“I dread the thought of growing up.”

This question was submitted to Kids Help Phone by a young person and answered by one of our professional counsellors.

Question

Im 18, almost 19, in my first year of university and still living with my parents. Recently, it hit me, this is it, im practically an adult now, and that thought really scares me… All my friends are enjoying their independence at university and the freedom of living on their own, but im so different, i dread the thought of growing up… thats why i chose the closest university to my house so that i could live at home…All my friends want to appear older, more mature but i just want to be seen as a child/adolescent forever, even though i know thats impossible…I love it when people thik im younger than my age (which happens quite often) even though i know most people my age would be offended if someone thought they looked like a litle kid…Theres also all this pressure of choosing a career/major …. My parents wnat me to do business.accounting but im not really sure thats what i want to do…in fact im not sure what i want to do with my life at all, i justfeel too young to be making such huge decisions that will affect the reast of my life… When i look back on my life, i wish i could be a little kid again, well not that little but 12-13 would be great, thats when things were so fun and simple…Sometimes i feel like the best part of my life is already over and that thought makes me feel all sad and depressed..All my friends feel like theire lives are just beginning, now that they have more freedom and independence, living on their own, but i dont think i could do that, im just too attached to my home and family and not ready to grow up yet… This is kind of strange too because im usually quite mature for my age(sensible, responsible etc) So what do u think? Is all this normal? Any advice for me? also any tips on deciding on a career?

Answer

Don’t worry it is completely normal to be feeling this way. Different people grow up at different times and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. It might be a good thing that you’re not wanting to grow up too fast, a number of kids these days are missing out on being kids because they want to grow up too fast, so maybe its a positive thing that you’re taking your time. However don’t worry about the best parts of your life being behind you; it may have been a great time for you when you were 12 or 13 but the future can be pretty great too. You’re in university and with that there are so many different doors and opportunities waiting for you, you just have to take the risk and open those doors. I understand that it might be scary and things may not seem as simple as they once did but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t some great days ahead of you. As for your career i feel that that’s a decision that only you can make. You know yourself better than any one else including your parents and though I’m sure they are only trying to tell you what they feel is in your best interest you have to choose what you feel is right for you since you’re the one that’s going to have to live with your decision. Also remember that you can always change your mind, just because you make a career choice now it doesn’t mean you have to stay in that particular field for the rest of your life, you always have the choice to change your major or even your career, so hopefully that takes the pressure off a little. I guess the only real suggestion I can give is to think about what makes you happy and something that would be satisfying for you to do and something you would enjoy doing on a daily basis, aside from that it’s really up to you. I hope this was helpful and give us a call or write us back any time! Take care and Good Luck With arms outstretched and ears wide open -NB