My 16th birthday is approaching and reality smashed into me as my mind realized that I’ll eventually have to be independent and (hopefully) be in college. A extremely scary concept to think about since I have lived my entire life basically sheltered by the stereotypical Asian parents, who emphasized grades more than learning life skills. Thinking about the growing older has left me thinking about what if situations; situations like what if I can’t into college, what if I can’t keep my grades at straight A’s next year, what if I will always keep the awkward teen personality I have right now.
When I was little I couldn’t wait to grow up, seeing other people doing things that looked so magical in the eyes of a 5 year old. I always got a pat on the head and a smile with a “Wait until you are a big boy” whenever I asked to do something like driving a car or being able to sit at the big boy chair. The always present “When you are older” left me with a yearning to grow up and experience all these things first hand for myself. To me, growing up would be like putting your hand into a jar and getting a new piece of candy every time, full of pleasant surprises and endless enjoyment.
And here I am in my grown glory, half way through my sophomore year with so many things I haven’t done yet. Now I realize that the jar of life doesn’t only have vibrant, sweet candy, it also has the nasty pieces of black licorice flavored jelly bean that leaves you with a grimace. Even though growing up has its perks (staying up past 10 pm!) it also has unpleasant aspects, new responsibilities, and obstacles. Problems have grown from the not being able to watch Power Rangers to “Wow I got an F on the recent math test”, responsibilities went from going to potty at the right time to making sure that I keep my grades high enough to get accepted into college, obstacles went from that boy that keeps taking my legos to how am I going to talk to this girl without her thinking I’m weird and awkward.
“Growing up happens when you start having things you look back on and wish you could change”
-Cassanda Clare, City of Ashes
True with the “grass is greener on the other side” mentality, I wish I was a child again, a life of simplicity and pleasantries. Time has gone by way too fast, I remember my elementary school graduation and now I am almost a junior in high school with many regrets. My freshman year was terrible, I transferred school districts and didn’t make new friends easily as I am not the best at socializing, I didn’t join any clubs, any sports, or even tried to make my high school experience more memorable. It was basically a waste of a year for me, I didn’t do anything else but stay at home and play League of Legends all day. With that experience I have tried my best to make this year a great deal less regrettable. Growing up has made me realize that I only have a limited amount of time in life and the little time that I have should be spent living a life that I would be proud to tell my grand kids about one day. In the words of my English teacher, Mr. Theriault: “Be awesome”.
Cherish those years spent young, One day they will be but a distant memory