When I was in Year 6 we had to do a very cheesy assembly, with god-awful songs and even worse acting. I can’t remember most of it (although I was Mary in the Nativity within the play, so I got my dream role eventually). But there was a line in one of the songs that said ‘Growing up isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.’ And me, like all children, tossed that sentence aside. Yeah right.
But as I’ve started university, I’ve come to realise that being an adult really isn’t all fun of games. Sure, the thrill of independence is there for a little while. When that wears off, the rose-tinted glasses come off too. You’re left with the reality that it’s just you, fending for yourself.
My parents used to say to me not to grow up too quickly, when they watched me play with my Sylvanian Families dolls. And I thought I’d never let go of them, they’d be with me until I was a little old lady. Now I don’t know where any of them are. I wish I had taken their advice, and just enjoyed the innocence of being a kid a bit more. I used to worry about being ‘cool’ and ‘acting my age’, so I stopped playing with them. Acting your age nowadays is just a social pressure to try and appear older.
With the ever-growing Internet constantly churning out very adult themes and hard topics, it’s not hard for kids nowadays to try and aspire to the culture it provides. I see babies with tablets, 8-year-olds with Snapchat. Having younger siblings, I genuinely worry what they will eventually find that will just snap up their innocence. The Internet is careless, thoughtless, free. Yet for keeping youth and wide-eyedness alive, it certainly fails.
I play a video game called Animal Crossing, and whenever I try and explain it to anyone (on the rare occasion I do), they usually laugh because it sounds weird and babyish. You basically are responsible for this town of villager animals, if you’re interested. But now I’m an adult clinging onto my younger self, I don’t really care what people think. It makes me happy, and it reminds me of a lot of times when I was younger. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with still being a kid inside.
I found growing up a fairly painless task. But being a grown up is an entirely different thing. As I panic about my bank balance, balancing friendships, keeping up with university work… I am able to do all of those things of course. Sometimes though, I’d like to go back and live in my little doll house.