As my second semester of Junior begins, I’ve been asked questions about where I plan to go to college and what I hope to do with my life, as if right now my life hasn’t actually begun. For some reason society has created this strange time where teenagers are expected to be fairly “grown up”, yet are looked at as though their lives have not begun because they haven’t gone to college or joined the “real world”.
I was challenged today for AP Lang to write a post with the prompt of a few questions to choose from, one of which being “How do you grow up and become who you really are?”. I found this one intriguing because it was A) something very relevant to being in high school and B) I found it kind of bothersome. Does this imply that you aren’t who you actually are until you’re grown up? So what does that make someone who isn’t “grown up”? Shouldn’t we be who we are our entire lives?
At this moment in time, you are the oldest you’ve ever been. Now, a second later you’re even older. So why then do we try to pin point a time in which we are officially “grown up”? Being “grown up” implies that it is the end of growth and maturaty. Much like learning, we have attempted to create this false time in which it ends and is complete, which is far from the truth. We never stop learning. So if we’re always learning, how can we then stop growing? How can we reach a point when we’re “grown up”?
I’ve been posed with the question of what I want to do when I “grow up” many times. When I was younger this question excited me, but now that I’m older it makes me wonder, am I not supposed to be doing something now? Am I not living my life currently? Why is it that society assumes that life doesn’t really begin until someone’s graduated from high school or college and started a career?
Just because I haven’t been to college or started a career, doesn’t mean that I’m not who I am. I’ve been myself my entire life. I may have matured and learned new things over the years and my interests may have changed, but I’m still the same person. The little girl who wanted a pet ostrich to ride to school is still the same girl I am today because what truly makes you, you, isn’t what you do, but how you do it.