Don't Wish Away Your Childhood

Don't Wish Away Your Childhood

You'll regret it, I promise.
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During my senior year of high school, I didn't really know what to expect to happen during the summer before my freshman year of college. But, I have to admit to you, I didn't think that it would teach me as much as it has; so far, this summer has been a whole new learning experience, a time of reflection of what's happened so far, and a time wondering of what's to come. So really, I am experiencing the same experiences as most of my other fellow graduates - we are all trying to figure out our lives. In whatever way we are trying to do so, we are trying to "get our lives together" and be adults, and try to live the lives we have always dreamed of.

I've noticed now, halfway through this summer, that I have always tried to grow up so fast; I have tried to remove the child within me, in order to prove to those around me that I am an adult, and I can make my own decisions and live my own life. And every day, I see people my age, or younger, talking about how they don't (necessarily) want to be children anymore; we all want to "grow up."

Here's the thing.

Don't wish your childhood away.

Seriously, because it's gone so much faster than it lasts. In a blink of an eye I was in kindergarten trying to learn my "ABC's," and the next thing you know, I am graduating high school and getting ready to "grow up," by (first) going to college. Believe me when I say, it goes by SO fast, and you're going to miss it.

I know, the whole idea of growing up sounds wonderful, but there's more to becoming an adult than turning 18 and being able to do your own thing. Sooner or later, you will have legitimate responsibilities; "adulting" is much more complicated than we think it is.

If you can take anything away from this short article, it would be to understand that its OK to be young without serious responsibilities; every day adulthood creeps up on you faster, and faster, and once it hits you, there's absolutely no turning back. Hang out with your friends, enjoy high school, go to as many events as possible, have fun being the young person that you are right now. Never take for granted those moments where you and your family take time to do activities together, or to sit down and have a meal together. Always be up for spontaneous adventures ... I'm not saying that all of this stops when you get older, because besides high school, it doesn't. But as you get older, it gets harder and harder to just go out and do things. Go out and live this life while you're young and time is on your side.

I have to admit, I regret the times where I wished it all to go faster. I know that life as a young(er) person isn't always easier, but life gets harder, more challenging. Try to take advantage of every opportunity you have right now, because you may not have it later. If a group of your closest friends asks you to go on some random adventure with you, grab your sneakers and run alongside of them. And, if your father happens to be blaring Prince in the car, while singing off tune at the top of his lungs, grab your phone, and record every moment ... And don't forget to sing along, and smile while you're doing it.

Love every moment of your young life, and take all of those experiences and life lessons with you into adulthood. Don't leave any precious memory behind; one day, you'll be starring down at your high school diploma at 1 a.m., trying to figure out how the past 17 or 18 years went by so incredibly fast - the summer before you begin college, or before you officially begin "adulting," enjoy every moment you can, and don't stress the small stuff. Don't work your life away quite yet (unless you enjoy working, then you go!) Go and visit your aunts, uncles, cousins, et cetera, that you haven't really seen in a long time. Get together with your friends, and go on crazy adventures together. Don't stress over college, and what's to come. Live in the moment you have right in front of you. If you do that, I promise you, you won't regret it.

Cover Image Credit: Amber Murphy

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You Don't Need A Significant Other To Have The Perfect College Experience, Trust Me On This One

Make them the best four years of your life and don't let the stereotypes, especially this one, hold you back.
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Everyone dreams of having the so-called, "perfect college experience." Now, what even is that supposed to be? Is it supposed to be the way that college is presented in just about every film and television show out there? I sure hope not because, news flash, college is nothing like that. Of course, it is fun and hopefully will be the best four years of your life, but it is also full of constant ups and downs and is nowhere near "perfect."

There are a countless amount of stereotypes surrounding the "perfect college life" due to how films and television shows present it. A few being that college kids are supposed to look like supermodels all the time, ditch class, eat unhealthily, sleep all the time, are all in a sorority/fraternity, party every night, and find the love of their life.

Now, let's be honest here, you will not be looking your best as you roll into your 8 a.m. class each morning, or honestly your 2 p.m. class either. Not everybody will join a sorority/frat, and if you do, you won't join one that throws banging parties every single night of the week to entertain the campus. And going off of that, you won't get dressed up every night of the week to go party hopping with your friends. College kids don't just sit in their room and eat chips; many work out daily, whether it be hitting up the gym or participating in a sport and hit up the cafeteria after and get a well-balanced meal.

