Being a junior and having graduation only a year away has really changed the way that I view my father. As a teenager, you always love your parents, but a lot of the time you feel like you can’t stand them. I can’t wait until I’m adult so that I can do what I want. I can’t wait until I move out so that I don’t have to listen to you anymore. Thoughts like these come about. The reason this age is so awkward is because you’re just on the brink of adulthood, having gained both more freedom and more responsibility than in the entire history of your short life; however, you’re still treated like a kid in some places. Neither side feels quite right, and so you’re just stuck in the middle for a while.
As any college counselor will tell you, eleventh grade is the year you’re supposed to choose the colleges you’re interested in because your senior will be spent applying and then hearing back from those colleges of choice. When I first began my search, I was completely positive that I was going to go out of state. Even now, I still want to apply (there’s just something so exciting about going someplace you’ve never been before,) but pieces of my desire have gotten lost a little bit. Why hadn’t it occurred to me before that I would be leaving my dad behind?
Leaving home is not a bad thing. In fact, it is a very good thing. It finishes out that whole process of developing one’s self, but what is scary and sad is the fact that it marks the end of something. The end of an era: your childhood. Once you leave, even if you come back, it’ll never be the same. When you walk back into that house with the familiar walls and people that you’ve grown up to love, it’ll be different, even if only so very slightly. The adult you are now walks through those halls that your baby feet once tread on.
Of course, this change won’t be complete for a while. When you’re eighteen, nineteen, twenty, and so on, you will still be making mistakes that seem a bit childish, but the expectations are very different, both from yourself and others. Your parents will suddenly give full reign of your life to you, and you’re left wondering, “What the heck am I supposed to do now?”
What you and I didn’t realize before is that we’ve slowly been letting go of our parent’s hands, finger by finger, since we’ve been born, and needing them less and less as we are forced to make our own decisions. I crave independence, yet sometimes, there are those nights when I just want to hold my dad’s hand and be his little girl for awhile.
About the Writer
Jazz is your typical sixteen year old who enjoys reading, pineapples, and Coldplay. She spends most of her evenings curled up with her cat “Sugar” watching Korean dramas. She is currently seeking help for her chapstick addiction. You can find her at Drinking Alone Under the Moon. Drinking sweet tea, that is.