I'm a granny trapped in a 20-something

By: Jena Schwake, Sports Editor
Thursday, October 11, 2012

As my 22nd birthday draws near, I grow increasingly panicked at how quickly I seem to be aging. Some days I feel as if I’m 21 going on 74. While my peers claim to be children at heart, I think to myself that if this were true, I could be their grandmother.


I was brought to this halting realization last weekend. After a Friday night of good ol’ college debauchery, my entire being was exhausted — physically and mentally — come Saturday morning. Everything hurt. It pained me simply to rise from the futon to commiserate with my roommate, to whom a similar fate had befallen.

This feeling that I’d somehow become a twenty-something senior citizen had been lurking in my subconscious for a while, but it was then that I became fully cognizant that something was not as it should be.

What happened to being 19, when my friends and I could stuff our bodies with pizza, Marty’s cookies and 2 a.m. Subway and feel absolutely dandy the next day (But, seriously: how was that even possible?!)

When I see clusters of spry, bright-eyed first-years and sophomores fancifully playing Frisbee or sunning themselves on the lawn, my own similar experiences seem so long ago. How is it that three years can feel like three decades?

Images of my former self, just a wee whippersnapper, linger somewhere in the back of my mind. This was, of course, before I’d experienced the long-term effects of sleep deprivation and an all-you-can-eat cafeteria.

“You’re only as young as you feel,” the adage claims. Well, in that case, I feel 59.
I knit. I can cook an entire meal. Even my dad refers to me as “Susie Homemaker.” When I travel home for a visit, my mom and I geek out about the latest casserole recipe she found on Pinterest and the next project we can craft together. Sometimes we even get a little crazy and sip a half a glass of Riesling while we’re at it.

When I’m in my middle-age-mode, my beverages of choice include V8 and black coffee. Most nights I’d be happy as a clam curled on my futon, wearing frumpy sweats and Pinning do-it-yourself Christmas ornaments. Call me dull, call me old-fashioned. This is what maturity is, right?

To quote yet another sappy and overused phrase, “We don’t stop playing because we grow old, we grow old because we stop playing.” Though I may act old, I’ll never stop playing.
Before making assumptions about my social life (which, after reading this column, one would assume to be nonexistent), know this: I very much enjoy the playful, lighthearted, sometimes reckless activities that come with being a senior in college. But it’s nice to have a backup plan on those Saturday nights when Roscoe’s sounds less than appealing.