Opinion | Reconnecting with your younger self reignites childlike happiness

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Photo Courtesy of Pixaby

A woman sits and reads a book by herself.

By Sabrina Lee, columnist

Returning home prematurely was not part of anyone’s plan for this year. It certainly wasn’t part of mine, but here I sit in the bedroom I grew up in, writing this article. Being back under our parents’ roofs and having that freedom of college life stripped away makes it safe to say many of us feel like children again.

There are only so many ways to cope with being cooped up inside all day, and as much as I love studying and binge watching Netflix, I can only look at a screen for so long. I was staring at the ceiling, wondering if I should succumb to society’s wishes and download TikTok, when my eyes fell to my bookshelf. 

I grabbed a book and sat down again, flipping open to the first chapter. Suddenly, I’m six years old again. I re-read “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone” for the first time in a decade, and I was reminded of the reason I was called a bookworm in elementary school. 

I spent my lunches and recesses in the library, perusing the shelves and finding new treasures to lose myself in. My childhood was filled with magic. From Harry Potter to Narnia, to the world of Eragon and Tolkien’s Middle Earth, I lived vicariously through the pages, getting sucked into world after world. It was my happy place and my escape. 

Now, at the age of 21, I have found my happy place again. It’s a shame really; I’ve gone all this time knowing something was missing, but I had no idea what it was. I’ve gotten so caught up in the chaos and process of growing up and becoming an adult that I lost my happy place. 

Re-entering these worlds as an adult has truly made me see the texts in a whole new light. I understood references and points that flew over my head as a child, and I actually understood the complications in politics that crowded story plots.

I finally understood who Aslan represented in “The Chronicles of Narnia,” and knowing what he stands for brings even further understanding to the books. I stare at the pages of dystopian and fantasy novels and proceed to question everything that the teenage protagonist is doing. I realize that I may not feel like an adult, but reading these books again certainly makes me feel like I’ve matured. 

As we continue on with remote learning and feel the effects it is having on college students across the nation, I encourage you to try to find your happy place. Maybe retreat a bit inside yourself and try to find your inner child. 

The world seems limitless from the eyes of a child — so vast and full of wonder. When the world seems bleak, we need that bit of childlike wonder and hope to encourage us onward. From the wise words of Albus Dumbledore, “Happiness can be found, even in the darkest of times, if only one remembers to turn on the light.” 

Sabrina is a junior in Media. 

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