I Don’t Wanna Grow Up 


“I can’t wait to grow up!”

Words most of us once uttered as a child when something was unfair or didn’t go our way. We thought growing up would solve all of our problems. Because when you’re an adult you can do whatever you want, and all the problems go away… right? Wrong. Little did our innocent minds know that the problems are never ending, and those were just the insignificant beginnings that are only an introduction to the problems you will experience in the future. Now, it’s not all negative. There’s a lot of pros to growing up as well. This can vary on personal experience, of course, but my personal experience came with certain freedoms I didn’t have as a child. Looking back at it, I often feel as if being a child was a much simpler time, yet I couldn’t wait to become an adult. So, is growing up something we should’ve been more patient for?

The most basic arts and crafts brought joy to our faces!

As a young child, I remember my life being simple. Everything was a new experience, even something as elementary as learning to tie your shoe, or playing go-fish for the first time were fun and exciting experiences. And the bad experiences became learning opportunities. But we were free as children. We didn’t care what anyone thought. We were naturally ourselves. We were free of the constant stressors that appear every day now that we are older. So, in a way, I believe most children are more mentally free than we are as high school seniors.

This comes with its limits though. Although we were mentally free, physically we were not. You could only go places at your parent’s desire. You could only do certain things due to restrictions on age or height. This is when life felt unfair. We weren’t allowed to do certain things we wanted to do because we couldn’t be trusted to stay safe or due to physical limitations. Like the first time you tried to ride a roller coaster, but you were too short. But this taught us patience, I remember one time I was eager to go to my neighbor’s house and my mom wanted me to wait 30 minutes. Unfortunately for me, I was unable to conquer that 30-minute period and went outside to wait, and that was enough for my mom to tell me I could no longer go over. Although I began to learn patience, I didn’t learn it to the degree of which I understand it now.

As young adults, our freedoms change. A lot changes when you get that driver’s license. The world outside of your house becomes much more accessible. You can get a job. Go see your friends on a random Tuesday to hang out when you could never do that before. Your physical freedom expands by miles, literally. About a year ago my friends and I had the urge to go on a camping trip… alone.

Lorenzo Guttadauro, Cole Chapman, and JD Boley all attempt to share a hammock… Doesn’t go too well.

This was a foreign experience since we hadn’t had the ability (no license) to actually get to a campsite on our own. Over the years, we had gained enough of our parents’ trust for them to allow us to go out into the wilderness on our own for a few nights. This trip is one of my favorite memories, and obviously it was only made possible by simply getting older.

Since becoming a highschooler, mentally, life has been harder. Harder classes with more homework and parents worrying about your grades can create a lot of stress. The feeling of being trapped in a box to participate in work for most of which you won’t use in the future, is horrid. But the feeling of leaving it, the state of comfortability and routine we have grown into daily, is scary. I don’t think the preparation we have undergone has truly gotten us ready for what we are about to entail entering our adult years.

Looking back as I sit here typing, preparing for my final day in school, preparing to graduate and move on from the previous 13 years of my life. I wonder if I took my time as a child for granted. From now on, the responsibilities will be mostly on me, not a guardian who must take care of me. In some ways it is scary, but in some ways, it will be like being a child again. All the real-world experiences will be new, and there will be new things to learn from. So, maybe we never really mentally grow up, while our physical bodies and realities become more mature.