Things that I completely overlooked when planning my dream adult life

In short, adulthood sucks and I really want a puppy. The usual really. 

We’ve all been there, 12 years old and planning our dream lives. Mansions in the centre of an ultra-hip city, constant parties and somehow simultaneously, a loving family. Adulthood seemed like the ultimate goal, the prime of our lives – a time in which everything finally slotted into place and life was easy. A thought that seems laughable the second you turn 21. Don’t get me wrong, being a (pretend) adult is great but there are a bloody lot of things I can’t be bothered to do – and I spend half my time wishing I had zero responsibilities and was completely void of bills. I saw a similar post to this by Lauren Rellis and immediately began thinking about my own teenage hopes and dreams.It’s funny to look back and think of what I thought my life would be when I was younger – and even funnier when I think of all of the things I completely forgot about, or more accurately had no idea about, when daydreaming about my glory days.

I’m sure I’m not the only person that thought that adult life would be a series of mature conversations in suave cocktail bars, when in reality it appears to be necking a bottle of £5 wine and complaining about the mould in our houses. Perhaps everything will come up Millhouse, perhaps I’ll get my dream mansion, petting zoo and flock of adoring fans – or perhaps I’ll spend the rest of my days scrolling through Just-Eat desperate for fries at 2am. Either way, it made me chuckle to think of then and now – so I’d thought I’d share it with you all so we can laugh together at my naïve hopes and dreams.

Rent 

Let’s just get this one out of the way at the beginning. My dream house was going to have 30 bedrooms, an indoor pool, a giant garden for my hoards of animals and a home cinema. Not once did I think about the career in the mainstream music business that I’d have to pursue to ever afford this (that’s a lie I definitely wanted to be the next Beyoncé.) My point is, there is probably no career I could pursue within my lifetime that will ever allow me to own Claire Castle. Not to mention, as I’ve grown older it’s become apparent to me that living in a giant house would actually be horrible – all of the unexplainable noises and the vast amount of cleaning just isn’t worth it. I think I’ll probably stick to Claire Condo – or at this rate, Claire’s room in a house-share with 4 other people. 

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Living in one building with all of my friends 

As I got slightly older of course I had the typical adolescent thought and wanted to move into one building with all of my BFFL’s. Now, this is a fantastic idea, there are no negatives to this situation. Unfortunately there is just no feasible way that enough people could move out of one building so that me and all my pals could move in. (Of course I mean approximately the 10 friends that I have – but it’s still not very likely.)

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Landing your dream job – with ease 

I had definitely watched far too many films of cutesy twenty-somethings stumbling into an assistant job straight out of uni, impressing their boss and getting the job of their dreams within a year. Of course the sad reality of this is that after leaving uni you’re thrown into a section of cyberspace that’s filled with hundreds of other 2:1 wielding graduates that have seen the same  fictional characters living the dream.

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Staying in touch with your pals

Expecting to keep in touch with all of your friends was something every teenager seemed to think would happen naturally – I remember me and my best friends way back when  discussing that our parents had about three friends, a concept that was completely surreal and nightmarish to us. Little did we know that we’d spend 80% of our time working and the other 20% trying to catch up on sleep. Maybe if we’d found that giant building that we could all move into I’d still be dancing around to You Me At Six right now. Well dancing around, with friends to You Me At Six right now.

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Spending time in fancy bars, sipping cocktails and looking v. sophisticated 

This is probably the only one I’ve come close to, although instead of fancy bars it’s a Be At One at happy hour, and instead of looking v. sophisticated I’m dancing to Mambo No. 5.

Having a lush indoor pool 

In my head when I was younger, having a pool in my house meant that I’d made it in life – I could die happy, my wake could be a super cool pool party. I imagined spending days lounging by the pool, sipping on some fruit punch and thinking about how simple and relaxing life was. All was well until adulthood came along – leaving me a pool-less loser that can hardly afford my local leisure centre.

