Peaking is something that I think every individual will experience in their lifetime. When I say peaking, I am talking about the height of your life. I’m pretty positive that I will peak when I turn 25, and I am preparing for it to happen. Unfortunately, though, many people peaked in high school. That was the height of their life. They will forever mentally compare things to back when they were in high school, or they will never surpass the habits of high school.
I think this early peaking comes from the constant desire and urge to be an adult or another position in your life that you have not yet gotten to yet. An article by Jinnie Cristerna said, “When someone peaks, things start to shift pretty quickly. After that, it’s all downhill unless you switch gears or carve out a niche for yourself. The reason for the shift is because others are coming up behind you and there is only so much room at the top.”
I think there is a way of preventing peaking before your time, and that involves not rushing whatever stage you are currently in by “glowing up” and being less attached to technology — which is easier said than done. If you are a young adult, ranging from around 18 to 25 years old, allow yourself to stay in that age range for as long as you belong there. You haven’t gotten to the stage in your life of a 30-year-old, and you probably don’t have the responsibilities of an older adult just yet.
I think “glowing up” can slow down the process of peaking too early. My best friend and I have come to the conclusion that we are definitely on the glow up. Glowing up is when you feel that you looked not-so-attractive as a child, and maybe even as a teenager, but then one day you started working on you and you started adding and subtracting things from your physical and mental self that made a difference. Glowing up finally leads to a day when someone can look in the mirror and be in love with who is looking back at them. I haven’t completed my glow up, and because I know this, there are things that I will not partake in because it could be detrimental to my glow up process. Don’t try to rush or get discouraged by the process. Greatness and beauty don’t just happen. You have to work on you, and you have to be able to locate the essence of who you truly are. People will forever tell you who they think you are or who you should be, but you have to get to know for yourself better than anyone else.
Technology has been such an amazing yet cruel thing that has happened to our society — it makes us focus on the destination and not the journey. We don’t get to enjoy real moments of life because we live through screens. We take pictures of everything we do, almost as if we need evidence that these things really happened to us. That’s not life, and if we live life from photo to photo, selfie to selfie, we are going to miss out on some amazing moments that will never be done justice through a camera lens. Put your phone down and stop comparing your life to where other people say you should be at this age.
Every day on social media there are photos of people that society tells us we should aspire to be, but they never share how that person even became who they are. I remember as a little girl, I told my mom I wanted to be like a certain singer because of a physical resemblance, and she told me, “No, you don’t, because you don’t know what she deals with when she goes home. Why would you want to carry the burden of being someone else when you have a load to carry to be you?”
So I ask you that same question: Why carry the burden of trying to fit in a certain spot, or be at a destination that is not meant for you, when you are carrying a heavy enough load of being who you are?
I say, slow down and grow at your own pace. The places where people are right now, at this moment, are most likely far from their starting point. They had to go through a process and make sacrifices in order to be who they are and where they are. There are levels to this game of life, and no one gets to skip levels without paying the consequences at some point.
Coming-of-age is a beautiful process, and we have to individually go through it whether we want to or not. Don’t rush this process because you think it’s cool to appear older and more established than those around you, or because you want to be more grown up. We think the grass is always greener, but you miss out on pertinent moments that could have made life so much more precious and memorable to you.
So don’t rush your glow up, and don’t rush your time until your peak in life. Enjoy whatever stage of life you are in because at your age, this is the oldest you’ve ever been and the youngest you’ll ever be again.
Collegian Columnist Chynna Fayne can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @ChynnaFayne.