Leaving my teenage years behind has got me thinking...

Last weekend, I turned 20. Not a particularly exciting event, but it does mean I leave the teenage years behind forever, which is something I greeted with a fair amount of sentimentality and reflection.

I’m writing under the assumption that most of the people reading this are either in their early twenties or late teens, so therefore will be able to relate to my reflections on acne, awkwardness and all the rites of passage that go with being a teenager.  Apparently you’re supposed to discover what you want to do for the rest of your life, although I still don’t have clue, but Hakuna Matata and all that.

I think that there can be no question that the teenage years are the formative years where you change both physically and mentally, your views on the world and life are formed, you find passions for certain types of music, you find passions and interest that will stay with you for years to come.

For me though, the most important thing is that I have made friends with people that I know I’m going to remain lifelong friends with, all going well. For most of us it’s when we discover the joys and pitfalls of alcohol (Of course some of you might remain abstinent, and I hope that none of you discovered alcohol before   you became a teenager).

I still remember that first taste of beer and trying not to wince at the taste, lest I lose credibility. This was at my 18th birthday of course…   and of course when we discover the opposite sex. I mean of course I was aware of girls before I was a teenager, but suddenly I was aware of them in a very different way, a way that found me dancing/awkwardly shuffling at the ol’ teenage discos in the hope of “meeting” someone (Thank God that awful word has long since left the vernacular at least in my neck of the woods, to be replaced by the much more elegant sounding “shift”).

I remember I couldn’t pull a hamstring at first, but as time wore on, I’m a little more confident although I’m not exactly Barney Stinson just yet!

I never really went through a phase of locking myself in my room, writing dark poetry, but I did have my moody spells, and a lot of embarrassing moments, but I prefer not to think about them.

On the eve of my twentieth birthday I closed my eyes, and allowed a kind of TV style montage to run in my head, and I saw many moments of laughter and fun times.

Even though I’m well aware that it wasn’t always like that I’m happy look back on it that way. To quote a famous TV show: “Focus on the good times. Try to remember the times that were good.” Here’s to the roaring twenties!

Happy belated birthday Conor! - from the campus.ie team