Sometimes the universe likes to play cruel tricks on you, and I was its most recent victim. A couple of weeks ago, I wrote a column called “Odyssey,” comparing venturing across campus in a Boston winter to Homer’s epic poem about a 20-year return home. Little did I know I would soon be experiencing a real Odyssey of my own.

Ever heard of Murphy’s Law –– that everything that can go wrong does? That’s exactly what happened to me when I was attempting to return from Spain last weekend. After a five-hour bus to Madrid, I found out late Friday night that my Saturday morning flight was canceled. The next morning at the airport, I was told that the next available flight to Boston was Tuesday night, so I cried at my thoroughly male ticket agent a bit until he was so alarmed he helped me figure out something else. Long story short, I ended up having to stay in Madrid an extra night, flying to JFK Sunday morning, taking a 90-minute Uber from JFK to Penn Station and taking a four-hour train from Penn to South Station to finally arrive home late Sunday night. Whew.

This is all a rather long lead-in to the fact that as exhausting as that whole ordeal was, it made me realize that I am sort of an adult — I was stranded in Madrid, and I figured everything out and got myself home. Of course, I’m still a baby adult; I will always call someone else to kill spiders for me, and I have no clue how to change a tire. But what is the turning point from kid to baby adult? Look no further — here’s your breakdown.

You’re still a kid if: You don’t know how to do your laundry. The excuses are over — you’re in college. You’re a baby adult if: You know how and don’t do it anyway. (As long as you know.)

You’re still a kid if: You expect the Joey to show up on time. Seriously. You should have learned this the first week of first-year orientation. You’re a baby adult if: You’ve started Ubering to the gym. At least you’re going, right?

You’re still a kid if: You get freaked out when you see a bug in your room. Some of you might even immediately flee the premises. You’re a baby adult if: You have a designated bug-killer on speed-dial — outsourcing is your MO.

You’re still a kid if: You occasionally pull all-nighters to finish your work and simultaneously brag/complain about it the next day, all while downing Red Bulls galore. You’re a baby adult if: You pull all-nighters on the reg but only occasionally to do work.

You’re still a kid if: You get excited about going grocery shopping (food!). You’re a baby adult if: You get excited about going grocery shopping at Carm or Dewick (free food!) á la partially clean Tupperware you stole from your housemates.

You’re still a kid if: You show up to the GIM of a club you have no interest in joining because your friend begged you to come. You’re a baby adult if: You show up to the GIM of a club you have no interest in joining because they promised food (free food!).

You’re still a kid if: You don’t like coffee. You’re a baby adult if: It’s your lifeblood.

So you see, it doesn’t take an international stranding to test your mettle and determine if you’ve finally left childhood behind. Of course, there’s nothing wrong with dragging your heels a bit — the world does need children — but until you start drinking coffee, I think we all know who’s coming out on top.


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