I turn 30 in 9 days. To say goodbye to my 20s, I will write a blog each day highlighting a year of my 20s leading up to big number 30. Today's blog, Casey Cornett at age 21.
When I turned 21 years old, I was living in an apartment for the first time (with my best friend/future best man Dr. Trey Hickson), and I had just begun the semester where I officially became an Elementary Education Major. Making the switch 2.5 years into my degree meant that I was going to have take on extra hours in school. I took 18 hours each semester beginning with this one until I graduated.
As I switched majors from Theology to Elementary Education, I switched "jobs" going from an internship at Crossings Community Church into (wait for it) Crossing Christian School, I know, I really branched out. :) Crossings Community Church had launched a new private elementary school just a couple years past and it was an easy transition to relocate to the "After Care" program.
This program called for me to be at the school from 3:00pm to 5:30pm on school days to help with the students who waited for their parents to pick them up after work. I worked in this program for 9 months, only leaving it as the classes I was taking began to demand more of my time, and in the fall I had to take a class that took up that time slot. Bummer.
While I was working form 3:00 to 5:30 daily, I would leave at 5:30 and drive over to PCO baseball fields as I had started umpiring baseball games. This was an experience that "developed" me a lot more than I imagined it ever would. For the first time, I was having to verbally confront upset adults in some situations (as they assumed I missed a call) or upset that I called strike 3 on their son while the kid stood their frozen in fear at a ball going 42MPH went by right in front of them at the plate. It was quite difficult to take on this now authoritative position, but I learned if done so properly and professionally, this job would prove to be very rewarding (especially as I got better at the job). I loved baseball, and played it all I could growing up, so the rules were almost all known by me, but baseball is strange and comes with a lot of strange rules...and the worst time to "learn" these rules is to make a call that is opposite of the rules and have people yell at you...but when they yell at you, you quickly learn the importance of being prepared.
I turned 21 in February of 2004. This month might not stand out in most people's life but to me and my family, it was a game-changing month. On February 24, the citizens of Oklahoma City elected my dad to become mayor of Oklahoma City (sworn in on March 2) and this brought with it a whole other perspective to having a publicly noticeable dad. I grew up with my dad being on TV every day as he was a sportscaster for KOCO for (I think) 16 years and became a newscaster for 3 years, going off the air in 1999. The majority of my life he was on TV, although I was usually in bed for the 10pm broadcasts and out playing sports or with friends during the 5pm and 6pm broadcasts, I didn't see him on TV much. Now, I saw him on TV even more, and mentioned in the newspaper daily and had people coming up to me saying, "Tell your dad...(blah blah blah something political). It was very strange at first but overtime I would get used to...who am I kidding, it's still pretty weird.
Now, turning 21 to most would signal the moment they can now legally drink. But this didn't really matter to me much. I was one of those weird kids that literally never had a drink of alcohol, never had a fake ID, never went to many "drinking" parties in high school and SNU had/has it against its rules and that was fine by me. But, that year did open my horizons to what that atmosphere/lifestyle was like...I could now go to places I couldn't before. I was no longer told to get out of a restricted area at Chili's or other restaurants, I could join friends or peers when they went out and it didn't really matter where we went because it was a new place (and I'm quite adventurous)...I now had a lot more freedom and that was always something I desired, the ability to have a drink was a side-note to turning 21 for me...and I was just fine with that.
Tomorrow, I turn 22. Stay tuned.