Don’t listen when they tell you to grow up

The value of adopting a kid’s mentality

This past winter break, my family and I took a trip down South in search of warmer weather and theme park thrills at Disney World. The only thing holding us back from having the family getaway of our dreams was the cold front sweeping the nation and the fact that my brother and I are 24 and 20 years old, respectively. Oh, and also our family’s collective fear of roller coasters. 

Needless to say, I was a little less than thrilled and very confused as to why my parents decided on Disney World as our winter break destination. I’d almost rather stay home and catch up on applications and things for this upcoming semester at school.

Regardless of these minor setbacks, we all had a great time together and okay — I will admit — my 10-year-old little sister really loved Harry Potter World.

Despite the time for quality bonding, I think we can all agree that long trips with families always seem to bring forth inter-familial issues too. For us, Mom gets stressed about packing, Dad gets stressed because Mom is stressed and I get stressed because my 24-year-old brother starts acting like a child again. Sometimes, usually when he’s belting out a song in a high soprano or dancing in public, I can’t fight the urge to tell him to grow up.

The scariest part about my newfound annoyance at these shenanigans is that I guess it means I’m growing up now. I’ve found that as my college years go on, I actually am becoming way more adult-like and serious, and third year especially is a time when everyone is telling you to grow up and figure out what you want to do for the rest of your life. It’s the year of internships, settling down, going out less and looking seriously towards the future — and all of that requires a lot of maturity.

But though we all realize those things are important, it’s also important to recognize that sometimes it’s better to take things lightly and be a little less “adult.”

Although my brother was being a nuisance on the trip, for him, the vacation was an outlet through which he could have fun and get away from all his heavy and tedious graduate school research. For me, hanging out with my friends and keeping a sense of humor about everything, even school and work, keeps me from becoming too serious and boring. For my parents, the vacation to Disney World helped them to regain the carefree days and memories of when my brother and I were younger and would walk around the park in absolute awe.

Even though as college students we are always being told to grow up and start thinking more seriously about our lives and futures, I realized it’s also equally as important to retain our youth. Keeping a young mind is not only beneficial for your own well-being but also serves as a reminder to those around you that sometimes college doesn’t have to be that serious — it’s not life or death. Despite what everyone is telling you about how it’s time to start getting serious and settling down, preparing for your future and still having a good college experience are not two mutually exclusive ideas.

So, despite my initial confusion over our winter break destination, I soon realized that being a 20 year old who hates roller coasters in the middle of Disney World was the perfect reminder that sometimes it’s important to be a kid again.

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