Growing Up Pains

19/08/2013 15:55 BST | Updated 16/10/2013 10:12 BST

Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up. This was a story that charmed millions of children and adults alike as they witnessed the escapades and adventures of an everlasting childhood. It was also one that I, upon watching it for the first time, was unable to understand. Never grow up? I asked myself, why would anyone want to stay young forever? For at that time, being an adult equated with being a much cooler, capable and free person, whilst being young, although pretty good fun, was restricted by the rules and boundaries of the older and apparently wiser. Whereas, once you reached the age of eighteen, I reasoned, you could do whatever you like, you could live on a spectacularly unhealthy diet (but delicious) of pizza, peanut butter and Tangfastics if you so desired, or, you could spend all your time at the cinema, hopping from one film to the other, possibly also expanding that already nutritious diet to accommodate the popcorn and slushies.

Although I did not need to wait until the age of eighteen to discover that neither of these were possibilities I wished to realise - I have greater aspirations that becoming an obese, unemployed cinema-goer - the point remains that my version of adulthood was vastly different to the one I am now entering.

Responsibility is a word that was the subject matter of one of our many junior school assemblies, "with great responsibility comes great right" blared our deputy headmaster, deciding that the then recent Spiderman film provided the perfect backdrop for our life-changing lessons. Although I remain unsure as to why I remember such a staggeringly average run-of-the-mill didactic assembly, the message now rings true.

Furthermore, the once impossible feats of such responsibility which I had previously aspired to have disappointed greatly in their mundanity. Yet, before you consign this to typical teenage pessimism, the world hates me/doesn't understand me yadda yadda, I give you the example of the stove. Previously an instrument of desire, it is now used as a weapon against me - I am now able to make dinner. The same can also be said of staying at home alone, as my parents are now more than eager to exploit the free babysitting service I now unwillingly provide for my brother; it's slave labour I tell you.

However, reality has not been an altogether disappointing experience. The gradual increase of my allowance from its measly beginnings of 50p has been a bonus, alongside the removal of the previous annoying babysitter, who I'm sure was never able to, or rather never wanted to learn to, pronounce my name. Undoubtedly, the greatest advantage has been the freedom - freedom to go into town, stay out with friends or even go on holiday with them. Therefore, once again dear primary school assembly you were right, there is a balance to the rights and responsibilities given and granted and I continue to bow down at the altar of your knowledge. Indeed, even the stove comes in handy once in a while.