For the past week, I have eaten nothing but popcorn, salad and smuggled pizza from Fribley. After completing a full year away from home, you would think that I would be able to eat a balanced meal. It has been well over 700 days since I turned 18 and the United States Government deemed me a fully legal adult; I should be able to throw things on the ground and yell about how much of an adult I am. Grown-ups definitely do not eat cruddy food. They eat caviar and fancy cheeses with wine that they didn’t buy from a Target.
From the bottom of my heart, I want that to be true. I think that to a certain degree, all of us want the official title of “Certified Adult” without having to experience what makes us one.
It’s fun to be a kid. I would know because I was a kid from 1994 to 2013. We all look at kids with some form of envy whenever we see them play or hear them talk about ridiculous things. Children have these rose-colored glasses that seem to be glued onto their faces. We want those glasses too, but what sucks is that once those glasses are taken off, they are hard to put back on.
We can’t go to the eye doctor and ask him to prescribe rose colored contacts. When the grown up life is thought about, the high life is always there. Not once are the low parts of life considered.
Unlike saying “ignorance is bliss,” innocence is bliss because it offers true opportunity. With innocence you can perceive the world however you want and you can refuse even the most terrible of answers. However, just like an unstoppable Terminator, Life will find you. Life happens whether you want it to or not. When it does happen, you are forced against your will to grow up.
As a good friend once told me, we are all “training to become.” You cannot expect to become a doctor without going to med school first. Even being pre-unemployment like myself requires some form of training. Let’s think of training to become in a higher sense. We were sent here not only to become doctors, researchers or teachers, but to also develop into something else. The beauty of saying that you are “training to become” is that it is purposefully ambiguous. I could see it as becoming a happier and more confident person while my roommates could see it as becoming something else.
Either way you interpret it, training to become means you are getting ready to be the best possible version of yourself. To stagnate that growth by wanting to return to a simpler time is not fair to you at all.
You will hate me for stating the worst cliché on this planet, but life needs to happen because it makes us stronger. Life needs to happen because it makes us human.
When life happens, we need to be honest with ourselves. Feel angry, upset, confused, happy, etc. as long as it is honest. When we are in tune with our own hearts and minds, whatever is thrown at us will keep us from losing ourselves. Those that sent us here and care for us would hate to see us lose that sense of self. The world is a scary place to live in sometimes, but living life without truly living is no fun.
I understand wanting to stay in your place after the unexpected happens, but we all have to get going again. Just maybe when we decide to get out there and grow some more, we can find the brightest of things even in the dark.
Stephen Kolison is a sophomore psychology major and pre-unemployment student. He is a jack of all trades and master of none in training, a member of IMPROVment and knits while watching Downton Abbey. He hopes to be a talk show host.