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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To The Girl Who Had A Plan

A letter to the girl whose life is not going according to her plan.
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“I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul.” - William Ernest Henley

Since we were little girls we have been asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” We responded with astronauts, teachers, presidents, nurses, etc. Then we start growing up, and our plans change.

In middle school, our plans were molded based on our friends and whatever was cool at the time. Eventually, we went to high school and this question became serious, along with some others: “What are your plans for college?” “What are you going to major in?” “When do you think you’ll get married?” “Are you going to stay friends with your friends?” We are bombarded with these questions we are supposed to have answers to, so we start making plans.

Plans, like going to college with our best friends and getting a degree we’ve been dreaming about. Plans, to get married as soon as we can. We make plans for how to lose weight and get healthy. We make plans for our weddings and children.

SEE ALSO: 19 Pieces Of Advice From A Soon-To-Be 20-Year-Old

We fill our Pinterest boards with these dreams and hopes that we have, which are really great things to do, but what happens when you don’t get into that college? What happens when your best friend chooses to go somewhere else? Or, what if you don’t get the scholarship you need or the awards you thought you deserved. Maybe, the guy you thought you would marry breaks your heart. You might gain a few pounds instead of losing them. Your parents get divorced. Someone you love gets cancer. You don’t get the grades you need. You don’t make that collegiate sports team. The sorority you’re a legacy to, drops you. You didn’t get the job or internship you applied for. What happens to you when this plan doesn’t go your way?

I’ve been there.

The answer for that is “I have this hope that is an anchor for my soul.” Soon we all realize we are not the captain of our fate. We don’t have everything under control nor will we ever have control of every situation in our lives. But, there is someone who is working all things together for the good of those who love him, who has a plan and a purpose for the lives of his children. His name is Jesus. When life takes a turn you aren’t expecting, those are the times you have to cling to Him the tightest, trusting that His plan is what is best. That is easier said than done, but keep pursuing Him. I have found in my life that His plans were always better than mine, and slowly He’s revealing that to me.

The end of your plan isn’t the end of your life. There is more out there. You may not be the captain of your fate, but you can be the master of your soul. You can choose to be happy despite your circumstances. You can change directions at any point and go a different way. You can take the bad and make something beautiful out of it, if you allow God to work in your heart.

SEE ALSO: To The Girl Patiently Waiting With An Impatient Heart

So, make the best of that school you did get in to. Own it. Make new friends- you may find they are better than the old ones. Apply for more scholarships, or get a job. Move on from the guy that broke your heart; he does not deserve you. God has a guy lined up for you who will love you completely. Spend all the time you can with the loved one with cancer. Pray, pray hard for healing. Study more. Apply for more jobs, or try to spend your summer serving others instead. Join a different club or get involved in other organizations on campus. Find your delight first in God and then pursue other activities that make you happy; He will give you the desires of your heart.

My friend, it is going to be OK.

Cover Image Credit: Megan Beavers Photography

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Life Is Beautiful

Even when it isn't!

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All too often, I catch myself honing in on the aspects of my life that don't seem to be going my way.

However, in the midst of those moments, I capture the small glimpses of beauty that seem to be covered when everything in my life is going well.

You see, when we are in the ruts of life, this is when we realize the pure, raw beauty of it all.

It was not until I went through one of the hardest seasons of my entire life, that I became aware of my surroundings... truly, utterly aware of the beauty that encompasses me every day. Relentlessly.

When everything in life seems to be going the way that I want it to, sure, of course, I stop to smell the roses, but I don't take time to realize the reality of it all.

When I go through a season in my life that is anything but comfortable, I am able to be present, to address the hurt, and more importantly, thank God for the life that I get to live each and every day.

Finding the good in the midst of all the bad, that the goal.

To be present, even when life is giving you every reason to throw in the towel and to disassociate yourself from everything that is important to you.

To treasure the good times, but more importantly, to dig deep when your sunshine is buried.

Maybe you can't see the light at the end of the tunnel because it's behind you, while all of this time, you've been looking forward to seeing when it's going to finally muster up.

Maybe life is meant to be hard.

Maybe you were made for this.

The secret to life is to look for the light even when you can't see it.

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