- Category: Volume 86 (Fall 2014 - Spring 2015)
- Published: 03 December 2014
- Written by ROBERT ZADOTTI | STAFF WRITER
As students on the cusp of adulthood, we can often find ourselves reminiscing about simpler times of our childhood, filled with long afternoons of no responsibility. It’s certainly nostalgic to recall the days where our biggest concern was what type of cereal we would have for breakfast, or when our favorite TV show was going to be on. But even though our peaceful days are long gone, we know that the experiences of our childhood shaped us and affected who we became today.
But what if we could say one thing, just a piece of advice to ourselves at that age? What would be important enough to make sure we knew it when we were at such an influential and vulnerable stage?
“At age 10, I had already begun doubting myself. The fight for self-acceptance is what shaped me,” said Erica Walsh, freshman social work major.
When a pessimistic (or even simply negative) mentality sets in at that age, it can severely damage someone’s confidence or other internal functions. But given the chance to change that, someone would need a source of inspiration to solidify the urge to grow, but what would suffice to that?
“I would tell myself that I am beautiful and I can survive anything life throws at me, so keep my head held high and never give up,” continued Walsh.
Positive reinforcement is important at any stage in our lives, and can be especially significant in order to overcome adversity or a stressful period in our lives. But what about the everyday, the nostalgic moments we live to remember and attempt to recapture?
“Don’t tell anyone that you can’t do anything and if they do, look the other way and keep on smiling,” stated Dannie O’ Holland, a junior health education major. People need to be reminded of the always-positive and optimistic way we view the world as kids, and as little as one sentence of encouragement could allow us to keep it for just a little longer. We never really stop growing, but that’s not to say keeping some childlike wonder and happiness would be a bad thing. It could even be seen as a point of strength in our adult character.
But sometimes as kids, it’s not happiness and sunshine every day, and sometimes our childhood can hurt us. Sometimes we need to get hurt in order to grow back stronger. Associate librarian George Germek couldn’t think of what he would say to himself, so he chose to share the advice he does give to his 11-year old daughter.
“There’s a lot of peer pressure and stuff against kids, but things change. Even as an outcast or something at a young age, things are always changing, and sometimes for the better. It’s all a part of growth,” said Germek.
Children are malleable by the world they grow up in, and it’s up to their parents to guide them and shape them to their highest potential for their adult life. Maybe that’s why we wish we could give advice to our younger selves, if just to change us in a small way for the better.
The actions of today shape who we are tomorrow, and that has held true for our entire lives as adults. We grow and change and do our best to become who we want to be, and that is all dependent on what we are exposed to in our young lives.
If we want to become as well-rounded and capable, we need to learn that there’s nothing holding us back, especially not from our pasts. We can change any day of our lives, and although we can remember the golden years as carefree and happy children, we must never forget to continue growing into our dreamed and ideal future.
IMAGE TAKEN from pjmcclure.com