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Chapter 1: An Autumn Walk

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"18 years old. The ripe age to be alive and live life." A coming of age story. A whole new world to explore.

by Vivega Saravana Prabhu

18 years old. The ripe age to be alive and live life. Old enough to have worries but young enough to not care just yet.

It’s been three weeks since I officially turned 18, and these three weeks have been a blast. Hanging out with friends till 2 AM in the morning, be it at the club, the bar, or even at the dorm freaking out over an overdue research paper. Of course, I wouldn’t say 18 is the best year for everyone, but to me this year has been the finest in my life. Maybe it’s because I have a very controlling mother, who kicked me out for not applying to a nursing major or taking pre-med. To be honest for some it might seem like a tragedy, yet to me it felt like breaking out of a cage and finally getting to spread my wings.

I got my first tattoo last week. It's a picture of my Zodiac, Aries, except one of its horns is broken. I don’t know why I choose to keep this incomplete tattoo but maybe, eventually, I’ll have a story that goes along with it that I can tell me kids and their kids to come.

Even though I didn’t go to my mom’s dream university I did, however, get the chance to attend a highly-respected college in the UK. Currently, I’m the one paying for my rent and my tuition after my mom completely cut ties from the second I stepped out of that door. She was never the kindest woman you would come across and she was always stubborn and wanted everything to go her way. For the first time, I decided to not give in to her torments, and even though it's hard I don’t regret standing up against her. I know what she is doing is for my own sake, yet in a relationship, between a mother and daughter, some kind of mutual trust is needed yet she never trusted me in any way, always quick to judge and never too late to suspect me.

Since I was little I had struggled with talking to other kids or making friends, because I knew my mom would never let me go to their houses for playdates and sleepovers. If I were to ask she would just slap me across my face and tell me “you can always do that later, right now you should focus on reaching YOUR goal of becoming a doctor. You must start working for YOUR dream as early as possible to lead a stable in the future”. It was always “HER goals” and “HER dream”, but being a doctor was never something I wished to be. I have always been interested in marketing ever since I joined my marketing club at my Junior High. So, here I am, a marketing major, out to finally accomplish my dream of leading on my own free will.

I actually made a bucket list for myself, on all the things I want to do to make up for my missed childhood and I’ve already accomplished:

  • Create or join and friend group

  • Get a tattoo

  • Go get coffee by myself

  • Get a part-time job

Now there are two more things left to do

  • Get my dream job

  • Travel the world

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