my 22nd birthday. Aging is a strange phenomenon, and my approaching birthday only reminds me of a hard and difficult truth I must face.

Each birthday comes and goes, and I’m still waiting to shift from teen to adult. Sure, at 16, the open road is yours for the taking once you get your driver’s license. You’re even officially considered an adult on your 18th birthday and are opened up to a plethora of adult-only activities like voting and buying lottery tickets and cigarettes.

I even exhibit mild symptoms of adulthood in my daily life. My roommates and I have spent more than a few evenings staying in to play card games and make jigsaw puzzles. There was talk of turning our laundry room into our personal completed puzzle gallery. I get excited at the prospect of a Costco membership because of how much I’ll save on gas. I keep a bag of those Werther’s caramel candies that only retirement homes have in my glove compartment. I’ve uttered the dreaded soccer mom motto, “I’d like to speak to a manager,” while shopping at Best Buy.

Despite all of this, I don’t consider myself a grown-up. I am a perma-teen, boy band fan.

It started with the classics like The Backstreet Boys and N’SYNC. Fast forward a few years and I’m in the nosebleeds of a Jonas Brothers concert. Freshman year, I lied to my roommate claiming I was at the library when I was actually driving to Chicago to see One Direction alone. Three years ago, I took up four computers in the LaFun computer lab to buy tickets to their Up All Night tour. I walked out of a 150-person macroeconomics class because their “Live While We’re Young” music video leaked.

A few weeks ago, I deliriously bought $17 dollars of Korean pop music from iTunes and discovered EXO, a boy band with twelve members. They’re the Korean One Direction, but there are more of them to love, and I usually have no idea what they’re saying. They also perform highly synchronized dance routines and wear eyeliner. I’d spent so much time watching their 12-episode reality show that I actually got a little panicky because I felt like I hadn’t devoted enough time to One Direction. I’d basically been a two-timing lowlife who needed to spend more time with the group I’ve already committed too and not the hot guy who winked at me across the bar and somehow landed in my iTunes library and took over my Recently Played Artists on Spotify.

Maybe this is the year. I’ll wake up on Feb. 13 and be completely over boy bands, understand how the stock market works and stop using my parents’ Netflix account. Or maybe I’ll be cursing through the computer at a teen girl who can.

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