Most people don’t grow up but all people age.

When I was five, I looked at college students and thought they were old. They were burdened with the task of gathering as much information about the world as they could.

They were different than adults in that way. The adults had gathered the information as college students, sifted through it to discover what they wanted to focus on, and then had thrown the rest away. But college students — no, they knew it all and hadn’t picked through the facts yet. They stuffed those pieces of information in their brain and let them ferment until something sprouted from their fertile mind.

Now that I’m a college student, I see it slightly differently. I miss the naivety of childhood. I know more than I ever have before and I have more questions than ever.

Did you know that I probably have six cancerous sites in my body at this moment? And did you also know that my body is in the process of killing them all off? Some cells in my body are literally committing suicide by blowing themselves up. I’m made up of a million little terrorists.

I have the knowledge to make poisons and antidotes, to create free radicals and carcinogens, to create the puzzle pieces that make a person. I can take the chemical responsible for the cinnamon smell and transform it into the chemical that is responsible for the smell of oranges.

All that and I still struggle with balancing my checkbook.

I’m halfway through college. This moment is the oldest I have ever been and the youngest I will ever be again. I’m aging the whole time but I’m not sure if there will ever come a point when I fully grow up.

I like picking wildflowers, making flower crowns, and then wearing that Nature’s tiara. I like reading nerdy books about the periodic table and articles about fruit fly sperm (let me explain: I recently have been accepted to perform genetic research on fruit flies and a segregation distorter gene in fruit fly sperm. In layman’s terms, I will be tracking this gene and how it impacts the creation of proteins in a mutated location in the nucleus.) I like blogging and watching Netflix. I like dancing in the rain and splashing in puddles. I like applying red lipstick just so it leaves a cool looking stain on my coffee cup. I like talking in random accents, and one day I want to convince a stranger that I’m from a different country.

If these things make me old, then I gladly accept that title. If these things make me a grown up, I don’t believe you for a second.

P.S I got the highest grade in the class on my organic chemistry and I want to brag to someone.

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2 thoughts on “Most people don’t grow up but all people age.

  1. Congrats on the organic grade and being accepted for the research program, Syd! I’m not sure I qualify as a grown-up yet and I have quite a few years on you. I think that the key is to maintain awe and wonder and openness to the beauty God showers us with all the time (in nature, in other people, and in how things work) while juggling the responsibilities and opportunities that come with aging. For example, at my age, there is only one person who can tell me “no” when I want to eat ice cream as my lunch. Of course, that person has the deciding vote on many things in my life (and I’m sure I’m better for it). 🙂

    • Thanks! Also, I still am in the running for the REU at Penn State and at the University of North Texas. The genetics project is sponsored by the Dean of the Sciences here at Bethel who is also a geneticist and has been studying this project for 20 years now. She’s still working on discovering the exact effects of the segregation distorter gene and any knowledge that we discover has the potential to be translated into possible solutions for human male infertility. I’m excited 🙂

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