By Skyler Ash
The last time I went trick-or-treating was in 2016. I was a pineapple and I took a little girl I babysit to a few houses to get candy. She was also dressed as a pineapple, so it was a very fruity and exciting time. After a few houses, it got too dark for the toddler to be out, so we headed home with our loot. The sheer joy in her eyes as we said “trick-or-treat” at the door and were handed a chocolate bar is forever ingrained in my mind. Before we headed into her house we howled at the moon, and it was the youngest I have felt in a very long time.
Kids are now like adults in small packages, phones in pockets and ready to go. According to a 2016 re-port from Influence Central, a brand-based research group, kids get their first phone around 10. I got mine at 16. I once told a seven-year-old that I didn’t have a data plan on my phone and he laughed. He got a cell phone for Christmas that year.
I hear people in my classes say they feel naked without their phone—can’t go a day without it. Answer your emails and end them with messages like, “Thank you for the reminder,” and, “I look forward to hearing from you,” because that’s professional, and that’s how adults sound. But think of all the things you’d see if you left your phone at home, or didn’t answer that email on a weekend. You might see a cool dog on the walk home or you might look up and see all the leaves changing.
It isn’t just tech that aged us pre-maturely, it was all those bad parties we went to in order to fit in.
The post-prom party I went to was the moment I realized I was ready to leave high school a long time ago. We go to parties instead of staying home for dinner with our families. We go to loud bars instead of watching a wonderfully terrible movie on TV. We stay out late in-stead of allowing ourselves the ab-solute pleasure of going to bed early when we’re already exhausted from our week. We’re always trying to seem too mature for the things we used to love.
The thing is, right now, we’re adults, but not quite. We’re stuck in classrooms, and we’re stuck in our ways. We can only change one of those things unless we’re about to graduate. When people ask me why I still babysit at my age, I tell them it’s because I get to wear a onesie and it’s not weird, it’s fun because the kids are wearing theirs, too. I get to make cupcakes and turn the kitchen into a warzone. We can take a break from how much being an adult sucks, how hard it can be, and we can run around the kitchen singing like the pineapple kid I took trick-or-treating does almost every day. So fuck it. Put on a costume and go ask strangers for candy. And howl at the moon.