My 17th birthday is in 4 days, I’m not excited to get older, and that’s a first.
I feel like being 16 is symbolic. 16 is the peak of teenhood; it’s the peak of the drama, the excitement and all of the emotions that come with that stage of growing up. Being 16 isn’t necessarily glamorous and great. However, to me, the past year has been a good balance of both great experiences and ridiculous disappointments. 16 is not too young, and not too old, which is often a disadvantage since it limits you from the advantages of being a child, but burdens you with the disadvantage of being older. I may be reading this in my 20s and 30s and pondering how ridiculous I sounded, but that’s exactly it. When you’re 16, or a teenager for that matter, that is your whole life. You can barely remember your life pre-teen years, and your future is a blank page, and I guess that makes us live in the present more. As a 16 year old, I’ve been often caught romanticizing everything.
For me, being 16 is “To feel everything So very deeply.”¹. Being 16 is getting overexcited about things. Perhaps 16 means so much to me because I grew up with films such as “16 Wishes” and Disney Channel which created so much excitement around that year, and the culture of “Sweet 16”s. But, still, I’ve developed this mindset towards 16. For many, 16 is not the same as it is/was for me. For me it’s still being a child who depends on her parents, but is more aware of the world. It’s someone who’s not afraid to create, but won’t be too criticized when she fails. And although 16 is before the independence and freedom of 18, it’s still within the comfort of home and the inevitable mistakes of being a teen.
Ever since my last birthday, I’ve been in the mindset of “hold on to sixteen as long as you can.”²
I’m extremely grateful to have had such a good experience, as I am aware that other 16 year olds all around the world have very difficult experiences that force them to grow up too soon.
And, I like to think that I’ve cherished being 16 as much as I was able to.
- “It is both a blessing And a curse To feel everything So very deeply.”― David Jones
- “Do you know the song “Jack and Dianne” by John Mellencamp? My favorite lyric is this one, hold on to sixteen as long as you can.” – Glee Season 3 Episode 8