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.