I find it beyond interesting when I talk to my younger relatives. I currently have two still in high school, one graduating this year and another who has a couple of years to go.
The first is my nephew. Lately, our conversations have been revolving around college. My brother and I are the only two in our entire family with college educations, so we each tend to feel it’s our duty to prepare our nephew for the big, bad world of higher education. I’m probably not the best person for this job. I was in college for…well, a long time. I changed my major five times, worked too much, drank too much, went out too much, and had nervous breakdowns on a daily basis when I decided it was time to graduate. My brother, on the other hand, didn’t work, didn’t party, yet he still had nervous breakdowns.
Mainly, our focus is on making sure our nephew doesn’t waste time taking classes he doesn’t need. He’s going to school for engineering and for some reason, he was scheduled for a sociology class. I know this boy. He’d hate that class, so we had to convince him to look for something else to take as an elective. He’s also informed me that I’m his ticket to passing English and History. I don’t mind since those were my favorite subjects. Luckily enough, he won’t require my assistance with Math or any of the sciences. *shudders*
The other teen in the family, is my younger cousin. She’s 15 going on 30. Every time I see her, she talks about how she needs a job, needs to work. I keep telling the kid “Don’t rush it. Enjoy your youth, child.” It makes me feel old and decrepid and I know she isn’t going to listen to me, but that doesn’t stop me from warning her. Why is it we’re so eager to grow up, take on responsibilities when we’re in the perfect moment in our lives to be stupid and young and irresponsible?
I was exactly the same way. I couldn’t wait to get to work to make money. It was the money thing that got me, I think. My parents didn’t give us allowances and there were so many things I wanted. Stupid, stupid me. I had the perfect opportunity to be a kid and I threw it away. Oh sure, I thought staying home for the summer cleaning house was boring, but now I look back and could kick myself. Not that I want to go back to high school, but I’d love the chance just…to be.
This is more than likely in response to being rudely awakened on a Monday morning and having to prepare for work, but kids are stupid. Oh don’t get me wrong, I admire a kid who’s enterprising and responsible. Yet I fear kids grow up too soon. If you’re a younger person reading this, listen carefully: Your adult life is going to be nothing like your teen years. You’ll wake up one day, realize you’re over 30 and wonder why you were so eager to jump into the jungle that’s real life. Enjoy your youth. Enjoy your parents taking care of you.
Now to everyone else, do you have youthful regrets?