Childhood reflection

[Even in remote learning,] it is far too easy for us to lose track of the fact that we are growing up into young adults. Between large amounts of homework, assignments, extracurriculars and other commitments we are learning to be accountable to ourselves and to grow into dependable individuals that will contribute to our nation’s workforce. If there’s anything that our higher education has taught us (if we just willingly forget about the hours of history, calculus and other subjects), it’s that childhood leaves us faster than we thought

I know this fact, as harsh and saddening as it is as a student from the Class of 2021. The seniors before me had to come to terms with this and did not have the warning of a virtual graduation or a pandemic in advance. Once we turn 18, once we leave the school grounds that we have known for almost four years, we can officially kiss our days of youth goodbye. 

With all these hard facts in mind, I implore all of us to reflect on our past childhood years. It’s not the pandemic that will stick with us for the rest of our lives. It is the fact that it’s possible that the current class of seniors will attend a virtual graduation and will have to cope that they are not just missing out on a full sense of acknowledgment that what they have worked for has led them to a transition to childhood to adulthood. Even the classes who have the chance to graduate in person in the future will find it hard to shake that they were the “lucky” ones. Before we all officially become frugal, tax-paying adults, I think that it’s all agreed that we deserve to find solace in the fun we found in being a kid. 

School memories, however silly or embarrassing they may be, stand as testaments to the people we have become today. Some of us are lucky enough to still be connected to our friends from elementary school or even preschool. We can thank a lack of self-consciousness and a willingness to run around on the playground or talk nonsense on various topics. It’s easy to gloss over the earlier years of education, especially compared the importance of our work having an influence on our future colleges and careers. But what’s the harm in paying a visit to that playground that you scraped your knees on when you were eight? Consider revisiting your old schools and let your memories run free.

Although old hobbies such as collecting Pokemon cards or keeping up with the long line of Magic Tree House books may not necessarily be considered important to us right now, the enjoyment and magic we found in our interests is something to be honored and accepted. Before you cast them away completely, try and remember the enjoyment you got out of them. Why not rope your siblings or friend in an impromptu nostalgic game night?    

Before we leave school and set off for our futures, we need to acknowledge our formative years. By keeping a little bit of our youth with us, we keep a little bit of our happiness as well.