Embrace your childhood

Aaron Lyons

There’s always that one adult in your life telling you to not rush growing up, that there will always be a time and place for everything, and, well, that you’ll get there eventually. While that little tidbit of knowledge does carry meaning, for us teenagers it rarely resonates. My mom would always chide me for not remembering what she said; the words went in one ear and out the other. While this exchange may have occurred in Russian, the sentiment was the same.

Looking back on my time at Harvard-Westlake, it all seems like a blur. It feels like an eternity ago when we arrived fresh-eyed and bushy-tailed at the middle school campus. There it all started. We looked up at the students in the grades above us and believed we deserved the same privileges.

Each year we waited for that landmark event: the chance to refer to ourselves as high school students, the experience of going to the DMV to get our driver’s permits, and the arrival of the first sweet 16 party. It carries on every year, and now a little more than a month into my senior year, I’ve visited a couple of college campuses, talked to more than a few college students about their experiences so far and have concluded that I cannot wait to start the next chapter of my life.

So far, I’ve noticed that as we’ve gotten older, the younger kids seem to rush more towards becoming an adult. I turned 18 in mid-August, and I can easily say that becoming a legal adult has not changed my life at all. I still live at home, abide by my parents’ rules and have not noticed a significant increase in freedom from last year.

Then again, I have never treasured my childlike behavior more. To celebrate my 18th birthday, I went with two of my closest friends to the Orange County fair. There, I won a giant stuffed toy, a two foot-tall minion from the animated movie “Despicable Me,” and saw that as the highlight of the day.

Like most, I might have rushed to grow up. Now I’ve realized that probably the best thing to do is to remember that I am still kind of a kid. I like to make stupid jokes or go to a county fair and bring back a couple of stuffed animals, and in my opinion, that is a lot nicer than speeding towards adulthood.