What nobody tells you about the 'adulting' life

How many times have you had the very same thoughts? That if you grow up, you will be free; that when you become an adult all your worries will flee; that being in your parents shoes is the best thing ever to be because they get to call all the shots

By Asha Iyer Kumar

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Published: Fri 24 Nov 2023, 10:08 PM

Dear children,

A twelve-year-old I closely know once said to me that her greatest wish in life was to ‘grow up and be an adult.’ “But that will happen naturally whether you want it or not,” I said, amused. “You will be an adult in a few years.”

‘No, I want it to happen, say, by tomorrow morning. I want to wake up to find out I don’t have to go to school anymore; I don’t have to write exams; I don’t have to follow silly rules; I don’t have to beg anyone to buy me a new pair of shoes; I will have my own money and I can spend it on anything I please.”

How many times have you had the very same thoughts? That if you grow up, you will be free; that when you become an adult all your worries will flee; that being in your parents shoes is the best thing ever to be because they get to call all the shots.

As fantastic as it may seem from where you are – saddled with studies and expectations, faced with bullying and competition and a host of other daily nags, let me tell you – adult life isn’t as rosy as you think.

Childhood vs Adulthood

For starters, you don’t have to think how to make enough money to pay your school fee or the bills or the rent for the lovely house you live in; why, you don’t even have to cook your meals. If you thought going to school was a huge burden that you are done with, going to work is a commitment that your parents have to keep till they make sure you have grown strong enough to stand on your feet. They earn so that you may learn to be on your own one day. They make sacrifices which you may not even know.

At this point, it will also be useful to remember that you can’t depend on them forever. Sooner or later, you will have to build your own life and make your own money. So lay the base and prepare.

And then, think of this. Should you run into a problem of any kind, you have your parents to run to and seek shelter. They are your protectors and problem solvers. Their care and concern for you are the fortresses in which your life is kept guarded. Who do they have when crises of the kinds you may not even understand fall on them?

Your priorities as children

As children, your chief priority is to do the right things that will help you build a good future, both in terms of character and career. You have only to study your lessons to earn a degree, gain the skills required to supplement that degree, pursue interests that you enjoy and will enhance your personality (because once you are an adult you will have little time for hobbies).

In short, you have nothing more to do than savour the simplicity of childhood, navigate your adolescence with care and step into adulthood when you have grown wings under the guidance of your greatest well-wishers: your parents.

Adult life will happen to you, willy-nilly. And it will bring with it all the responsibilities that you can’t even imagine now. Before that period sets in, give yourself the freedom to frolic. School and study are the least intimidating things in life. Take it on as if you were champions and ace it with all your capabilities. Until next time, keep glowing; keep growing.

wknd@khaleejtimes.com


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