My highschool graduation is only two weeks and a half away. At the start of the year, I dreaded it. At the end of my third term holidays, to finish was all I wanted. And now, only two and a half weeks from the date that has caused me so many mixed emotions, a new concern sets in.
I am struggling to come to terms with the idea of growing up. This is not about being scared to go to university, or about the new expectations, responsibilities, and opportunities that I'll be presented with as I grow up. This is about me being a child. I am not scared at all about losing my inner child or my sense of wonderment as I grow up, but I am having a sort of mid-way to mid-way-to-midlife-crisis crisis involving my status as a child.
Frankly, I don't feel that I'm old enough to leave school, go to university, drive a car etcetera etcetera. For goodness sake, I look exactly like I did in my preschool photo. My chubby cheeks are hereditary (apparently) and I'll never grow out of them. I even have the same haircut. Last year's grade 12 students looked years older than us, and acted older too. But when I'm feeling emotional, there is often nothing that I feel I need more than Mum's hug. Sometimes I am in a position (most commonly connected to using public transport) where I feel I desperately need to have Dad say "it's alright, we won't miss the stop", or just take me out of that situation entirely by giving me a lift and not putting me through the torment of bussing it.
Emotionally, I am not grown up. I am not independent and super-confident. I can't drive, I don't have a mobile phone, the furthest from home I've been by myself is the shopping centre half an hour away. I get scared on public transport, and I do need to cry to someone every now and again. And it's alright, because I'm still so very young, and I don't have to be yet. But if feels like ending school is the point where I have to stop being a kid. It's not and I don't need to convince myself that it is. Perhaps in this way, I'm far behind a lot of kids my age - kids who are desperate to ditch their homes and parents to live independent lives. But maybe my concerns about growing up are an advantage, as I get to see the value that my family has to me for security and validation.