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In kindergarten, we all remember being asked the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Never-ending dreams danced through our minds as we fantasized about one day becoming rock stars, ballerinas, astronauts, and in my own case, a famous soccer player.
So what happened to these ambitions? Sure, they might have been far-fetched, but is that so bad? Some people may argue, “they’re just kids. What do they know?”
The answer to this may surprise most of us. Kids are always being looked down upon for their lack of experience and education, but in reality, they should be the ones we look up to. Their happy-go-lucky spirits are something to be admired. They don’t have a care in the world, and nowadays that’s something that is very hard to come by.
As humans, we have a tendency to grow unsatisfied very quickly. Kids can’t wait to grow up and be teenagers, teenagers look forward to the day in which they’ll finally be treated like adults, and adults reminisce about the good ol’ days. In the end, we will always be longing for something we can never truly have.
Now we’re in college and we’re asked the same question again, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”
Does anyone really know?
Suddenly, we can’t be taken seriously if we respond, “a princess.” Suddenly, we’re forced to come face-to-face with the ever burning uncertainty of what we want to do with our lives. Suddenly, we discover responsibilities—gross.
Why can’t we just stay young forever?
The future is emphasized by society. Consequently, we become weighed down by questions about the future, like: What kind of job will I have down the road? Will I fall in love? What if I end up a crazy cat-lady?
Relax, people. Do you think Steve Jobs talked with his fellow preschoolers about how he aspired to be the next CEO of Apple while he finger painted and made puppets?
The thing about life is that no matter what we do, how many chances we miss, how many times we fall in love, or how many goals we reach—we’ll still get to that place we are meant to end up.
Take things one day at a time. It’s that simple.
Think back to those times when you were a kid. Back then the only things you worried about were stopping other kids from stealing your animal crackers, trying to make it all the way across the monkey bars, or missing your favorite cartoon because it’s past your bedtime.
When all else fails, always remember the Peter Pan mentality of never growing up. You can still go to work dressed up in your nicest suit, but sport your favorite action figure undies underneath.
Contact CU Independent Staff Writer Kristy Gustafson at Kristy.firstname.lastname@example.org.