We’ve all been there- daydreaming during class, wishing we could turn back the hands of time to some of our favorite memories growing up. Whether it be to a high school football game, running through sprinklers during the hot summer months or sledding for the first time, childhood is always a fond memory. But does that all have to end when we become, by definition, adults? Sometimes we need to remember it’s okay to take a break from adulthood and embrace our inner kid.
One common theme that most college students agree is a sure sign of being grown up: bills, bills, bills. Lauren Murray, senior at LIU Post, says, “I definitely miss not having to pay bills and college fees, and filling up my gas tank twice a week.”
And along with bills? Real world responsibilities. Michelle Lajoie, St. Joseph’s College graduate, says that what she misses most about childhood is, “the simplicity of everyday life. Less worries about everything.”
It’s becoming more and more popular it seems, with posts on Twitter and Facebook, about quarter life crises and wondering why in the hell the reality check never “checked in” until our college days started.
Jessie Paduano, student at Suffolk County Community College, says, “I miss the illusion of security I had as a child. This only just stopped about two years ago, when I was smacked with financial hardship. I was always used to that with my parents while growing up, but now it’s my turn to feel what it’s like to struggle to live. It’s the lack of individual financial hardship I miss most.”
Murray added, “When I was a kid, I didn’t really plan anything out. I would have my weekly activities like dance class and Girl Scouts, but other than that I never really thought about planning things out. Now since going to college I plan every single event of my day out in advance in order to keep track of everything.”
So, are we grown ups? When did this happen? Although we’d love to relive the simpler times when our only responsibilities were our chores and making sure we got home before curfew, growing up has its plus sides.
Paduano summed it up perfectly, saying, “It’s the burden of making my own choices of where to live that I can afford, what to do for a living that I can earn the most while having the least amount of student loans, what car is cheapest, that make being an adult both freeing and enjoyable as well as heavy with responsibility and hardships. It’s bittersweet being a grown up.”
Another pro? We get to decide how we live our lives now, not our parents or anyone else. Paduano says she embraces this idea as “the freedom to make my own choices as to where I am at any moment and what to do with my life.” She continued, “Although I feel pressured by what everyone else is doing with their lives I see how my choices can lead me down different roads that make what I do different.”
Despite being “grown-ups,” it’s important for adults to embrace their inner child, and remember that it’s okay that we’re growing up. Murray agreed, saying, “Children have the greatest sense of innocence, and I think every now and then we need to embrace that. Plus, our inner child reminds us of who we were and who we are now. We need our inner child to remind us of where we started and to help us get to where we want to go. I’ve enjoyed college life because I have been able to become extremely independent.”
Lajoie added, “A few of my fave things about college? More fun. There are more opportunities to be sociable and meet more people. And my favorite thing about the real world? Getting the chance to further your life in the direction you want it to go- making a possible career for yourself.”
A few ways to keep your inner child active?
- Get a popsicle from the ice cream truck. Forget the calories, just go for it.
- Go to the park and go on the swings- it’s still just as fun at twenty as it is at five.
- When you’re at an amusement park, go on the merry-go-round. Who cares if you’re “too old.”
- Play a round of mini golf or go bowling- with bumpers.
- Have a Disney movie marathon- they’re classics for a reason, they’re for all ages.
Remember this: Just because we’re growing up, it doesn’t mean we have to lose our sense of fun and spontaneity. Cheers to us.
thumbnail image: http://sociologytwynham.com/2008/07/10/how-is-childhood-represented-in-our-culture/