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Life > Experiences

Why I am so anxious to turn 20?

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at MSU chapter.

I remember being a little girl, watching shows like “Victorious” and “Good Luck Charlie,” being so excited to become a teenager. I wanted to grow up so badly, and from certain standpoints, I did it too fast. I’m nearing the very end of my teenage years now, with only a few weeks left until I turn 20. I’m feeling an overwhelming sense of anxiety about this. Am I ready to really be an adult? My youth is slipping away, I’m not quite sure I’m ready to make the jump. 

When I was in my later elementary years and living in California, I had a close group of friends. We’d have big birthday parties and countless sleepovers where we would play Just Dance on the Wii. I used to have so many slow-motion videos of my friends from fifth grade. We thought it was the funniest thing in the world – whether it was dancing or jumping off swings. When I was at home, I played outside with the girls in my neighborhood. We’d climb trees and make “salads” out of shrubbery while pretending we were characters in some random storyline. We’d hang out every day after school, we’d fight, we’d cry and then make up. We’d go on vacations together, do volleyball camps together and bike to school together.

I can’t help but giggle when I remember all of us, in our sleeping bags, trying to sleep when someone would say something funny or laugh. Then we’d all start laughing, and a parent would come out and yell at us to hush and go to bed. These moments are memories that I hold close to my heart. For years, I had eight or nine girls that I called my best friends. We had no secrets and did everything together. 

When I started middle school, I had moved to Florida and stayed through my freshman year of high school. The longer I lived there, the more people I met. We spent our summers biking around our community neighborhood listening to music and getting ready for movie dates together. We’d park our bikes at Park Square, a big hangout spot in our neighborhood where all the kids would go. It had restaurants and ice cream parlors and fountains and a field. It was the hangout spot on Friday nights.

We would all go with our friends and hangout and wear cute outfits. We would have sleepovers and play Xbox (we sucked at it) and make pancakes in the morning. We would go to the beaches and neighborhood pools and get some sun. We would have our girls nights, and movie nights with all of our guy friends. The summer evenings were the best, since it wasn’t too humid and the sky was lit up with all kinds of colors. This was girlhood. We rarely fought and we were always together. We had communal closets and shared cute crop tops and bikinis. We had no responsibilities besides school and sports, spent what little money we had at the Park Square restaurants, and based plans on who’s mom could drive us– the simple days. 

From sophomore to senior year, I lived in New Hampshire. While I felt a lot of the people I met didn’t end up being the nicest, I still look back at some of those memories with love. We were still just teenage girls navigating high school together. We would make forts, go sledding and take trips together. We would go to each other for our boy problems and cry and heal.

I spent my sixteenth birthday in quarantine and wasn’t allowed to see anyone. My two best friends baked me a lava cake and delivered it to my house. When I was finally allowed out, we decided to camp in the woods overnight. It was May, and we were freezing, and it was horrible, but we stayed out there for the entire night. We cuddled for warmth (it was too wet to start a fire) and we vowed to never do it again. I still can’t believe we thought this was a good idea, but we were just so excited to be reunited. We wanted to do something fun. I grew close with a few different people from there at different times, and I hold many of them still close to my heart. We got our licenses together, we graduated together, and we always reconnect when we’re home from college.  

Here I am now, a few weeks shy of 20, and a college student 13 hours away from home. I look back at each phase of my life, that is, each state I lived in. Each place gave me so many memories of girlhood. I spent every important moment of my young years with my girls. I still have that, but now we’re growing up. We have responsibilities and deadlines and important places to be. I’m scared that I’ll never feel that happy and care-free again. Those years are behind me now and I worry that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I should’ve. For anyone else with mutual anxieties, we’re in this together, and growing up can’t be that scary, right?

Natalie Claflin is a member of the Her Campus chapter at Michigan State University. She is new to the chapter and is excited to begin writing, attend events, and assist with the social media team. Claflin is a sophomore at MSU and is studying environmental sociology. She has never partook in journalism or writing before, however she has been praised for her writing skills all throughout her school career. During her first year at Michigan State, an essay of hers was nominated for the David D. Anderson Award for the Best Essay from a First Year Writing Course at Michigan State University award. She enjoys writing and is excited to be writing for Her Campus. In her free time, Claflin enjoys reading, listening to Taylor Swift, watching T.V. shows, and consistently asking for photos of her cat from back home in New Hampshire.