College Life · Life Written. · Sic'Em Forever.

Forever Young: On Growing Up & Getting Old

I’m not a teenager anymore. I turned 20 two weeks ago.

At the start of the semester, my early graduation date {Dec. 2015} was finalized. I’m “ahead of the others,” “on track,” and such a “hard worker.”

But I didn’t want to be. I’ve always been the youngest: in my grade at school, at the Dallas Morning News and among all of my friend groups.

I’ll be in the real world. I’ll be leaving my friends, home and church of 3.5 years behind.  I’ll actually have to learn how to cook and remember not to do laundry last minute. I’ll have to wear business casual attire to my 9-to-5 job.

I’m afraid if I grow up too fast, I’ll exponentially age in a minimal amount of time. I don’t want to feel 50-years-old at 30. I want to feel 30 at 30, or even 25 at 30.

I want to be full of life. I want to be ambitious. Alphaville’s hit song had it right, I want to be forever young.

But a few days ago, I finally let go of all denial. I’m not Peter Pan, I can’t escape the constraints of time. I will be and currently am getting older.

(L-R) Dr. Marlene Neil from Baylor, myself, Laura Beth Moore, Chris Talley of USAA, sic'em-ing for PR.
(L-R) Dr. Marlene Neil from Baylor, myself, Laura Beth Moore, Chris Talley of USAA, sic’em-ing for PR.

Yesterday, I attened the Public Relations Society of America Central Texas chapter’s seminar, “Fundamentals and Future Trends: Planted Firmly on Both Sides of the Fence.”

I meekly tiptoed into a world of professionals and strangers much older and wiser than me.

But despite all insecurities of age and lack of experience, I gained and exuded confidence in myself, excitement about public relations and interest in what each professional had to say.

Their passion fueled mine. Their success stories and failures, their knowledge and warnings nourished my already love for my career.

One of the PRSA members graduated last year. She took the same courses that I am in now, she survived them and she’s living and working in Waco today. With great eloquence, I gaped and said, “Wow. So you’re like my in a year?”

All of the experts instilled hope and fervor in me, but the younger practitioners were the ones I especially bonded with. If he can manage Customer Intelligence at Southwest Airlines with his first child on the way, and she can is the communications specialist at Texas State Technical College fresh out of the Baylor bubble, then I can thrive in the grown-up world, after all.

I know I’m young. I know I will be young when I graduate. But Praise God, I know I am capable of meeting amazing people and doing amazing things even though I am young, sometimes even because I am young.

Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity. 1 Timothy 4:12

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