Growing Pains

Author: Emily DeGenova, HMS Senior

We all hate those moments, the moments we realize our parents were right all along. Growing up our parents say a multitude of cliché things like, “you’ll understand what I mean when you get older.” And yet, here we are a little bit older and kicking ourselves for kind of understanding what they meant now. This semester has been full of these moments for me.

My dad always told me to, “set the bar here (holding his hand as high as his arm would let him) because if you fall below the mark, then here (holding his hand maybe 6 inches below the other) is still pretty good.” Therefore, growing up I have always been a dreamer, setting my bars as high as I could think. When you are young, it is simple because your dreams are to go on American Idol or become a professional ballerina. However, when these dreams become real expectations, things get complicated and feel overwhelming. Before you know it you find yourself pulled in a million directions with not a second to sit down. In the moment, it is hard to realize that sometimes it is okay to fall short of the bar and “do it right” – taking the necessary amount of time to breath and really understand where you are going and why.

At the start of this semester I had all of these expectations of myself: (1) have a job, (2) have two internships, (3) study for and do well on the GRE, (4) apply to graduate school, (5) take four classes of dance and be in a recital, and (6) not to mention do well in school. I set my bar high, and although I feel like I met those expectations half-heartedly, as my dad would say “I am still in a good place”. However, this next semester I need to slow down and really soak up these last moments as an undergrad, so I can feel more prepared going into graduate school next fall.

I am still on a mission to prove to myself life isn’t made up of the truth of bad dad jokes; however, I haven’t found evidence proving otherwise.


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