 

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Owning 20 dogs 

This is something I still refuse to believe. I used to want a “Puppy Palace” more than anything in the world. When I say used to I mean, up until about a year ago. Heck, it’s what I still want today. Let me paint this image for you, a puppy palace is a big sparkly building that is full of all of my puppies and they’re all treated like royalty. I’m sure you can see why this one is hard to let go of. Unfortunately –and I am legitimately sad whilst typing this- I just don’t have time for my puppy palace. (Or an appropriate income of course.) I’m pretty sure I don’t have time for one perfect canine friend.

Magically having perfect skin 

I can’t remember what made me think this, maybe just sheer hope, but somewhere in my brain I was convinced that bad skin was something that mystically disappeared as soon as you turned 20. I spent years of my spotty teenage life eagerly awaiting the day that I’d wake up with what can only be described as the skin of a goddess. However I’m almost 22 years old and I’m still sporting blemishes and some impressively red cheeks.

It’s so strange to think of what I thought adulthood was when I was younger, I think I speak for many when I say – I was pretty sure it was a constant party and money-fest. There’s something bittersweet about looking back on the past and your perception of life, in knowing that although some things didn’t go to plan and you’re not living it up Elle Woods style – there are so many other things that you learn to appreciate. I’d like to think child-Claire would be happy with where I am and who I’ve become, but knowing her she’d probably just complain and ask for a puppy.

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Good day, real world!

As I avoid measuring my chest, head and height in order to purchase appropriate graduation attire I can’t help but think of the journey I am about to embark on. I have always been a nostalgic person, constantly looking back at excellent memories and unfixable regrets, so I thought I’d document my University experiences and feelings throughout the past three years.

I moved to Brighton, a severely unconfident girl with no idea how to look after myself or cope with any kind of stress. I had twenty pounds in my pocket, far too many Adam Sandler DVD’s and absolutely no idea what would be install for me at University. Making friends was much easier than I had imagined and in no time I was crammed into a tiny Halls of Residence bedroom playing Mario Kart with three people that quickly became my close friends. (An absolutely wild first year, I’m sure you can imagine) But once again I was looking into the past; missing home terribly and questioning whether University was the right decision for me.

We eventually ascended into the second year, moving into the worst house imaginable. A rest-home for an array of mould, fungus and vermin. It was in this year that I realised I should take some responsibility over my life, which in retrospect is funny as this was the year I spent trollied and spending way too much money on things I did not need. I got my first job and met a ton of new people. I realised that humans weren’t so scary and began to talk to people without being an awkward mess. I met someone to embark on adventures with, a sense of security in a world that seemed so unstable. I finally felt settled in Brighton although I still felt conflicted about Uni and began to develop my own ideas about education, concluding that we are all very different – the structure and methods of education don’t work for everyone and perhaps I was one of those people! Regardless I trudged on, determined to get through year 17/17 of the process. The final year before the big scary world.

Third year felt like a stampede; deadlines, career options and the torturous fear of council tax swept over me and left me feeling defeated. The rush of it all made it feel like a month has past and before I knew it I was handing in my dissertation, filled with pride. It was at this time that I realised my time at University had come to an end; the people I had met and shared a communal feeling of excitement and sheer dread with were leaving. Once again I had to pack up and move on, worried about meeting new people and overcoming new obstacles.

This is where we enter the dreaded present tense, I can no longer avoid planning the future and blissfully obsessing over the past. I shall cherish these memories forever but right now I feel it’s time to focus on the next adventure (however scary it may seem.)

When I was applying to come to University people would constantly tell me about how it would change my life and would be the best decision I had ever made. In my first year when I was missing home, I felt anxious about being away from everything I knew and worried that I’d never feel comfortable in Brighton – I remember thinking that those people were wrong and for some reason I was that one unlucky person that just didn’t have the same University experience (because I am an irrevocable and hilariously paranoid cynic like that) but now I see exactly what they meant.

Coming here has allowed me to overcome fears and discover who I am, whilst simultaneously mastering the art of cheap dining. I have met the best people in the world and nurtured friendships that will last forever. I have discovered both good and bad qualities about myself, developed my own beliefs and the understanding that not everyone agrees with them. I have faith that wherever I end up in life, I will meet wonderful people as I truly believe they are everywhere and most importantly I have rekindled an eternal love for Lauryn Hill.

Brighton University has been an absolute blessing and now I look into the future filled with confidence and happiness!