I’ve been 18 for a full day now and I’m happy to announce that everything just falls into place when you hit this magical number. The second the clock struck midnight and it officially became April 21, my room began to spin and transform until I was in my penthouse apartment in New York City. Harry Styles appeared out of nowhere, holding a birthday cake and singing to me. Life is good and he and I are in love.

I wish.

The truth is that I didn’t even realize that midnight had passed until about 12:15, because I was busy cry-laughing at Loiter Squad. I had readjusted my position and accidentally exited full screen on my laptop and tah-dah! I’m suddenly an adult.

Just the day before, I had been sitting in my first graduation assembly surrounded by my classmates. At first, I didn’t understand why I was on the verge of tears the entire time, until it hit me that it was the beginning of a very important ending. Life is coming at me fast.

Thinking about graduation is overwhelming, so let’s just stick to the big one eight for now.

I always dreamed of turning 18 when there were raised voices and choice words, when I sat locked in my room after a heated argument with one of my guardians and planned to run away and live exactly as I wanted. The countdown was the first thing that popped into my head: Just four more years years until I don’t have to deal with this anymore. Three…two…. Actually, can I just stay here? Can I stay here and be perpetually 17?

I wish.

Everyone keeps jokingly telling me I’m an almost adult, although 18 seems to wear a lot of 17’s clothes. She follows the same moral code as 17 but she’s more self-conscious, because her uncle reminds her that consequences are real now.

Last night at a teen art event, I got to write a letter to my past self and then read someone else’s. Their letter told me exactly what I needed to hear at that moment. I might be feeling the awkwardness of 17 for a while, or maybe it just never goes away. ♦