Once people are immersed into the real world, all they really want to do is go back to the “good old days.” Before exams, jobs, and responsibilities, we probably worried about recess, times tables, and play dates. Most anyone would love to time-travel back ten or more years to experience the stressless, innocent joy that they may have felt as a kid. Although not everyone could experience such a carefree childhood, most children are known to be more hopeful, playful and excited than the average young adult. If building the time machine isn’t going so well, try channelling your inner child. Don’t abandon some of those awesome activities and qualities you experienced as a kid! It may lighten the mood during the last few weeks at school.
1. Dream Big
Remember when people asked you what you wanted to be when you grow up, and you would answer with princess, astronaut, fire fighter, artist, doctor, dinosaur, or like my little brother- Target worker? Well, now you probably are “grown up” and you are nearing the job market. Now that you’re here, don’t stop dreaming. Don’t settle for the easiest or most practical path. Never stop presenting yourself with new options and opportunities, and keep answering the “What do you want to be when you grow up?” question with creative answers even when you’re 25 and somewhat ‘settled’ (whatever that means).
Fergie is lying to you: big girls do cry. Now I’m not saying you should throw tantrums or cry whenever your mom drops you off at daycare, but you should still acknowledge your initial emotional responses. If something makes you sad, you don’t have to hide it. If you feel like you’re too busy to express emotion, acknowledge that and practice self-care. Emotions are good, but pent-up, repressed emotions will only make your stressful week more stressful. Acknowledge your unique, personal ways of dealing with emotions and react to them accordingly– I know it’s not that easy.
3. Be Honest
Kids can be extremely and brutally honest; sometimes it seems like they have no filter. Though a filter is good and we learned such manners for a reason, there are always times where you could channel your childhood honesty to relieve problems or anxieties. Tell someone they hurt your feelings. Ask someone to be your friend. Tell someone you like their dress. Forgive someone. It doesn’t hurt to be transparent sometimes and voice your gut reactions. A lot of people would appreciate the honesty instead of that infamous passive-aggression.
Do you even have time for this? Probably not. Even if it’s 15-30 minutes a day, during Chapel Time, or in the caf, don’t hold back your energy when it’s there. Run around outside, play with chalk, laugh loudly, play board games, organize a game of capture the flag, and be spontaneous with your feelings. Don’t hold back and try to have fun. Grass stains aren’t all that bad.
5. Try New Things
Remember when you were younger and you were in every sport and Girl Scouts and swimming lessons and Sunday School and even though you hated softball you played it anyways? Well, I do. I was always trying new activities and I never really got caught in a rut. When you’re trying to maintain a hectic college schedule, it’s easy to fall into a routine and never add new things or new people to your schedule. Though you can’t do everything like when you were 7, you can keep doing different things. Don’t feel like you have to fit yourself into one mold to seem like a well-established “adult.”