I wish I could go back to college, is probably a phrase uttered by many people post-graduation. Who doesnt want to go back to a time when you were young and your responsibilities were minimal?
You may not be able to go back to that lifestyle, but you can go back to your college town, like I did last weekend.
I don't revisit Athens often -- at least not as often as I'd like to. The three-hour drive is just long enough that it can't be a day trip. Plus, if you're going to Athens, chances are you're going downtown and that means you can't drive home anyway.
Last weekend, I had a good excuse to visit because my youngest sister was graduating from UGA. It's been about five years since I was in her shoes, which seems like forever ago and just yesterday at the same time.
We did all the things you're supposed to celebrate college graduation -- dinner with the parents and grandparents, graduation ceremony, and of course, drinks downtown with a large group of friends.
There were some new restaurants and bars to try out, but there's a lot about the town that hasn't changed. Sanford Stadium? Check. Georgia Theatre? Check? Large crowds of frat guys to be avoided at certain bars? Still there. It was almost like being in college again -- minus worries about classes and exams.
There were times, however, when I felt like the oldest person in the room. Like when my sister and her friends started talking about life after graduation. Now what? What next? You're graduating -- does mean you're supposed to be an adult now? It was kind of weird but also reassuring to hear them asking the same questions I asked myself a lot after graduating.
We got into a discussion about what makes you an adult. Is it graduation? Marriage? A kid of your own? When staying out after midnight no longer seems like fun? When you avoid certain bars because there's too many people and the music's too loud? (I hope it's not that last one).
Graduation is a milestone, but I don't think adulthood is. This can be difficult to accept, after spending 22 years marking your life by grade levels. I'm not even sure becoming an adult is a slow process, like growing up. I think that some mornings you wake up and you've got to be the adult.
Those days that you have to do things you might not want to do, like go to work, pay the bills and take responsibilities for your mistakes -- that's when you have to be an adult, no matter if you're 15 or 50.
But that doesn't mean you can't still have fun. That doesn't mean you can't still feel young, act young or reminisce about the things you loved to do when you were young. You may not be in college anymore, but you can always go back to visit.
Sara Pauff, 706-320-4469 or email@example.com. For more commentary, read her 20-something blog.