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The Rush to Grow Up

By Ellie French, Grade 11
For as long as I can remember my birthday has been one of my favourite days of the year. A special day celebrating with my family and friends, and, oh yeah, gifts too, how could I not like it? But looking back, I realize I actually enjoyed aging. Why? I was always a really stubborn child and still somewhat am, and I loved doing things on my own and being able to say I did it.
From a young age, we get help from our parents and we are told what we should do. I knew each birthday that I was developing into a more autonomous person, which really excited me.

When we were young and in primary school, a popular topic our teachers would always bring up was the simple question, “What do you want to be when you are older?” I either drew a princess, a veterinarian or a superhero. Now I am in 11th grade and, unfortunately, instead of being asked to draw, I have a math test or an essay to do. And my grades have an impact on what I choose to do in the future, a future where I must actually choose a job.

This past summer I had a lot of time to think about my journey and my paths. I had somewhat of an abnormal childhood. I moved around as if I were in a game of tag and I was trying to not be tagged. I moved a lot. My childhood consisted of laughing until I cried, adventuring with my dad through forests, lakes and oceans in numerous countries and aspiring to be just like him, all the while watching my mom be absolutely incredible at everything she did and hoping I would end up like her. I also relied on my brother as my best friend. My childhood was filled with the best memories, even the little road bumps.

A few weeks before I left to head back to Stanstead for my second year, the reality hit me: my childhood is slowly coming to a halt. Then I was terrified. Everything I ever knew was slowly ending. All the wishing for more responsibilities and privileges had finally come. I panicked. I wanted to go back to playing family with friends or cops and robbers at the playground.

After I gave myself time to reflect and calm down, I understood. The funny thing is, I wouldn't change a thing about my childhood, not the embarrassing moments, not the hard times. All those moments are going to prepare me for the adversity I face in the future, and before I get too ahead of myself I still have some time left and am not taking one second for granted. I also have a lot more memories to make, even the embarrassing ones. I realized why would I waste my remaining time as a child wishing I could go back while I'm still in the moment? If I were to ask you to go back you would probably say yes, I would want to relive my childhood too but would you change anything about it?

Instead of being upset that the time is coming to an end, be ready to close the chapter and start a brand new one. So be grateful for everything little thing you run into along your path of life, even the bumpy ones. And make sure to live now so you can look back and say you had a great childhood with incredible memories. You will be able to look at the future and be ready for the new memories. The best part is not the destination, it's the progress and journey.