Teen Corner – Life starts to become more complicated once you reach 17


Anna Dillman

By Anna Dillman, Contributing Writer

I turned 17 earlier this year. Since then, I’ve felt extra nostalgic. Something about birthdays always does that to me.
It also doesn’t help that this is my last year of high school. There constantly is a lingering sense of dread, nostalgia and melancholy in the air.
The memories of my early teenage years like to remind me of them. How long middle school me waited for this year to come.
And now, I wish time would slow down — not fully stop, but I want to enjoy every moment of this.
It makes me want to reflect on these last 12 years, and how all of it became what it is today. I think of all the friendships I’ve cultivated and the grades I’ve earned — from fourth grade me, with a major depressive episode, to me now, on medication for the episodes and doing better than ever.
The countless moments and struggles I’ve overcome, have made me who I am today.
I know there are hundreds of poets who wrote about growing up and getting older. It’s not particularly a new idea by any means. However, I could’ve read thousands of their poems to try and understand what I am going through. Nothing could have prepared me for my specific journey.
It’s all such a surreal experience — to be surrounded by people you’ve known your entire life and to know that after graduation you may be lucky to see half of them.
Even if they wanted to see me, would I want to see them? I plan to do a lot after graduating. I’ll be busy, and friends can be distracting.
Maybe this is a question I should have asked myself a long time ago — how to strike a good balance between friendships and academics.
This all sounds cold to say, I know. I want to be both realistic and not get my feelings hurt.
I have many friends who don’t know what they want to do with their lives. I’m not sure I could watch them struggle and fail anymore.
There are so many things on my mind about them, I can only imagine how much worse it’ll be when they don’t have a safety net.
All of this has been going through my mind since I turned 17. It’s only been a week and I don’t know if I’ll last another.