By GHADEER ALARADI, Opinions Editor

We’ve all been teenagers at some point in our lives, and we’ve all experienced the turbulent relationship we have with our parents during that period of our lives. It’s a time where friends are the most important part of our lives, and fitting in is our first priority.

Now that I’m past that stage (thankfully), my little brother is currently going through the awkward teenage years. He’s growing up, and I don’t blame him for wanting to fit in with his friends and gain their approval. I clearly remember the days where I would constantly want to be around friends, and spending time with family was not something I was not particularly passionate about.

Now that I am a (somewhat) full grown adult, I yearn for beloved family time that happens once or twice a year. Since my parents and younger siblings are halfway across the world, I take advantage of the time that we do spend together.

When I was in high school, I took for granted the fact that the whole family lived in one house. I would come home to my mom’s homemade cooking and my little siblings playing around the house with the neighbors’ kids. I wanted to stay in a quiet room away from all the noise the kids would make, and now I miss the chaos that they would make around the house. Every night, we would all eat dinner together, which is something extremely rare nowadays.

My sisters and I grew up, and we’re all busy building our own lives. My life now is completely different than how it was five years ago. When I come home from class nowadays, I struggle to find something decent to eat. If no one’s home, I will google a recipe and end up using half the ingredients because I don’t have the other half and am too lazy to drive to Kroger to buy the rest. Speaking of grocery shopping, I have to do that on my own now and I didn’t realize how much money it takes to get a decent amount of food to cook at home.

No one really prepares you to grow up into an adult, it just happens. And when it does, you learn along the way. During the brutally cold winters in Michigan, my car would always have something wrong with it. I once drove all the way from campus to home with a flat tire without knowing it (I don’t recommend trying this). After this unfortunate situation, I learned to double check that my tires are okay and what to do if I were to get a flat tire. The other day, my engine wouldn’t turn on and I had to call my dad to help figure it out with me. It’s these situations that teach me how to rely on myself, and transition fully into adulthood.

Growing up made me appreciate the little things that my parents would do for me like cook a nice meal, buy junk food for the house, or fill my car with gas for me. I’m still getting the hang of the whole adult thing, but I’m in no hurry; I’ll learn things step by step.