Growing into adulthood

Megan Friel, Editor in chief

In our modern-day society, the phrase “growing up” is a term that’s used loosely. The reality of it is I am no longer “growing” into adulthood, but instead I am shoved into adulthood, headfirst with no helmet. As I make my way towards my senior year, with college looming just around the corner, I wonder where my childhood went.

From the minute a teenager enters high school, the rest of their life is being planned out for them. Sports aren’t for fun anymore, but instead they’re advantages for scholarships. Every report card I get, every grade I receive is building my future and my potential to college acceptance. When I arrive at family dinners, the topic always seems to somehow make its way into the colleges I’m looking at or interests in majors, and no longer revolves around simple talk about friends or jobs. Yet, while my independence and responsibility grows, so does my character. While growing up means grades, college, and jobs, there are upsides. Licenses, nights with friends, and later curfews are the part that makes growing out of my childhood easier. In my perfect world, I would be able to drive around all night with friends, listening to music and grabbing food, and still come home knowing I have enough time left to enjoy these nights.

As the memories of playgrounds slowly fade away, so does my diminishing hope that I still have some time left to still be a kid. Every day, it becomes more and more imminent that, at the young age of 18, I’ll be starting what seems to be the very strict idea that is my life. I’m forced to choose a major for a career that I may end up hating yet spending $50,000 towards investing in it. I have no idea if my plan for the rest for my life will work out in my favor or even if this plan is the right one for me. The thought of spending the rest of my life at a desk job, working 9-5 and living in a permanent state of misery scares me to death. But that may be the reality. The Student Council, the clubs, the sports – the things I’ve devoted my life to and worn myself out over – won’t mean anything to me in five years. So why is it that I spend all of my time so focused on such minuscule things when I’m missing out on time with family, friends, and taking care of myself? The future is coming towards me at full force, and while I can study for every test, load up on extra curriculars, and join all of the clubs I want, I have somehow forgotten in the process to slow down and enjoy the time I have left.

I’m scared for the future. I’m scared that I’ll look back years from now, heartbroken that I devoted my life to planning my future so much, that I drifted away from the present. I hope that even years from now, I won’t look back heartbroken, but instead smiling on my past, knowing I made the most of my time as a kid.