Saturday, October 1, 2016

The Peter Pan Diaries: The Young Adult Phase

When people talk about growing up, we think about becoming more "adult". We start talking about cooking and cleaning and doing taxes, adult responsibilities. What we usually don't talk about it becoming a teenager. Obviously, we all go through our thirteenth birthday, when you finally add the word "teen" to your age and swear up and down that you're no longer a "tween" but a "teen", even though you probably are still a tween. However, there's no guidebook preparing you for your teenage years. You see, your teenage years are still a part of growing up, but I've learned that as you become a teenager, you become more and more aware of the adult world. However, by the adult world, I don't mean the sophisticated adult world that's well put together, but things like sex and drugs and alcohol. Things that separate teenagers and young adults from children. Even though I'm well past the age of a child, I still feel like a kid all the time. I feel like I'm around ten years old, but recently, I've becoming more aware of the fact that I'm not a kid anymore. 

When people talk about the young adult years, they say that it's the time where you prepare for adulthood. The google search results would bring up financial tips, health care, career finding quizzes, etc. However, being a young adult isn't just about becoming more adult, but it's also growing up in a new way, losing that childhood innocence and realizing how crazy and scary the world really is. You see, being a young adult is very different from being a child, and as I've grown up, I've begun to realize the benefits of that childhood innocence. Things change, and I'm not necessarily sure that a) I'm ready for the changes and/or b) whether or not I want these changes to happen. The thing is that life isn't like the movies, and the young adult years aren't always as hyped up as they seem.


My friends have told me that I'm "innocent" in the fact that I haven't indulged much in "teenage activity". And I am. However, I believed that everyone else was like me in the fact that they also had not done those kinds of things, that since I went to what I call a "nerd school", the people didn't indulge in those things. I don't know if it was because I still felt like a kid or I believed that everyone else was just like me, but I guess that I was ignorant to all of things that were happening right beneath my nose. In reality, the typical high school movie rings some truth to it. Crazy house parties do exist. Some people will try out drugs. STDs and teen pregnancy are possible. Over the past year, I've had more and more exposure hearing about drinking, drug use, sex, all of those kinds of things, growing up into the young adult years. And even though I haven't had any direct contact with any of these things, I've been learning that people that I know, that I see every day, even some people that are my friends, have been indulging in house parties, drugs, sex, things that I'm not ready to face, even though I haven't had any direct interactions. It's more like the idea that everyone else around me has been doing these things that makes me realize that I'm not a kid anymore.

In addition to that, the young adult years hold other, less exciting things, like dealing with low self-esteem, peer-pressure, depression and feeling isolated, college applications and grades. The young adult years can be a crazy time. Yes, there are definitely a lot of things like drinking and sex that people often associate the teenage years with, but there are also other things that lie within the shadows, that people don't talk about, that they deal with alone. I am guilty of this. We go through ups and downs as teenagers, each moment low moment seeming like the end of the world, but we need to remember that it never is. The teenage years aren't the end of the world, they're only a small portion of your life. As teenagers, it's easy to feel stressed, like every tiny thing that goes wrong is more like an earthquake, one shake of your world that resonates and spreads, causing destruction. The point of this series is to let people out there know that they're not alone. Sometimes it's scary growing up because we don't realize that these problems exist. As children, we're blissfully unaware of everything. We didn't care what other people thought of us, we didn't dwell over the bad moments, we didn't have a sea of stress overcoming us. As you enter the young adult phase, like what I mentioned before, it's like the rose tinted glasses are coming off, because suddenly you're aware of all the bad in the world, all of the struggles that are unavoidable, and it feels like too much. 


The thing is that there are a small number of things to do with growing up that are in our comfort zones. It's rarely comfortable to grow up. Things feel unfamiliar, different, scary. As we grow up, we need to step out of our comfort zones, which isn't easy. Growing up is kind of like heading through the fog, at first you think that you've got this, that you're ready, but everything in front of you is unclear. You have your ideas for what to do and what might be in front of you, but you're not exactly one-hundred percent sure. As you get closer, it becomes clearer, but the future is still fuzzy and you don't know what is heading your way until the time comes. Since the process is scary, unclear like fog, this is the reason that I've created the Peter Pan series, to be a guiding light in the fog, and help you get outside of your comfort zone and understand what might be hidden.

My point is that even though I may be technically in my young adult years, I don't feel like I'm a young adult. I feel like I'm a kid. And maybe I'm in-denial about it, but something about all of this feels a bit of a shock to me, to know that people that I know, even some friends (not super close ones) had been going out and drinking without me ever knowing. A part of me just isn't ready to for any of this yet, even though I'm already growing up. My mind just isn't catching up with the time.

That's why I decided to create this mini-series, which I decided to call, "The Peter Pan Series", since it's going over the things that I've been dealing with in the young adult world that I'm not ready to face. 

I feel like a child that doesn't want to grow up. The Peter Pan Series will discuss all kinds of topics that teenagers struggle with, including my personal experiences with these topics. Remember my post on my Thoughts on Alcohol? The posts in the series will be kind of like that one, since the idea for this series kind of spiraled off of that post. I'm going to try and incorporate my own individual experiences, beliefs, and ideas, but also be aware of the experiences of others. 

Some of these topics will be subjective. And I am completely aware of that, but I think that these are things worth sharing. I would have loved if someone out there could have prepared me for the emotions that I'm feeling now, someone besides a health teacher, someone like a friend. And that's where this series comes into play. The Peter Pan Series is designed in order to allow me to share my opinions and also help people who are in this same transition, because let's be real, middle school and high school health class doesn't resonate too much to most people. I'm currently thinking about discussing thoughts alcohol more in depth and from a different perspective, not knowing what you want to do with your future, feeling like nothing is going right, and more, depending on what I can come up with. Posts related to the mini-series will be posted on Saturdays, each with a different topic, because sometimes we're just not ready to grow up, and need a little help with it, even if it's with something small. It's hard to realize the reality of the teenage years, because they're not always easy.

So what scares you most about growing up?

2 comments:

  1. Hi rebecca i really love ur post, idk i just feel like u have the same perspective with me, not just in this post but almost in every post that u've already made, and i feel like i can translate my perspective in to words with ur post,and it was very amazing to find people that have the same perspective with me and I would like to thank you if u can replay may comment, i adore u so much :)

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    1. So glad to hear that! That's what I aim for, to reach out to people with similar perspectives and that might be struggling through similar problems.
      Rebecca xo

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