The girl who never wanted to grow up


Graphic courtesy of Canva.

Jazmyne Malcolm, Contributor

College. That’s right, kiddo. Time to start preparing for adulthood and start getting ready for that magical place called “college.” 

There are many different types of students when college is approaching. Take my 13-year-old sister, for example. She already knows what profession she wants, what degrees she needs for it, and has already signed up for high school classes for the field she is going into. Then there are high school students like me, who have no idea what field they want to look into. 

“You have time,” my mom assured me.

 “I know,” I responded.

 “Just don’t waste the time you have left, honey,” she said softly.

I looked away thinking to myself: “That’s all I’ve been doing.” 

This school year, I’ve seen so many ways to help prepare me for college that I just feel I haven’t taken advantage of it.  How could this be? Just a little over a year ago, I thought I was ready. Ready for that magical place. “College.” But as time grew, I became hassled and overburdened. So I just hid away in Neverland, away from responsibility, school, and most importantly, where I didn’t have to worry about growing up and planning for college. 

I stayed locked up for hours and hours. Trying to stay isolated from people, well … at least until my mom called for dinner. 

Spending large amounts of time hidden eventually became noticed by my family. They expressed their concerns, and I reassured them I was alright, but they knew something was off. My older and younger sisters began trying to stage interventions to help me stop hiding, but I was always able to stow away back to my Neverland.

Well, until my mother stepped in.

My mom was always there for me. Helping me through stressful times, no matter how angry, freaked out, frustrated, or rude I got. So she knew just how to stop me from flying back to Neverland and was even willing to fly up and bring me back herself. She quickly calmed me down before my cascade of tears began. She explained it was okay to not know exactly what to do, and it’s okay and how she also changed up her career paths as well. 

“It’s just important that you try and look into possible options,” she explained. “It’s all about trial and error.” 

My built-up emotions slowly began to subside, and I felt more relaxed and thanked her. I finally began to understand her words that she had said and soon began working on my new destination: “college.”

I started writing out my thoughts of things I might be interested in and tried not to worry too much. I browsed the high school website for potential clubs I could sign up for next year. I talked to family and friends about ideas for colleges and their experiences with it. I even started thinking about applying for a job to save up for college. I know there is still much more to do but hey, planning your future takes time.

And even though it’s very scary being out in the open instead of hiding in Neverland, facing my responsibilities, and learning to grow up, I know I will always have my family to help me so I can spread my wings and fly. 

I might not have an exact goal in mind or know exactly what my future plans are like my little sister does. But I still am working towards it, even if it’s a slower pace, by trying new activities, researching colleges, and asking some questions — because if there is one thing my mom has taught me, it’s to never waste the time you have left. 

Jazmyne Malcolm is a freshman who spends her time making videos for family and doing gymnastics.