The Disappointment That Is Childhood


Sage Jones, Writer

It is fairly common for people to lie to their children: about Santa Claus, about where babies come from, or about where their dog went when it’s not at the house anymore. One of the most interesting lies, or at least misleading questions is the standard cliché “What do you want to be when you grow up?”


Of course, children have a variety of different responses. In interviews with students from DSST: MTV, everyone had a different answer. There were a variety of fairly normal ones, with Nevaeh Barlow who stated that she wanted to be a cook, Ja’Nya Daniels wanted to be a teacher, Phoebe Marin a president, and Shaaim Graham a doctor. 


Then there were those who, even as children had quite out-of-the-box thinking. Elliot Hoover stated that he wanted to be “a Lego grand master, like one of those people who designs Lego sets,” or Liza Gavrilov who said that she wanted to be a “rich sheep farmer.”


Unfortunately, it usually doesn’t matter how creative the answer is, or even if whatever they said is an actual job, most people will not or cannot fulfill this dream.


That brings one to the obvious issues with opportunity, and how that factors into what they become in life. Most people in the U.S. and around the world don’t have the resources or the bandwidth to achieve their childhood dreams because the world isn’t set up to allow them all to succeed. Most people inevitably fail at this goal and regardless of whether or not it was because they were unable to pursue it, or because they simply changed their minds, does not change the fact that we often set up children to fail at one of the first things they desire to achieve.


It’s very important that people stop setting their children up for disappointment in all of these lies because they will always remember them. They will always remember when they were let down by the reality of the world, shown by the fact that about 12 years after the people interviewed for this article were first asked this question, they still remember their answer. And for that reason, society as a whole must stop setting youth up to be let down by the world, else they won’t appreciate the things they achieve, but will rather focus on what they wish could have been.