Growing Up is Hard to Do

It’s a Saturday morning circa 2008. You’ve been watching cartoons all morning (mostly Tom and Jerry). You got up around 7 am, as per usual. The best shows are always on in the morning, and Mom only lets you watch TV until 10 am. You don’t understand why she does it, but when she threatens that you can’t watch anything before bed, you turn the tv off. You started the morning with a bowl full of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and maybe had a little spill of milk all over the floor, but it’s okay because your dog came and licked it all up for you – what a good boy. You give him a pat on the head and return to chewing and cartoons.
Mom says you have to get dressed. You walk to your room and throw on some outfit that definitely does not match. You’re bored. It’s time to play Barbies or Legos. You build the new Lego Star Wars Death Star that opens up or you spend an hour setting up the Barbie Dreamhouse and getting Barbie and her pals in the cutest outfits. It’s lunch time. Mom made Spongebob Kraft Mac n’ Cheese with a hot dog. What a good day it has been, and it’s only noon. After lunch you go outside and walk over to the neighbor’s house to knock on the door. You ask if your friend can come out to play\; their mom says yes. You spend hours outside in the cul de sac, pretending to be superheroes flying around the city to save the bank from being robbed. Or maybe your friend comes inside to play restaurant and you go back and forth saying “Can I start you off with something to drink?” for hours. You think to yourself if you could do this all the time, save people from danger or get people food, life would be perfect. This is what you want, this is who you want to be. This is your dream.
10 years later, it’s your senior year. You walk into the high school for your last first day\; this will only be the start of many lasts. It is the year of closing one chapter to begin another. The first month or two are spent taking it all in. And then it hits you. Colleges have opened up their applications and the FAFSA has been released. It is go time. But there is one question that sticks in the back of your head and just will not leave. You are faced with trying to answer this question that could essentially make or break the rest of your life. You are no longer seven years old. You have grown up. And now that you have grown up, you have realized that becoming a superhero who flies in his super cape is just not a reality. It is not going to pay off your student loans or buy a house or support the family you will have. So…what will?
Almost every adult will tell you to do what you love or what you are passionate about. While this may seem obvious, it is far from the answer. Some people will have it all figured out. They have had their life planned or planned out for them by their parents for a long time. It is so hard to see someone have it figured out, and you have absolutely no idea. You cry for hours, frustrated by what seemed so simple when you were seven. Maybe you love working with children but you know that after going to school and taking loans that you will be in so much debt the teacher salary will not cover the expenses of the present and the past.
According to statistics from The Ohio State University, as many as 50-75% of college students change their major at least one time before they earn their degree. Even the people who have some sort of idea going in at times change their minds. Sometimes, you do not ever figure it out. Mrs. Shawna Hinkle, DHS choir director, once told us that she “still has no idea” what she wants to do and that she is “still figuring it out.” Hinkle has been teaching and directing for many years and originally wanted to go to college to be a piano performance major. She is now pursuing her Doctorate in Music while continuing to teach.
Even those who we look up to and assume have it all figured out, simply do not. Making one decision that shapes your future is the most terrifying experience for everyone. Thankfully, we have the ability to change our minds and have opportunities that can lead us in some sort of direction. We may not be able to wear capes but we are able to be someone’s hero elsewhere. We just have to find our way.