The Parallels Between Childhood and Adulthood

11 Epic Childhood Wins And Their College Equivalents

Getting approved for an apartment feels as good as getting the Barbie dream house for Christmas.

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When I was little, adults were like a foreign species to me. The things they said and did made absolutely no sense to me.

Why did adults get excited over things like coupons, cleaning and discounts? I thought you were supposed to get excited about toys, Twinkies and restaurant arcades.

Why didn't they bounce off the walls when we got to go to McDonald's? Why would they rather read a book by themselves than play in the McDonald's play area?

Why did they get excited about sleeping late on weekends? You're supposed to get up as early as possible; that's when the best cartoons come on!

However, now that I've assimilated into this weird adult world, I've learned that adults aren't lifeless and boring; we just get excited about different things.

Here are 11 epic childhood wins and their college equivalents:

1. When your mom lets you get a box of Capri Suns at the store 

Splash Cooler was the best flavor, full stop.

College equivalent: When your bank account lets you get a bottle of Chardonnay

I can't spell it, but I can drink it!

2. When that $20 allowance hits your Barbie wallet 

I felt like a queen carrying that thing around!

College equivalent: When that direct deposit hits your account

Until you have to pay bills and you're left with $20 to spare. Try saving it in a Barbie wallet!

3. When you find out your favorite restaurant has a gumball machine 

The gum was more exciting than the food!

College equivalent: When you find out your favorite restaurant has a student discount 

Now if they could implement student discounts on existing, that would be great.

4. When you don't have any homework that day 

I miss the days where homework wasn't an every day hassle.

College equivalent: When you finish your homework before 1:00 a.m. 

That would be so nice!

5. When you get to play with the rainbow parachute in P.E. 

I could live inside that thing!

College equivalent: When you have the entire gym to yourself 

It's so nice to be able to do as many squats as you want without the athletic boys bugging you about how many sets you have left.

6. When your mom lets you go to your friend's birthday party 

I could never sleep the night before; I was too excited!

College equivalent: When your friends don't get mad at you for wanting to stay in 

Books can be fun, too.

7. When the word "explore" is just a bonus word on your spelling test 

If it was more than five letters, then it was a 'no' from me.

College equivalent: When the research paper mentioned in the syllabus is just for extra credit 

Ain't nobody got time for that!

8. When your mom lets you skip your nap

How was I supposed to take a nap when there was a SpongeBob marathon on TV?

College equivalent: When you actually have time for a nap

One can only dream.

9. When you get to have pizza for dinner 

Pizza was my own little slice of Heaven!

College equivalent: When you have enough money to buy healthy food for dinner

It's not as exciting as pizza, but your body will thank you later.

10. When school is canceled and you get to catch up on cartoons 

I miss the days where I didn't have any responsibilities to ignore!

College equivalent: When class is canceled and you get to catch up on homework 

Or run away from it - no one's judging.

11. When you find an open swing on the swing set 

Because you know a first grader is going to try to steal it from you.

College equivalent: When you spot an open computer in the computer lab

Because you know a STEM major is going to try to steal it from you to "type their lab report."

Now that I'm an adult, the things that excited me as a kid don't really excite me anymore. There's nothing wrong with that; it's just a part of growing up. I just get excited about different things now. There's nothing like a half-off sale on school supplies to make me feel like a kid in a candy store!

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Dear High School, From An Alumna Who Just Finished Freshman Year Of College

I may not have known it at the time, but you prepared me for the ride of my life.

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It was about this time last year that I was practically pulling my hair out because I was so close to the end of high school. Graduation was so close I could taste it. The air was warm, classes were dwindling down, and the classrooms I knew so well were cluttered with final papers waiting to be graded. Those four years went by so quickly, but at the same time, it felt like they dragged on forever.

I don't even know how I would describe high school. For me, it wasn't terrible, but by senior year, I could tell it was time for a change and I was itching to get out. In retrospect, I wish I would have held on to those final moments of high school. I wish I would have told my teachers how much I truly appreciated them. I wish I spent more time with my friends before I had to leave them for my next adventure. I wish I didn't take the warmth of familiar faces for granted.

I really thought that I knew everything back then. I thought that since I was amongst the older students at that school, there was nothing else that my high school could offer me. I had seen it all, learned all the tricks. I left high school knowing exactly what I wanted.

But here's the thing:

The way I see it now is that high school is not about figuring everything out. To me, high school is about preparing yourself to explore different opportunities and to give every one of those opportunities a fair chance. To me, high school is about acquiring skills that are necessary for any line of work so that you can enter college, or whatever that next step might be, fully equipped with the best of yourself.

Some people have their whole life planned out at an early age and they stick with that plan through and through. I applaud those people for finding something they love so much and committing to it wholeheartedly, but for a lot of us, the truth of the matter is that there is so much about the world and about ourselves that we do not know.

We owe it to ourselves to explore the unknown. Because what I have learned this past year is that one discovery leads to another and you never know what you might find along the way.

What I thought I wanted a year ago is vastly different than what I want now. And it's all because high school taught me to have an open mind about everything I do. High school taught me to put my best foot forward every step of the way. It taught me to stay humble and understand that there is something that I can learn from every person I meet. It taught me the value of exploration.

So, although I don't remember every math formula that I learned in those four years, the things that I do remember turned out to be much more valuable to me even if I didn't realize it at the time.

My advice to high school seniors as they count down the days until graduation: hold on to these moments, work hard until the end, stay humble, and always keep an open mind.

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