More Adventures Still to Come

A few weeks ago, I found myself helping my mom sort some old boxes. Several of these boxes were filled with things from my childhood: VCR tapes of my favorite movies, old notebooks, and yearbooks from elementary school. But one box I came across was filled entirely with my old books: everything from Harry Potter to Percy Jackson.

While there was a long list of things I needed to do, such as actually helping my mom or doing my homework, I couldn’t help but read one chapter of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone. And then one more. Before I knew it, 2 hours had gone by and I was reaching for the next book in the series.

As a senior preparing to go off to college, I should be focusing more on my future: financial aid forms, grades, my major. Yet, I’ve found myself reflecting more and more on childhood memories, watching Disney movies and listening to music from the early 2000s.

It’s difficult to believe I’m already nearing graduation. I remember being in 1st grade, thinking that the day I left for college could not come soon enough. I looked up to middle schoolers, thinking they were scary and too tall. Now, it’s hard to imagine I was ever that short.

Since I was a kid, my whole perspective on life has changed. I’ve had about 8 different dream jobs, ranging from geneticist to FBI agent. I’ve been to over 11 schools, each of which has taught me different lessons.

These were only childish whims, but I find myself reflecting on them fondly. When you’re a kid, everything seems so much better. You’re still filled with hope about the future, still believe that heroes always win in the end, and everything’s that much brighter because of it. You don’t have to worry about bills or money or getting a job. People didn’t join clubs for college apps, but because they actually loved what they were doing. I had time to read for fun, rather than being so exhausted from homework that I spent any free time relaxing in front of the TV.

Now, as I prepare to leave for college, I know I am no longer a kid. I’ve grown up and learned to fend for myself. To quote Corinthians, “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”

I always felt that I grew up rather quickly. My mom went back to work when I got older, so I was often by myself until late at night. From this, I learned to be independent, to tackle challenges. Although I got off to a rocky start, I soon knew how to cook several meals. I cleaned, got myself to sports practice, and made sure I finished my homework or anything else that needed to be done.

I am certainly stronger because these experiences. I never wanted to trouble my mom with any of my problems, so I dealt with them on my own. Admittedly, this has not always been the best strategy, and some problems could have been dealt with much sooner if I had been less reluctant to seek help from my parent. However, any failures that I faced were a learning experience, things that I will be able to take with me to college and the “real world”.

Still, I find myself approaching next year with trepidation. I plan to go to the East Coast for college, which means there will be an entire country between my family and me. While I feel confident about my ability to take care of myself, I’ll still miss my home and family. I’ll be really, truly out on my own, and I’ll need to pay attention to things like buying more detergent, buying groceries, or, even worse, taxes.

But, even though I’m nervous, I know I have been given the set of tools I need to conquer any problem. And even if I do find myself at a loss, I could always call home to ask, once again, How do I fill out a W2? Does my resume look okay? What’s a good recipe for snickerdoodles?”

Or, if not, I can look it up on the internet.

Although childhood was brilliant, I know more adventures will await me as I move ahead.