- Chelsea Ashley
Dancing Queen, Only 17
In the card department of any drug store there is a section called, “Mile Stone” that holds cards for 5 year olds, 13 year olds, 16 year olds, 21 year olds, and 50 year olds. It’s doubtful that you’ll find a card to give your seventeen year old, sort of mature but not really daughter or cousin. You might find one out of one hundred cards for a newly 16 year old, because someone at the Hallmark factory accidentally typed a seven instead of a six. That’s how it feels to be seventeen, not necessary and almost accidental.
When I woke up this morning the first thing I thought of was the popular 1976 Abba hit, not the fact that I was a year older. I even avoided thinking about getting a year older when my dad sat me down during breakfast and told me that he was proud of the young lady I’d become and that I was so mature at seventeen. Seventeen, he emphasized the age like I was turning seventy and he was one of my kids describing how old I was.
When you turn sixteen, there are more perks than not. You get to finally retrieve your license, unless you’re like me who waited too long to get her permit. You are officially a teen, a title many value and many more loathe. When I turned seventeen, I only thought about the cons. You’re one year older than a teen, but one year younger than a legal adult. You’re closer to being able to get a tattoo than you were at sixteen, but you still need your parent’s consent. I almost found myself wondering why we didn’t just skip age seventeen and let sixteen year olds just go straight to eighteen. Then I realized that fourteen year olds, eleven year olds, and forty three year olds probably feel the same way. Some of them might want to go backwards, while others want to fly into the future. These in between ages are a time to cringe about what you did when you were a year or two younger and dream about what you’re going to do when you’re older. In between ages are necessary, whether cards to cement them exist or not.
-Chelsea Ashley, Junior Website Editor