Fear of growing up consumes young adults

Fear of growing up consumes young adults

Maggie Duly

Our society is riddled with young adults doing anything and everything not to grow up. Could it be that millions of people share the same psychotic phobia dubbed gerascophobia: the fear of growing up? 

When I was a kid I just wanted to be older, be like my older sister, become an adult and have responsibilities. But now I have an outrageous amount of responsibilities to deal with every day.

Where did my eagerness go? Why do I postpone everything in avoidance? Because being an adult is not glamorous. 

Everyone told me, “Slow down kid,” or “Act your age. Your time will come.” These were not threats, they were wise words of advice, but I just wouldn’t listen. 

It’s truly around the holidays when I begin to feel nostalgic. All the memories and traditions slowly began to fade away over the years, especially being the youngest child. As soon as the youngest is “too old” for dressing up on Halloween or presents from Santa, it stops being a tradition in the house. 

The last time I dressed up and went out around my childhood neighborhood I had no idea it would be the last time. You never know when a tradition you’ve counted on for years will just stop. We get too busy, too old or too mature to care about the fun and exciting things in life. 

Nowadays on Halloween, I have to buy candy if I want to enjoy a treat instead of having buckets of it given to me for free like when I was a child. 

After watching scary movies, I have to be the one to check under the bed for monsters instead of having my parents do it for me. My roommates just won’t do it anymore either…weird. 

When discussing the future and growing up with fellow college students, I began by asking, “Are you scared of growing up?” and I seemed to receive a common answer. Generally a shrug or a nervous chuckle saying, “Aren’t we all?”

There seems to be a constant pressure looming over students in college to graduate on time and get the best internship to set yourself up for a job in the right career field. If you’re really worried about the future, sometimes the thought of finding a successful job in order to support a hypothetical family can nag at you too. 

It’s the 10th week of school, and in stressful times like these, the instinct to revert into a nostalgic wasteland is heavy; however, it’s important to understand that there are resources to help us combat these thoughts. 

First of all, the future might be scary and uninviting at times, but it brings growth and new possibilities along with it. If we’re not growing as a person, then what’s the point? We should commit time to something we’re passionate about. People who are happy in their jobs are doing things they’re passionate about and are making it work. 

Are you worried about future employment? Speak to your academic advisor or visit the Career Services office. Or find someone in the community pursuing the career you’re interested in and speak with them about how they got where they are today. 

It’s pretty easy to just sit there and worry all the time about things you can and can’t change. But from personal experience, you don’t really feel better about things until you take action into your own hands.