The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

The Channels

Entering a new decade, I learned how to embrace growing older

The Channels Opinion Pages | STAFF COLUMN
Julianna Ortiz
Enjoying her 20th birthday party, Emma Welch blew out her candles to enter her new decade of life on Saturday, May 6 in Santa Barbara, Calif.

Aging is a strange thing that happens to every person on this planet. We all have birthdays and eventually, we all will die, that is the only connection every human shares. 

I recently turned 20, entering a new decade of my life.

I was anxiously anticipating opening this new chapter and not being able to call myself a “teen” anymore. 

Usually in your 20s people graduate college, start their careers, meet the love of their life, get married, and have kids. These thoughts of my future life and getting to those places have filled me with anxiety I had never faced before. 

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I have always made extremely high expectations for myself to be the best daughter, sister, friend, student, and person that I can be. While having these expectations might sound great, it really is an internal battle to be perfect which no one can be. 

The last month, closing my teenage years, was one of the most difficult mind games I have ever endured.

I was extremely overwhelmed with thoughts of being a failure and not living to my full potential. I’ve struggled with who I am as a person, and what I want to do as my career. Everything just seemed to be too much to handle and made leaving my teenage years more difficult than I could ever imagine. 

However, these feelings were quickly overturned with the love and friendship that I felt when my special day arrived.

Friends and family crowded my phone with the sweetest birthday wishes, my roommates made up our whole house with balloons, cake, streamers, and presents that made me shed many tears. 

I had never experienced more love in one day.

The anxiety that I had been feeling up until that point was stripped and all I could feel was pure joy and happiness. 

Once the day was over, I came back to reality but this time with a different perspective on my aging experience.

Instead of thinking “am I a failure?” I started to say “I am loved, cared for, smart, and successful.” 

I rethought all of my experiences prior to turning 20 and how far I have come with my character and how I truly am as a person. 

I have prepared myself for all that is to come. Unpredictable things happen everyday and every situation I face will be a learning experience. 

Although entering a new decade comes with a lot of change and challenges, that is what life is about.

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