What’s the right age to grow up?

After a weekend spent celebrating an engagement, I’ve been thinking about my own life plans. Not one to let things happen naturally and at their own pace, i like to be in control of everything that happens (in the most insanely annoying Monica Gellar way possible). Long gone are the days when I’d jet off on holiday with two weeks notice, or decide to saunter out for a night of havoc and vodka at the drop of a hat. These days I complain if i’m only given 48 hours notice before a dinner out, get terrified and overwhelmed when I haven’t mentally prepared for stressful situations, and my eyes water with frustration and anxiety If I feel even the teensiest bit out of my comfort zone. It’s become my coping mechanism of late, and i’ve taken to being an uptight cow at the best of times, and a control-freak obsessed with only swimming and working at the worst of times.

So I worked out quite some time ago I’d quite like to push out my first baby at 27 – fertility and energy are on my side, whilst I’ve still had time to grow in my career and establish myself (fingers crossed) on the property ladder. And therefore perhaps the last (of my three) by 33.

Now I don’t expect to just hop off the pill, and hey presto there’s a little baby growing inside of me, so i’d need to start trying at about 25 and three quarters. Which means I should get married at 25 and engaged at 23 and a half. And that’s when it hits me, i’m already 22 and a half, and life is creeping up behind me at a terrifying speed and i’m just not ready.

Upon my ‘first-baby-at-27’ announcement, one friend remarked: “But don’t you want to have a career?” whilst another declared: “That’s a bit late isn’t it?”  Both these girls have degrees, yet have very different set ideas in their minds. But it got me wondering, when is the right time to settle down? What is the right age to put down the kebabs and the cider, stop playing Ring of Hitler, start paying into that pension fund and start wearing house coats? Just when is that?

I’m ever so slightly daunted by my very own life plan and I’m worried i’m going to force myself into a stage of regression. I’ll start heading out on school nights into the midst of Worthing town, i’ll build dens and play Pokemon on my Gameboy, and have a mental breakdown and decide to finally embark on that 7-year medical degree i’ve taken to dreaming about. I’ll put off growing up because it scares me.

Nobody warned you that once university ends, the next chapter of your life begins. It not only includes paying Council Tax, and thinking about taking Big Girl holidays outside of Europe, and maybe, finally, having enough money to abandon Primark, but maybe thinking about houses and mortgages, babies and weddings. And because that’s all far too overwhelming and uncomfortable to think about, i’m off to eat cheese, have a stint of online window shopping and perhaps catch up on Grey’s Anatomy. Because if I close my eyes, I could be straight back in uni again, pretending there was just limbo afterwards.

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