Honestly, college isn't just fun and games, you may find yourself spending some time alone in your dorm room watching Netflix or working on homework, and that's ok!

The majority of people at college do care about their classes and the work that they put into them, as they should since they are paying a crazy amount of money for them. Also, college kids don't just sleep all the time? If anything they hardly sleep! I don't even know how that stereotype began?

Finally, the worst stereotype of them all.

Apparently, to have the "perfect college experience" you need to find the love of your life.

Ok, no. This is entirely not true. If somehow you are lucky and come across somebody who is your perfect match then good for you, I wish I was you, but honestly, you are just one of the lucky ones. If you go to a school with a little over 2,000 people like me, you cannot expect to show up on campus and instantly find the love of your life. Yeah, you might have a better chance at a larger school, but still, you shouldn't expect it.

So, in the meantime why would you have "finding a significant other" be the goal of your college experience?

Why not work on finding a fantastic group of friends instead of that perfect boy/girl? It is ok to be independent and spend your time letting loose, and having fun! It is quite alright to show up at a party with a bunch of your gal/guy pals. Who says you need to be holding hands with somebody to get into a party or sit down and eat in the caf? Get out there and live that college life.

Make it the best four years of your life, and don't let the stereotypes, especially this one, hold you back.

Trust me, you do not need a significant other to have the perfect college experience. Have fun, be yourself, find some awesome friends, and you will have the time of your life. You don't need to be in love with somebody to have all that.

Cover Image Credit: Corbyn Jenkins

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What Don't You Have Time For?

Paying attention to your priorities
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Last week, my article consisted of inspirational quotes for when life gets hectic. As I enter into yet another week that is filled with papers, tests, meetings every night, and other commitments, I find myself pressed for time. A lot of things in my life, I am realizing, I "don't have time" for. But what does this really mean?

What does it mean when we say we "don't have time" for something?

There is a quote from the Wall Street Journal that comes to mind when reflecting on this issue:

"Instead of saying, 'I don't have time', try saying 'it's not a priority,' and see how that feels. Often, that's a perfectly adequate explanation. I have time to iron my sheets, I just don't want to. But other things are harder. Try it: 'I'm not going to edit your resume, sweetie, because it's not a priority.' 'I don't go to the doctor because my health is not a priority.' If these phrases don't sit well, that's the point. Changing our language reminds us that time is a choice. If we don't like how we're spending an hour, we can choose differently."

I have read this quote multiple times before, and it always has the same effect of forcing me to really think about my time and where it is going. Lately, I "haven't had time" to go to the gym or to journal or to pray. When my mom texted me last night to check in, I realized I also "haven't had time" to call home in over a week. I don't say this to judge myself or bring myself down.

I say this to call to attention that when I say "I don't have time" for things, this is revelatory of what my priorities are in the moment.

Right now, my priorities lie in schoolwork and juggling various social activities and clubs. No, there is nothing wrong with these things: a hard work ethic and strong bonds and relationships with those around me can do no harm, they actually strengthen me as a person. Still, it is important to realize what a certain emphasis on these two things can mean for other areas of my life, like self-care and relationships at home, and how these other two areas may be lacking right now.

Maybe I'm not ready to start making the changes for better habits or whatever else, but I have always found awareness to be the first step.

I hope that by even taking the time to reflect on where my time is going, what I am actually "doing" with my life, and what I am not doing at the moment, I will be brought into a new direction of choosing my time more carefully, and shifting my priorities.

Making sure your time is going to the right places takes self sacrifice.

If you want schoolwork to be a greater priority, it may mean giving up that one Netflix episode you've been dying to watch. If getting to the gym is one, it may mean getting to bed earlier so you'll be well rested for when you wake up early the next morning.

But for me, at least, shifting your lifestyle to one where you are happy with where your time is going, happy with your priorities, makes all the difference.

So, I urge you, readers, to think about your time. Think about the language you've used in the past days, weeks, or months: what are you saying you "don't have time" for, and do you really not have time for it or is it just not a priority? Think about whether or not you want to make any of these things a priority in the future, or if you want to change the way you use your time. Maybe you'll find that you are using your time perfectly for you; that could be the case. But do the exercise anyway, it can't hurt to consider what you might want to add or subtract from your life.



Talk to you next time,

Sam






Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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