Sunday, June 23, 2013

Too Old

I have always been very mature compared to my peers. My parents kept me in preschool for three years, so I have been the oldest in my grade throughout my life. I have always gotten along better with those older than me, which was a nice advantage to my mental stimulation. I read at four, held adult conversation by seven, and went off to overnight camp at eight. At this camp, I made friends with those older than me, and eventually convinced the camp director to move me up to be in a cabin with my friends, the older girls. It stayed that way for nine years, and I loved it. 
That is, until my "age" group became counselors this year. To be a counselor at an American Camp Association camp, one needs to have graduated high school. Even though I am 18, I still can't be a counselor. I was offered to chance to be a junior counselor [for the third time] but I just couldn't make my parents pay so much money to have me do the job of a counselor. Last summer, I taught dance class, worked in the office, and gave tours of the camp. I am more than qualified to be a counselor, but not being one would be so sad. I am too old [emotionally] to be a camper, so I decided to stay home for the first time in nine years. It's hard to explain, but this camp's staff has been my family, the campus my home. I truly love everyone there, and not going has caused me so much heartbreak. It was at this camp that I learned the value of acceptance, friendship, love and even how to sing, dance, and act [it's a theater camp]. I had "the talk" at camp. I found my lifelong best friends at camp. It breaks my heart to be away from it his summer.
I guess there are some things in life that you have to outgrow at some point, and accepting that is way sadder than I ever expected it to be. I spent my entire life trying to grow up faster but now I only wish I was eight years old again, going to camp for the first time. Growing up comes with so much more work than I ever thought. I wanted a convertible and tons of friends and a hot body and a boyfriend and perfect hair. What do I have? Well, definitely not the hot body I dreamed of. I have college applications, summer reading, a job, and frizzy hair. I have stress, not a boyfriend. I have responsibilities, not a ton a friends. I also have a passion for journalism, fashion, and English class. I have a good taste in music and books and movies. At a young age, those are things I never expected for myself, but I'm glad I have them. 
 Camp is one of those experiences that make up who I am, and that's something no one can take away from me. It has made me into the adult I am. 
the hands-down most influential woman in my life. her hobbies include being allergic to things, pretending to hate me, actually hating me, and buying strange exercise equipment. 

one of my best camp friends and I. we were roommates at age nine and have been friends ever since.

my friends Jaye and Jamie [now that I'm 18, Jamie and I can be real friends!]

Jenna and I have been going to camp together since the beginning. she is a counselor now! how crazy

Samara [granddaughter of the owner, musical theater extraordinaire]. she doesn't know it, but I look up to her  so much. she has to be one of the most talented people I know. 

my first counselor, Melissa, and I. we still talk regularly. 

a [slightly embarrassing] candid of my lifelong best friend Rebecca and I.  we still have sleepovers. 

one of my favorite counselors Brittany and I. she has a toddler, and is now responsible for a family, not a bunch of preteens. 

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