October 18, 2022

SENZON | Moving into Adulthood

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For the longest time, I’d convinced myself that I wanted nothing more than to be an adult. Though I’m still in my youth, it’s been a hard process saying goodbye to childhood and welcoming adulthood into my life. 

Childhood is only a small portion of the long lives we’ll go on to live –– the foundation for the rest of our lives. Things we experience as children carry over into our adulthood and influence the way we make decisions and build relationships. I thank my parents for giving me a childhood that’s been hard to say goodbye to; not everyone has the luxury.

Despite still being a student, this time I’m working toward a degree that will provide me with a new foundation to build the future I want for myself. There’s no denying that growing up can be invigorating, it’s a time where you’re now being treated with higher amounts of respect; and yet, there are moments where I wish to be a child once again, to be given an additional hand in times of need. Saying goodbye to childhood is bittersweet.

Letting go of adolescence and inviting adulthood into your life. Somehow, I’ve continued to tell myself that this means no longer allowing myself breathing room — I’ve been living under the notion that being an adult means cutting yourself zero slack. Only after taking a break recently and giving myself that much needed resting time have I realized how necessary it is to recharge. When you’re a child, you can take a break without the fear of being scrutinized for your laziness. Does being an adult mean dismissing happiness? Absolutely not.

Just as those moments of nurture were indispensable to your growth within childhood, they are just as necessary in adulthood. 

As an adult, you now have the unspoken expectation to pursue something greater than yourself, whether it be higher education, a career path unique to your passions or simply the desire to turn over a new leaf. How lucky are we to have the opportunity to do so? It’s easy to harp on the negative, but remind yourself how you’ve been waiting for this. You finally have the means to take steps in a new direction, write a new chapter in your story that is your life. 

Something I’ll continue to bring with myself as I move forward into adulthood from my childhood are my core values. Your core values are “a set of fundamental beliefs, ideals or practices that inform how you conduct your life, both personally and professionally.”

They are the values that remain consistent throughout your life, and no hardship will change these foundational values that help guide you through times of uncertainty. Saying goodbye to childhood doesn’t mean abandoning a helping hand, there will always be someone to offer wisdom — or perhaps, someone to remind you that you’re on the right path. 

Take two seconds. Think back to those untouched memories from your childhood, the ones that will remain just as they were. Find comfort in knowing that you’re building new memories. No matter the stage of life, we will continue to grow and learn among the many more chapters to come.  

One of my favorite memories from childhood that I’ll carry with me for the rest of life is when my third grade substitute teacher grudgingly asked me to sit down — I refused — as she taught class. This memory in particular reminds me that I’ve been fiercely stubborn since day one, though I’m learning to make more compromises as I’ve grown older. I remember being so oppositional to this teacher’s request, oddly enough, standing helped me focus and kept me attentive as she shared knowledge on advanced multiplication. 

As a child, I always looked forward to my family’s notorious weekend trips.

Rather, another memory that brings me back to my adolescence were family road trips up the Northeast coast dedicated to watching the trees as they changed color from vibrant greens to fiery oranges and reds. 

I think back to another memory when we took another road trip to Mystic Seaport, CT where my parents lost our camera filled with childhood memories — though it stung, it helped me find my passion for photography in later years. As a young adult, you’ll often find me taking pictures of virtually anything all with one goal: candids. 

While moving into adulthood and wishing your childhood a farewell is bittersweet, acknowledging the good and bad moments allows for new chapters to be written. Previously, I’ve struggled with the thought process that in order to move forward, I should refrain from referencing experiences made in the past, especially throughout childhood. 

I want to leave this mindset behind. Reflecting on the past isn’t an inherently negative prospect as it gives our minds the ability to interpret and derive meaning from these experiences and navigate as we create new ones. 

Adam Senzon (he/him) is a freshman at the School of Industrial and Labor Relations. He can be reached at [email protected]. My Two Sen-ts runs every other Tuesday this semester.