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.

on Apr. 29 2009 at 10:37 pm
beddastella2@aim.com GOLD, N. Massaspequa, New York
10 articles 0 photos 14 comments
i agree :) nice story!!!!

kika said...
on Apr. 29 2009 at 4:26 am
o.m.g. this is so true, I'm barley a freshman and I getting a lot of pressure on what to decide to be.

SandyBeachh said...
on Apr. 28 2009 at 3:32 pm
SandyBeachh, Rensselaer, New York
0 articles 0 photos 2 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Disturb not the harmony of Fire, Ice, or Lightning lest these three Titans wreck destruction upon the world in which they clash. Though the water's Great Guardian shall arise to quell the fighting alone its song will fail. Thus the Earth shall turn to ash. O, Chosen One, into thine hands bring together all three. Their treasures combined tame the beast of the sea."

The way you put it is just....cant be explained

the pressure we sustain is trmendous

and its nice to see someone realizes that

its nicee to know what you want to be

but you can never really ever be sure until you have knowledge of all the others out there

on Apr. 27 2009 at 9:37 pm
Jenna Caretsky, Kings Park, New York
0 articles 0 photos 8 comments
My English teacher (who first showed me this site) once said that teens should'nt have to know what they want to do because some grown-ups have'nt even figured that out yet.

Great job, 5 stars.

Catlady SILVER said...
on Apr. 27 2009 at 7:31 pm
Catlady SILVER, Tulsa, Oklahoma
6 articles 0 photos 14 comments
That is good! I agree people expected us Teens be like that. Everyone just adds pressures to our lifes!

on Apr. 26 2009 at 4:33 am
el-oh-el PLATINUM, Maloney Gardens, Other
28 articles 14 photos 10 comments

Favorite Quote:
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We are born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
-Marianne Williamson

wow...this is so amazing. I hope you don't mind if I repeat a few of your words to my friends.

I want to be a lot of things and all of my options are things that do make me happy.

So you are completely right.

If writing makes you happy you should do that because you are honestly good at it. The thing is that this isn't like some kind of complicated article, it's simple. I want to be happy when I grow up...the simplest,easiest and most honest answer.