Coming of age sucks, as does this title

The funny thing about coming-of-age is that it’s always shown as a rite-of-passage in movies, replete with a perfect nostalgic picture montage of stolen kisses and failed tests and heartbreaking fights with friends to just reunite towards the end, of watching the stars and tossing up graduation caps and teary goodbyes to your old self. But for real, who allowed this romanticized bullshit to be broadcasted as normal? Because if this is normal, my year has been far from it. If my coming-of-age was a montage, it’d be of falling asleep during Teams meetings and video calls and endless movies being added to my ‘To-Watch’ list, scrolling through Instagram stories watching people I know dancing the night away, fights with my family, living vicariously through fictional stories and binge-eating at 2 am to fill the void in my heart.

The only things I have in common with these gorgeous cinematic depictions is crying on the bathroom floor and losing all my friends, although there’s no perfect boy to wipe away my tears or a bittersweet reunion with those lost friends where we agree to go on a road trip.

Every time I hear poetic songs about being a teenager, about all those experiences I’m already supposed to have, I just want to scream. Do you know when plaster is setting, and something disturbs it, or alternately, every action you take moulds it? I feel like a sculpture that looks whole and seems whole, but is missing those special cracks that tell the whole story, that give it character. See, this transition is supposed to be rocky - that’s the whole point of it - but I feel like a bystander, looking onto everyone’s else’s lives and smiling and clapping along. I do happen to have the world’s worst case of FOMO - it’s true, but I also have no f*cking clue how to function as an adult and it feels like no matter what I do, I can’t seem to catch up. Feeling inadequate is not a new feeling for a self-proclaimed perfectionist, but I didn’t expect to feel inadequately like an adult, something that’s supposed to be literally a natural process. But maybe that’s the thing - maybe everyone’s just winging it, pretending to know way more than they actually do. Maybe everyone sucks at adulting initially and this angsty piece is just a byproduct of my persistently detrimental overthinking, yet ironically this entire piece screams about the woes of coming-of-age.

Or I continue to be wilfully ignorant while I pick and choose when I want to still be treated as a child and when I want to be an adult, and this is a piece that should've just remained in the confines of my Notes app.

Author: Ananya Chaure

Editor: Riya Pote

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