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Saturday, 31 August 2013

“A grownup is a child with layers on” - Woody Harrelson.

With the prospect of university looming I decided it was time to grow up. But when do we get to that point in our lives, when we look at ourselves in the mirror and realise we’re adults? I had no clue where to start and thought the best idea was to start at home. For me, that meant clearing out my room and getting rid anything that made me seem like a ‘child.’ I mean, surely a university student can’t be seen with a One Direction poster on her wall? So, I sat on my bedroom floor with a hundred childhood books surrounding me, along with what seems like an amount of cuddly animals to fill a zoo, I realised that I couldn’t actually part with anything. Whether this is down to the fact that I’m a ‘hoarder’ (according to my mum) or that I’m too nostalgic to give it up, I knew that every item had a story behind it. Rummaging through stuff meant I found old treasures that I’d completely forgotten about. I sat there, on my messy bedroom floor, just thinking, no matter how insignificant it may be, it must have meant something to me at one point or another in my life, and here I was ready to through everything out… and for what purpose? To become what? An ‘adult’? 

Throwing old photographs showcasing unforgettable memories over my shoulder, I continued to search for more. My favourite book when I was younger, for example ‘White Boots’ by Noel Streatfield was one of the first books that inspired me to want to write… and take up ice- skating, but that’s a completely different story, especially due to the fact that I’m the clumsiest person you’ll ever meet. The corners of the book were bent and several pages folded over, obviously marking my page when I wasn’t finished reading it. As a child, I refused to even damage a book and each were kept in pristine condition, so the fact this one was tattered meant I must have read it over and over again. I sat down and began to read the first page, and began to realise how simple life must have been back then. At the time I was reading this, I had time to read for pleasure, and now going to University to study English means the only things I’ll probably be reading for the next four years are the works of Shakespeare, Byron and Dickens. These simple things in life only make me worry even more- am I ready for University? Am I ready to be independent? The answer is no. I’m expected to fend for myself, yet I’m not trusted with the iron in my house because I’ll somehow ‘forget’ to turn it off and somehow ‘manage’ to burn the entire house down. Only last week I learned that whenever I try to cook something in the oven it doesn’t work because I turn the grill on instead of the cooker. These domestic chores should come naturally, I thought. Once you enter ‘adulthood’ these things just came to you, you didn’t need to be taught how to put the washing machine on, for example. I know what you’re thinking, ‘Wow, this girl is a total blonde; she can’t do anything for herself.’ But the truth is, I am blonde… literally. I don’t exactly fit the ‘blonde-jokes’ stereotype though, I have my five Highers. However, my mum did always say I had ‘more brains than common sense.’

Sitting on my floor, nearly hyperventilating over how childish I still seem, I knew I had to take my mind off it. I cleared a pathway from all of my junk over to my tv, and put on some music to try and clear my head. Songs that reminded me of different parties and nights out with my friends… My friends and I had been together for over six years, although we had arguments we always stayed in contact. But what if that doesn’t happen when we all go to University? What if we drift apart and the bottomless promises of, ‘Yes, we’ll definitely meet up,’ never get fulfilled? The truth is, in life everyone grows up, drifts apart from one another and we all grow our separate ways… but what if I don’t want that to happen? What I don’t want to grow up right now? Whenever I picture in my head a University student, all I can see is someone sitting sophisticatedly at some fancy coffee shop with their friends discussing the lecture they have just came out of. The more I think about the future, the more I worry. I ask myself constant questions, what if I don’t make friends; what if I don’t like my course; what if… what if..? My head was about to burst.

I took a deep breath and cleared my head. The more I thought about it, it seemed exciting. Yes, things will change (some for better and others for worse) but that’s just life. Thinking back on my somewhat childish memories, made me realise how much I had changed as a person. I began to empty the bin bag with the memories I had filled it with. Maybe I’ll just continue to be a ‘hoarder’ as my mum put it. Maybe I’ll just keep some of my memories so that in another ten years’ time I can reflect back on them again...

And maybe, just maybe the One Direction poster can stay.


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