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.



Similar Articles

JOIN THE DISCUSSION

This article has 201 comments.


on Jan. 13 2012 at 7:17 am
purpleyobes BRONZE, Columbus, New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 3 comments
I disagree with you by high school you should know what your doing in life. The comment made by Kiersten H. Is a good way to get back on track. Do what the comment says and you should find your way. So like Kiersten H. said good luck honey your gonna need some.

on Jan. 13 2012 at 7:14 am
SingingIsMyLife BRONZE, Chesterfield, New Jersey
2 articles 0 photos 5 comments

Favorite Quote:
"There is no telling how many miles you will have to run while chasing a dream." -unknown

I disagree with you. By your age, in high school, you should know what you want to do for a living. Im in 8th grade and i already know what i want to do and what college i want to go to. Im already completing projects that will look very impressive on a college application. Also i already have high school credits in middle school. You need to think about your future and plan ahead or else you will ruin your life. Good luck honey, your gonna need some.

on Jan. 11 2012 at 8:11 pm
WarriorGirl17 BRONZE, Columbus, New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 3 comments
I can really relate to this article! There has been so many times when people ask me what I want to do for a career when I grow up. It seems like an easy question to answer, but it really takes some contemplating. I think that when I get to high school I will be able to come up with a better answer to that question, because I will have more knowledge to back it up. Nicely written! :)

on Jan. 11 2012 at 7:28 am
emma_rogate14, Mcguire AFB, New Jersey
0 articles 0 photos 3 comments
I agree with you! I've never had one thing I've wanted to be because I have no idea! But it doesn't matter what job you want to have though, you just need to be happy with your life.

on Jan. 11 2012 at 7:19 am
teenink987654321 BRONZE, Chesterfield, New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 3 comments
I think that you were so right! People spend so much time stressing on what they want to be and to make sure its a good plan, but they need to realize that what they are really reaching for is happiness. Children are pressured to be a certain thing but then end up dropping out of college because they hate their jod or profession that much. I love your post!

ZeenatRogate said...
on Jan. 11 2012 at 7:15 am
ZeenatRogate, Columbus, New Jersey
0 articles 0 photos 3 comments
I agree, I wanted to be a Pop Star when I grew up but now I want to be something more within reach but I think that I think about it, I think I should wait.

on Jan. 11 2012 at 7:12 am
nickknackpattywack BRONZE, Columbus, New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 4 comments
i believe that you are completelyright happiness is the way to go

FIDDLESTIXS said...
on Jan. 11 2012 at 7:12 am
FIDDLESTIXS, Chesterfield, New Jersey
0 articles 0 photos 4 comments
I agree. If you are happy you can accomplish anything. I love your childhood story. JUst keep being happy and you will be anything you want to be

on Jan. 11 2012 at 7:08 am
Balletgirl6 BRONZE, Columbus, New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 3 comments

Favorite Quote:
“Common sense would tell parents never to send their children to a ballet school. Common sense would tell teenagers that there is a wider and happier world beyond the grueling strictures of daily barre and class. Common sense would tell the graduating student that there are infinitely superior ways of making money than joining a professional ballet company. Common sense would tell a young dancer that very few (laughably few) of his or her colleagues will ever make it to the top or even near the top. Yet... there remains the dance and the dancer.” - Author Unknown

I completely agree with you! The sad thing, however, is that when people now ask me what I want to be when I grow up, as a teenager, I'm expected to respond with a boring proffession, and a logical plan. Society expects younger children to dream, but scolds teenagers who have a dream. More than half of us won't become what we expected, so why not dream?!?!

K-Berg13 said...
on Jan. 11 2012 at 7:06 am
K-Berg13, Columbus, New Jersey
0 articles 0 photos 3 comments
I thought your child hood story was hilarious, i also think your absolutly right about happiness. Happiness can get you anywhere.

essiean BRONZE said...
on Jan. 11 2012 at 7:04 am
essiean BRONZE, Columbus, New Jersey
3 articles 0 photos 3 comments
Exactly. I wanted to be a singer when I was little and after almost 10 years of lessons I don't want to do it anymore and I don't need my parents pressuring me to stick with it so I don't give up my dream

on Jan. 11 2012 at 6:39 am
screename4 BRONZE, Columbus, New Jersey
1 article 0 photos 5 comments
i totally agree. I know people who feel the same way. This was really cool.

on Dec. 16 2011 at 11:00 pm
<3 da quote....! =)

on Dec. 8 2011 at 9:25 pm
Vacilator BRONZE, Merritt Island, Florida
4 articles 2 photos 96 comments

Favorite Quote:
No cup of tea is large enough, or book long enough, to suit me.
-C.S. Lewis

Cool thoughts!  I think this is the sentiment that 99.9% of us feel.  You put it together fabulously =)

on Dec. 3 2011 at 10:32 pm
Nora2012 BRONZE, Tenafly, New Jersey
4 articles 13 photos 11 comments

Favorite Quote:
"One who throws mud has no ground."

I feel the same way sometimes and my sis wanted to be a garbage woman :D i feel like you sprung the cheesy cliche "be happy" trap. i love the meaning and the unique story but try turning the meaning less common

on Dec. 3 2011 at 6:57 pm
aspiringauthor_ BRONZE, Fairfield, Connecticut
1 article 0 photos 326 comments

Favorite Quote:
"Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that." - MLK Jr.

John Lennon. I love that quote.

on Nov. 29 2011 at 1:08 pm
Hahaha! Thats what my little sis wants to be! :P

on Nov. 17 2011 at 2:23 pm
abedengo-called-benny BRONZE, Valley View, Ohio
2 articles 0 photos 24 comments

Favorite Quote:
Someday you'll be old enough to read fairytales again.

-C.S. Lewis

Great piece!  I know I want to write when I grow up, but when and where; I just don't know...

cforcee SILVER said...
on Nov. 17 2011 at 12:34 pm
cforcee SILVER, New York, New York
6 articles 0 photos 1 comment

Favorite Quote:
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take but rather by the number of moment that take our breath away.

I'll die for you, but i wont live for you

We are all stories in the end

Carpe diem. Seize the day. Make your lives extraordinary.

"When I was 5 years old, my mother always told me that happiness was the key to life. When I went to school, they asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I wrote down 'happy'. They told me I didn't understand the assignment, and I told them they didn't understand life."

on Nov. 17 2011 at 10:09 am
MarissaWhitecloud SILVER, Oskaloosa, Iowa
7 articles 0 photos 84 comments
It's true. We have to choose to make up our mind but who knows? Maybe our minds aren't made up. I wrote a forum "What does it mean to live?" and that kind of shapes into your article.


SciArc

MacMillan Books

Aspiring Writer? Take Our Online Course!