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Once upon a time my excitement came from things like buying concert tickets and going to Six Flags or hitting the bar for girls night. But when the clock struck midnight all that changed. Little did I know that once I turned 23 life would never be the same.

Long gone were the days of worrying about getting to class on time after staying up all night. It’s been replaced with worries of maintaining health insurance and a great driving record. Oddly enough, my most recent highs seem to stem from the satisfaction of paying my monthly bills early.

“And then it hit me. I’m getting old” For some reason, I was shocked. But there was honestly no reason for me to be. After all, students and my brother have been calling me old for years. The signs have been there all along. I just chose to ignore them.

It was no coincidence that friends’ Facebook and Twitter pages went from talk of winning beer pong competitions to job acceptances. Graduation party invites turned in to baby shower and engagement party invites. This,of course, was another big shocker because people were actually planning to get pregnant! The days of unplanned pregnancies were almost ancient history. And I can’t forget that I’m getting married. I don’t even have any friends whose lives resemble those of the house mates on the Jersey Shore anymore! That’s pretty strange considering I do live in Jersey.

So when did this shift happen? My guess is it happened the minute everyone realized that finding a job out of college wasn’t so easy. About the same time, bills started pilling up faster than the money came. Being broke really does snap you into reality very, very quickly. Others, probably got the clue when they stopped getting carded to buy lottery tickets. (I’m still waiting for that day to come, by the way.) It’s time for me and all my peers to accept that we’re getting old and this is only the beginning…

In case you’re still not sure whether you are getting old or not here’s a few clues:

1. You find it impossible to stay up past midnight like you used to. In fact, if you could help it your new bedtime would be around 10:00 every night.

2. “Old Head” becomes your latest nick name assigned to you by the middle school and high school kids; especially if you’re an athlete  that hangs around gyms.

3. Beer just doesn’t seem to be an acceptable drink of choice anymore. Instead, you’re becoming a wine connoisseur. Mostly because you can actually afford to drink something other than beer now.

5. No matter how much sleep you get, your body just always seems to be tired.

6. You catch yourself having conversations with your peers about how the kids of today have changed so much, gotten bad, or have no manners.

7. You suddenly have a career instead of just a job.

8. Your weekends turn into trips to the grocery store, running errands, cleaning the house, and occasionally attending a friends baby shower instead of heading to the shore or the bar all the time.

9. You’re convinced that music of today just doesn’t compare to the music of the 90’s.

10. You realize that you have friends you haven’t seen in 10+ years.

11. You actually use Facebook and Twitter for business and/or networking purposes rather than to keep your “friends” updated on how amazing your life is.

12. Teasing and dying your hair with crazy colors just seems random and juvenile now.

13. You surpassed the maximum age of being listed under your parents health insurance.

14. Your favorite past time of shopping has been replaced by the grand ole’ hobby of coupon clipping. You just can’t pass up a big saving.

If one or more of the above applies to you, it may be time you face the music and accept that you are in deed getting old. Embrace it and learn to live with it because you’ve only just begun. 

But don’t fret. Watching repeats of Spongebob and Phineas & Ferb can keep you young at heart forever!

Can you relate? When did you first realize you were getting old?

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Written by Terri

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