When I Grow Up | Teen Ink

When I Grow Up MAG

April 24, 2009
By Sara Dickinson BRONZE, Wyckoff, New Jersey
Sara Dickinson BRONZE, Wyckoff, New Jersey
2 articles 3 photos 3 comments

In kindergarten, my class was asked, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Crayons danced across sheets of ­paper to illustrate our dream occupations. Our drawings were hung in the hallway for our parents to see at Back to School Night. I remember looking down the line and seeing pictures of ballerinas dancing, firefighters putting out a blaze, and astronauts leaping across the moon – careers that were seen as typical dreams of five-year-olds.

My picture showed a stick figure with brown hair holding a carton of orange juice over a large rectangle that was supposed to be a counter. Underneath was my barely legible handwriting: “When I grow up, I want to work at the Market Basket because it would be fun to swipe orange juice across the scanner.” To this day my parents won’t let me forget that out of everything I could have aspired to be, my five-year-old self wished to work at the local grocery store.

When we are young, questions of what we want to be when we grow up are common. Yet we are not expected to respond with an answer that is likely to come true. However, when we become teens, we are asked the very same question twice as often. The difference is, now we are supposed to ­answer with confidence.

Teens are expected to know exactly what we want to be and how we are going to achieve that goal. Not all of us can be so sure. Even though I am in high school, I ­cannot answer convincingly. But I don’t ­consider that a bad thing. How am I supposed to know what I will want to spend my time doing at age 40?

When I think about the future, I definitely don’t see myself working at the Market ­Basket, but in reality, if that was what would make me happy, I would do it. So, the next time someone asks me what I want to be when I grow up, I will simply say “happy.”

Happiness is a destination for everyone. We may want to walk different paths in life, but we all want to be happy wherever we end up. Choose your path, but don’t worry too much about choosing wisely. Make a ­mistake or two and try new things. But ­always remember, if you’re not happy, you’re not at the end of your journey yet.

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This article has 206 comments.

Ryan M. said...
on May. 29 2009 at 10:37 pm
This was GREAT

Olivea said...
on May. 26 2009 at 10:16 pm
Olivea, Tottenham, Other
0 articles 0 photos 9 comments

Favorite Quote:
The defects and faults of the mind are like wounds in the body. After all imaginable care has been taken to heal them up, still there will be a scar left behind.
Francois de la Roche Foucauld

Sara I agree compleatly. Yes we are older than we were, but in two years from now we will be older still, and two years from then, and two years from then... we will always be changing. How is a person supposed to make one choice and have it define the rest of their lives- we all make mistakes! All I really want is to be happy.

Alyssa Jane said...
on May. 17 2009 at 8:04 pm
Alyssa Jane, Bellingham, Washington
0 articles 0 photos 5 comments
I COMPLETELY AGREE! Its hard for me to go to school for fear of teachers pressuring about colleges daily. I want to be able to be a teenager without thinking about how I'm going to live my life as an adult. I'm glad I'm not alone :)

on May. 17 2009 at 4:28 pm
DinosoarJen DIAMOND, Scottsville, New York
86 articles 0 photos 82 comments

Favorite Quote:
Just another casualty.
It's sad but true.
And even dead I'm still ahead
of most of you.

I agree.

Happiness is key.

on May. 8 2009 at 1:54 pm
Jaynellzfosho BRONZE, Wyckoff, New Jersey
1 article 5 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
Crystal Falls:" I don't think you're crazy. "
Dean Stiffle: "You know, there are several major book chains that would be willing to disagree with you on that point."

I love this!

"Teens are expected to know exactly what we want to be and how we are going to achieve that goal. Not all of us can be so sure. Even though I am in high school, I ­cannot answer convincingly. But I don’t ­consider that a bad thing. How am I supposed to know what I will want to spend my time doing at age 40?"

I just did a poem/story of what I was planning to do when I get older in my writer's workshop class, and I couldn't think of what I really wanted to spend my whole life doing!

on May. 7 2009 at 9:39 pm
ChrissyO SILVER, Gibsonia, Pennsylvania
7 articles 0 photos 4 comments
I completely agree

oswaldaJane said...
on May. 5 2009 at 9:16 pm
This article is so true!Now that I'm a in 10 grade,people consantly ask this question.However when I say I don't know it is alawys a shock. Nice to see someone understand!

on May. 3 2009 at 12:11 pm
Redsoxrule12 BRONZE, Topsfield, Massachusetts
2 articles 0 photos 10 comments

Favorite Quote:
"When life rains on your parade-- bring out the slip-and-slide"

Oh my Gosh! that was so amazing! the points you brought out were true and inspirational!

on May. 3 2009 at 1:35 am
Kaylee_big_sis_of_3 SILVER, Anchorage, Alaska
7 articles 0 photos 8 comments
This is so inspiring and I totally agree with you. Keep writing!!!!

andrea said...
on May. 1 2009 at 10:44 pm
Great for you Sara,this is a wonderful thing you wrote,is good to know that HAPPINESS,is where we will find more success in life..love to see you in a blog

on May. 1 2009 at 1:18 am
MeghanMichelle GOLD, Hooksett, New Hampshire
12 articles 0 photos 77 comments
I agree. There is a lot of pressure but some of us know hat we want to do until we are 50! I know I want to be a lawyer. I think the real question is how are we going to get to where we want to be?

Sarah-Lou said...
on May. 1 2009 at 12:44 am
Well done! I think you're right; we shouldn't be pressured into making a decision so young. You never know how different you may feel in the future and you don't want to make a bad choice. To pick a career, you have to think carefully about every aspect of the job, where you are in life now, and where you want to be, then its all up to you to make your dream of "happiness" come true. I think you nicely illustrated this: nice article.

MimiRocks96 said...
on May. 1 2009 at 12:30 am
I really like ur story and it is very intresting i love ur ideas!!

sarafan2 said...
on Apr. 30 2009 at 11:14 pm
wow sara, this is so amazing! you completely encompass how i've been feeling for awhile now. your words inspire me.. actually, when i grow up.. i think i wanna be you.

angiegirl said...
on Apr. 30 2009 at 4:55 pm
Hi,its amazing to see a young girl to see life in such a wat,i have teenagers at home and makesme proud to see that young teens can be so tougtful.Good luck with whatever you chosse to do in life,be happy.

peepeeface(: said...
on Apr. 30 2009 at 1:30 pm
hey, i think this is very VERY good !

peepeeface(: said...
on Apr. 30 2009 at 1:29 pm
haha, i wanted to be the same thing too

on Apr. 30 2009 at 1:07 pm
GunterPee BRONZE, Chattanooga, Tennessee
4 articles 8 photos 6 comments
This is so wonderful, and true. I've always felt the same way, just never knew how to put it in words. Thanks! props to you my friend :)

P.S. I think you might have a future in writting!

Aunt D said...
on Apr. 30 2009 at 11:21 am
Now here is a young woman who knows what is important. "Be Happy" and your life path will always feel right.

on Apr. 30 2009 at 3:39 am
wow what a talented writer... im in a similar situation ..my best friend is in between two colleges one will make her happy and the other will make her successful. I wish she would read this and make the right choice and be happy