Growing up too fast

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At 18-years-old, I look back on my life and think “Wow, where did the time go?”. And I know people have been telling me this for years. “Time flies, kids, so enjoy the time while you are young.” Not that we listened to them. Every day, we strived to be older and to gain respect because we thought our opinions valuable and worthy. We wanted to wear make up at 12 and 13 because that was the “popular” thing to do so we looked older. We worried about how much we weighed and what clothes we wore. But if you didn’t worry about these things, you were automatically marked as different. A preteen should not have to worry about such things. They are still getting on their feet with puberty; that’s overwhelming as it is. All the added stress of growing up too fast has changed society in the past decade. Middle schoolers care about Lululemon, Coach, and Saks Fifth Avenue. Who is paying for clothes like that? The kids certainly aren’t. Even with babysitting money, they couldn’t afford the obscene investment of brand name clothing and accessories.

What has society come to? I used to hate my parents for not letting me go to the mall to “hang out” with my friends. But I realize now that those kids were just loitering around the mall and shopping the clearance rack at Forever 21 and Charlotte Russe. I see them every time I go to the Chesterfield Mall to see a movie at AMC. Even at 10 p.m., when I thought I could escape the little rascals, they appear in packs. Curfew laws were made for some malls in St. Louis to enforce a time for those children still out on the town late at night to return home safely. The world is a crazy place and those children are meant to be reading books or playing video games at that time of night.

During the course of high school, you come to the realization that you must provide for yourself to have the things that you wish.  Make up isn’t going anywhere. Even now as a senior, it’s a time commitment to put make up on in the morning. You buy clothes and jewelry for yourself with the money that you make at your own job. It is a teenagers’ right to break away from their parents and be independent. With that independence and freedom comes the responsibility to make good choices with what you have. You don’t choose to loiter around the mall because you are filling out college scholarship applications. You go to the mall to buy your prom dress and a blazer for your job interview, not an expensive headband that will get lost in a year.

Don’t be in a rush to grow up, even though you want to. It comes faster than you could imagine. It could have been yesterday that I was going to sixth grade camp, doing a lunch detention and singing in the eighth grade musical with people I still call my friends today. Time really does fly past us.  Now, graduation is less than a month away and I look at my memories with a smile and a laugh. Enjoy each moment that comes your way because they will stay with you through the worst and best times yet to come.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official position of the Parkway School District.

 

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