Neverland Syndrome

A while back I wrote a similar post on Facebook about how I felt sort of in limbo land. I had just graduated high school, I was 18, was still considered a teen volunteer at the zoo, and I struggled with feeling like an adult when I desperately wanted to be. Honestly, I didn’t realize it at the time, but I was still very much a kid. I was a kid transitioning into a new period of life: college. College held for me new ideas, opportunities, friends, and responsibilities. I wanted to be treated like an adult, but was being treated like a child because I was still young, naive, and just as I didn’t exactly know where I fit, others didn’t either.

Now, I am feeling a similar way. I am about to graduate college with a degree in conservation biology. I am 21 years old (the age most people start considering you an adult). I haven’t been a teen volunteer at the zoo for a while now. However, this time, I am struggling with leaving my childhood behind. I don’t mean this in a, I can’t let go of past memories and toys, kind of way. I mean, I don’t quite laugh at the same things, or think the same way as I did when I first started college. Though, it is good to change, it is hard for me to understand how I fit in the world again. I have friends of various ages, people I have always respected and enjoyed spending time with, but now when I hang out with some of them, I feel like their is something lacking and I end up going home with a funny feeling. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll never stop being friends with any of these people because I love them and enjoy them as individuals, but I can’t relate to them in the same way. Being a volunteer Zoo Teen supervisor at the Phoenix Zoo doesn’t mean becoming best friends with every teen anymore, it ACTUALLY means being their supervisor, as an adult, respecting them, and being someone they can see as a mentor rather than a peer. I am sure in a way this post seems nonsensical and perhaps a bit harsh. I don’t mean it that way at all. I just know, right now, I feel like I have to say goodbye to being a kid (I am still watching disney movies and acting obnoxiously immature at parties) but I can’t be Peter Pan. And, it’s hard to let it go.

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