Take me back to kindergarten. I’m not kidding.
No, this isn’t a matter of “college is so hard and I just want to finger paint and eat graham crackers all day.” Although that does sound nice right about now, I want to be the person I once was again. That little girl--a hyperactive six-year-old--is a lot better than who I am now: a worn-out eighteen-year-old. She is so much better for four reasons:
1. I want to be impulsive like I was in Kindergarten.
I want to paint a picture or write a story, look at it once and keep on going. Now, I overthink everything and constantly tell myself that what I create “isn’t good enough” or “not quite what I want.” Why can’t I accept my work for what it is? What’s makes it so difficult now? It was so easy 13 years ago...
2. I want to be extroverted like I was in Kindergarten.
Making friends was so easy back then. All you had to do was watch the same TV shows and have the same favorite snack. Now I can’t even talk to people in my classes because I never know what to say. I mean, is there really a point when I won't see them again after the semester? "Hey, do you like Goldfish?" isn't a real icebreaker anymore.
3. I want to be honest like I was in Kindergarten.
Saying whatever was on my mind used to be natural for me. It’s good to have a censor, but it’s hard for me to say “no” to things that I don’t want to do or tell people how I really feel.
4. I want to be fearless like I was in Kindergarten.
I would throw all of my blankets and pillows off my bunk bed and onto the ground, then climb up to the third step of my ladder, and jump into the somewhat soft pile. Sometimes I would use a blanket as a parachute, because I thought maybe, just maybe, I would float down to the ground. I could’ve gotten hurt. But I wasn't afraid. Now, I’m afraid of a lot of things that can hurt me.
It’s might seem strange to think that my role model is the six-year-old version of myself, but it doesn't surprise me at all. So, how do I rediscover what I loved about my kindergarten-aged self? How can we find ways to be as social and confident as we were as children?
Maybe I’m not very talkative nowadays with people whom I just met, but I can reach out within my areas of interest to find people who are similar to me. This tactic might even help me find friends in current or future classes.
Maybe I’m not blunt with people at first, but at least I now know where to draw the line and speak what’s on my mind in appropriate situations. If I can just start to work on taking little steps toward being a fearless youth again, would I get there?
Maybe I’m not fearless, but I have dreams to work toward and I will do whatever it takes to get there. It’ll take hard work to build for myself a soft landing pad, but all I have to do is leap.
Maybe I can’t be six years old again. Maybe I can’t actually go back to kindergarten, but I can be someone my six-year-old self would have admired. Shouldn’t we all strive for that?