In our teenage years, many of us take joy in reflecting upon the simplicities of our childhoods; swings, sweets, and McDonalds PlayPlaces are few of many such simplicities. That’s not to say that we can’t enjoy all of that stuff now (especially the PlayPlaces, of course), but when we were toddlers and young teenagers, those pleasantries of life were far more riveting. What happened? Along the devious timeline of adolescence, what made us lose our childlike fascinations with life’s rudimentary joys?
Well, growing up. That’s what.
We all have memories of our childhoods—some good, some bad. But we can probably all agree that when we were six, ten, or even thirteen, there were many less serious things to worry about than there are now. When we were younger, we knew not of T4 slips and university applications. Investments and credit ratings were foreign to us. Driving school? Nay. Doing our own laundry? Impossible! Who in their right mind would impose such things upon us, you ask? Alas, none other than life itself.
This reality is something I’m sure we’ve all realized, but may not have come to terms with. I can only imagine how many of us have part-time jobs and have already enrolled in some form of post-secondary institution. Some of you could be working full time, while others may still be struggling with these decisions. And I won’t be the first to tell you about how frustrating it can all be. When we approach adulthood, responsibility seems to continuously sneak up from behind and, essentially, mug us. “Ha! Sucker!” it cries. “Now give me all of your time, money, and emotional stability!” And there’s no beating around the bush here; that kind of sucks.
“Now give me all of your time, money, and emotional stability!”
But no matter how troublesome growing up seems to be, I can assure you that one’s experience with growing up is largely dependent on one’s attitude. As young adults, we’re faced with an alarmingly large amount of new responsibilities and experiences that shape our lives immensely, but we have a choice in how we deal with them. Some of us have impulsive negative responses to new responsibility, especially if life already feels overwhelming. Some are more prone to invite new tasks as challenges rather than burdens—needless to say, the latter is what we all have to do eventually. Overcoming challenges and building a positive mindset towards the lesser points of life is the first step to being in control of our newfound adult lives. Good thinking equals good action, and good action equals good habits. In developing good habits, we can take full charge of our lives and become ultra badass, hard-working, tax-filing, laundry-doing young adults.
In the words of Aristotle:
“Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly.” —Aristotle
Now, you’re not going to want to spew all of that whenever you’re trying to motivate somebody, so I’ve created an abridged version of the same quotation:
“Stay rad.” —Aristotle (citation needed)
So, when adulthood seems too complex, scary, or even downright asinine, just remember one thing: if you stay rad, radness will come to you.
And that is a fact of life that we can all accept with open arms.
Photo Courtesy: William Murphy
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Student Life Network or their partners.