“All children, except one, grow up”

The biggest struggle that I have encountered this year is learning how to live not as a student. Before I graduated I heard people talk about how I’ve been a student my whole life, how I will have to learn how to interact with the world and people as not a student, etc, blah, blah. But I never expected it to be so true. There are so many things that I took for granted as a student such as knowing how to interact with people my age through the commonality of school, having a flexible schedule that I could fit meetings and spontaneous trips into, and being able to make decisions without them having too much gravity on my life. All of these things, and many more, altered the second I walked across the stage and got my diploma and left me in the dust. I feel like the majority of my year has been trying to catch up with social expectations for adults that I haven’t quite had the chance to learn yet. It has not been bad at all, just interesting and a very big learning experience.

One of my favorite stories of all time is Peter Pan, which is what the title of this blog came from. My love for this story doesn’t come from a fear of growing up, but from the beautiful way in which JM Barrie talks about childhood and the loss thereof. I can say, though, that I am afraid of growing up and losing childish wonder and ability to see beauty and truth. Our society seems to beat childish mindsets out of people, even the valuable ones, and we become cynical and disillusioned. This is why I love Peter Pan so much, there is beauty in imagination and magic, and the adults that have managed to hold on to this fact are amazing and inspiring. JM Barrie gives a great explanation of a child’s mind that is surprisingly accurate and never fails to make me smile:

“I don’t know if you have ever seem a map of a person’s mind. Doctors sometimes draw maps of other parts of you, and your own map can become intensely interesting, but catch them trying to draw a map of a child’s mind, which is not only confused, but keeps going round all the time. There are zigzag lines on it, just like your temperature on a card, and these are probably roads in the island; for the Neverland is always more or less and island, with astonishing splashes of colour here and there, and coral reefs and rakish-looking craft in the offing, and savages and lonely lairs, and gnomes who are mostly tailors, and caves through which a river runs, and princes with six elder brothers, and a hut fast going to decay, and one very small old lady with a hooked nose.”

– Lindsay R.

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