The Third Grade Attitude

Nicole - Floyds Knobs, Indiana
Entered on December 11, 2010

I believe that all adults should act like kids sometimes.

I spent most of my adolescence trying to be more mature than my age required. I enjoyed talking to adults more than people my age and was proud of the fact that most people considered me more mature than my peers. I remember going to cookouts with my parents and wanting to stay with them while they talked to their friends. Their intellectual conversations were far more intriguing to me than playing with the other kids, and I couldn’t wait to grow up and be part of that world.

The summer after my senior year, my attitude completely changed. I began babysitting two kids who were seven and nine at the time. Our days were spent actually playing games in the pool, not just putting on tanning oil and laying out. We went on adventures around their yard on our bikes, following roots of trees until we couldn’t see them anymore, rather than riding bikes for the sole purpose of getting exercise. When we would go out to eat for lunch, we wore tie dyed t-shirts that we had made, calling attention to ourselves without meaning to or caring. Through this carefree attitude that I gained from spending time with the kids, I began to see the world as the fun place that it really is.

It’s hard to go back into the adult world after living as a child for three months. I learned this when I had to make the transition to college. Everyone is pessimistic, self-centered, and stressed in college. Everyone is competing to be the best so they can get a job in a few years. If we could adopt a third grade attitude, we might see that college offers so much more than cramming for tests all night and partying on the weekends. We would share with each other, maybe not silly bands, but the great ideas we have about how to improve our society. We would love the idea of having a sleepover every night (even school nights) with our friends instead of dreading the idea of sharing a tiny space with another person. We would be eager to learn, especially since we get to choose what subjects we take. This simple attitude change could make us much happier.

Adults would benefit from this way of life as well. It’s so easy to focus on the evil in the world, but if they could see it through the eyes of a child, they would see all the potential that lies before them. They would see the world as a place that calls them to keep dreaming that they can do absolutely anything, even invent a food that is healthy like broccoli but tastes like chocolate. At some point adults seem to forget, but there is no end to our potential.

The world is more beautiful from a child’s eyes, and everyone should try to see it as they do. This I believe.