Mimi Roy is in her first year of college pursuing a diploma in public relations at Humber College She is taking my first year at college as it comes and she is learning how to survive off of Raman noodles.
What is the day that you fear the most? When I asked this question to my friend the other day her answer was, “The day I realize I actually have to grow up”. Her answer fascinated me because in my mind, moving to college, living on my own and moving to the city is what I considered to be grown up. Then I started thinking about the concept of growing up and I realized I still had so much more “growing up” to do and that scared me.
I asked myself “Why am I afraid of growing up”? I know this is an inevitable process and in a sense I have already grown up. I have grown up since I was five years old and I have grown up since I was 10 years old. So what will the difference be if I grow up from being 18 to 21 or even when I am 50?
I have come to the conclusion that I am afraid of three main things: responsibility, deeper involvement in society, and judgment of my actions.
I probably shouldn’t be too afraid of this considering I know what my responsibilities are now and I manage them well. So what would the difference be once I am “grown up”? The difference is in the real world I have responsibilities for more than just myself. If I start a family I am responsible for them, especially if I become a mother and I have children. If and when I get a job I am responsible for my work and managers and bosses will be analyzing my work. If my work isn’t up to par then it reflects poorly on me and this brings me to the next fear of growing up.
I fear judgment of my abilities and of my work. In the real world there are harsher critics, tougher challenges, and higher expectations. I fear the way I handle these people and things will not be appropriate or will be frowned upon. I think I am afraid of fitting into society’s box of the obedient, average member of society. I don’t want to abide by rules; I don’t play a part simply because it’s the normal way to act. I still want to act like a kid and see things simply and I don’t want to be judged for my actions.
Deeper Involvement in Society
Since this time last year I have grown up a lot. I have learned a lot of new and exciting things, but I have also learned that as an adult you have to involve yourself in society. Think about it though, once you are on your own you inevitably dive into the system. You stimulate the economy with the groceries you buy, the gas you pump, and the taxes you pay. You have the right to vote and as a result have to choose whether you will actively involve yourself with politics or not. You also have to start identifying your core values.
Discovering what I value has been a huge leap forward for me. What I have had to learn is that my values will not always match those of my peers. In fact my values might even irk other people and it might even strike debate.
The fact that you actually have to actively be a part of society makes me uncomfortable. It makes me uncomfortable because I have to learn new things. I touched on learning how to make new friends is a difficult process in my last blog Making Friends: Sometimes Less Is More and just like that was a hard process, so it growing up.
So even though I am scared I know that this is a process. I know everyone around me has gone through it or is currently trying to grow up just like me. I have come to the conclusion that growing up will have its up and downs but you have to come to accept it and the sooner that you do, the easier it will be.
I hope that I can hold off the day I have to truly grow up as long as I can but when it does come, I intend to embrace it wholeheartedly and head on.
So what is the day you fear most? And what do you fear most about growing up? Comment below!
Till the next epiphany,