Forget the Bar Mitzvah, let go of the Quinceañera and definitely toss aside your communion, graduation and engagement.
These are all superficial milestones, reasons to party and celebrate so your parents could prove they didn't kill you and you are on your way to becoming a "well-rounded" individual. But reciting some scriptures, wearing a dress and getting checks in the mail is no rite of passage.
A rite of passage is a transition from one self to another. It's the movement from one part of your life to another with the idea that you are a changed person at the end of this experience, this passage.
You now have new views, morals and new experiences to pull from. You are undeniably and forever changed from the experience. They are the moments you grow from, learn from and definitely mature from.
They are the experiences we all need in order to learn compassion, to understand heartbreak and, most definitely, to avoid making bad decisions.
They are the experiences that teach us about love and corruption, evil and loss. They are the passages that make us stronger people and more equipped adults.
So for all of you trying to get through life with some semblance of adulthood, here are all the rites of passage you've truly undergone or will most likely achieve in your future:
First Time You Get A Bad Haircut
You’ve now experienced the agony of a bad hair day that will last a few weeks or however long it takes you to figure out how to hide it. This moment will keep you skeptical of haircuts and barbers for the rest of your life.
First Time You Throw Up From Alcohol
You gotta have your head in the toilet at least once, preferably in a social setting, so you can join the ranks of the ashamed and also gain compassion next time someone’s at your party, blowing chunks.
First Time You Are Verbally Assaulted On The Internet
You are now a victim of bullying, like almost everyone else in this world. Use this to make you stronger and to learn the harsh truth that people are mean and even meaner on the Internet.
First Time You Fall In Love
Whether it’s love or lust, that first infatuation you have will forever stay with you and is the necessary experience you need to understand and appreciate love songs, romantic comedies and the idea of marriage.
First Time You Get Dumped
You have now entered the elite group of the hurt and heartbroken. Use this pain to remember how to treat your next relationship and forever remain a little more guarded for the rest of your life.
First Time You Smoke A Cigarette
You can’t go through life having never even tried a cigarette. You try it once to figure out if you like it or throw up from it. Either way, it’s an important thing to figure out.
First Time You Lose A Good Friend
Making friends is all you knew up to this point. The hurtful moment you watch a friend turn into an enemy (or a stranger) is one that will forever keep you appropriately wary of the power of friendship.
First Time You Smoke A Joint
The first time you try weed is the first time you realize it’s not a big deal. This breaks down all your inhibitions about drugs and potheads for the rest of your life.
First Time You Get Into A Bar With A Fake ID
This is a big moment in your underage drinking phase. Bars are the underage paradise and making it in exposes you to a world you wouldn’t have known until years later and the moment establishes you as mature and fearless.
First Time You Don't Get Into A Bar With A Fake ID
This humiliating and humbling experience instills a fear in you that keeps you terrified and most likely away from the bars until you rightfully can enter.
First Time You Enjoy Being Alone
Throughout childhood, being alone seemed a fate worse than death. The day you find yourself alone and enjoying your own company is a moment that will forever change how you spend the rest of your life.
First Time You Don’t Leave Your Bed For The Entire Day
Whether you were 14 or 24 when it happened, the discovery that days can be spent in bed is a dangerous and important moment. It’s like finding out you like crème brûlée, it will always be an option.
First Time You Lie
The day you realized you could lie and get away with it opened an entire realm of possibilities when it came to dealing with parents, friends and anyone in general. From here on out you almost always weigh the truth against the lie.
First Time You Get Caught In A Lie
The humiliating experience of getting caught in a lie is a necessary comedown from the high you were on after finding out that lies were indeed a possibility.
If you don’t face the consequences of lying, you won’t take it so seriously next time you tell a fib. Let’s just say, it teaches you to learn when a lie is really worth it.
First Time You Lose Someone You Love
The first funeral you go to is an eye-opening experience that stays with you. Not until you’ve lost someone close to you can you truly understand death and the immeasurable pain that comes with loss.
First Time You Bought Underwear From Victoria’s Secret
The day you enter Victoria’s Secret is the day you not only become a woman but see the possibilities of your sexuality.
First Time You See Your Parents Cry
Seeing your parents cry for the first time is when you finally see them as people, not just parents. From here on out, they are just humans, as flawed and capable of pain and heartbreak as you.
This forever changes the dynamic between you and the people you thought were superhumans.
The Moment You Start Understanding The Adult Jokes In Kid Movies
The moment Disney becomes another option for movie night is the moment you’ve entered maturity, or you’re just smoking a lot of weed. Either way it’s a milestone because you are now on the other side of all those favorite movies you loved as a kid.
Surviving Freshman Year
Not getting arrested, or getting arrested, as long as you come out alive, you are now a college student.
Because it’s not until sophomore year, when you’ve passed the homesickness and trials and tribulations of being new, that you can truly say you’ve made it past the threshold of higher education.
First Time You Travel Alone
The first time you take an airplane, stay at a hotel or just backpack through Europe alone is a milestone.
Realizing that you don’t need your mom to hold your passport or friends to drink with at bars opens you up to a world of possibilities.
First Time You Get Taxed
This usually indicates your first real job. Now you are a real citizen who gets screwed by the government just like everyone else.
When You Buy Your First Vacuum Cleaner
You are officially responsible. Rather than buy new clothes, iPods or concert tickets, you spent your money on a cleaning machine.
Some would assume that you are now officially an adult. But we all know that’s not exactly the case.
Photo Courtesy: Fanpop