• Carolin Kassella

The Magic of Youth


Today was one of those days where you get thrust back into your school years and inevitably encounter this incomparable feeling that you probably last experienced during your youth, back when life had only just begun.

This afternoon, I had the chance to introduce a young lady to my regular tasks and responsibilities at work as part of her school internship program. Since we did not go too much into the depth of things regarding professional duties, we briskly drifted off into a private conversation.

It was lovely – she went on a trail talking about the things that currently bother and interest her: her penultimate year at school and the upcoming graduation tests, her plans for the future, her current hobbies and part-time work, and of course, after we had talked a while, girls' most talked about topic – boys.

While she was charmingly rambling on about various topics and sharing her views, I could not help but recall many of the memories from my time back in high school. I realized quickly that she currently experiences quite similar situations as I did with teachers, fellow schoolmates, friends and family. Needless to say, I nodded heavily with a cheeky smile for the majority of our easy-going conversation. In some cases, I dropped parts of my wisdom that I have accumulated throughout the years (very casual and low-key, of course, duh), and had to laugh at myself since I always listened cynically when adults tried to give me some life advice back in the day. Yes, I have finally become that person.

At the same time, I saw that it would probably not stick with her, which I find wonderful – that is youthful naiveté after all, I guess. This is what makes this time so exhilarating, agitating, instructive, formative, special and magical – through trying out new things, daring, experimenting, making mistakes, learning from them, not learning from them; through risking, dreaming, revolting, admiring, crushing. Our encounter sparked a strange feeling of melancholy within me, even if a lot of my memories are not at all rosy and shiny, and I recall the many times when life did not seem so free and hopeful as youth is often romanticized as.

Still, I miss that feeling of abundant opportunities lying ahead, a sea full of hopes and dreams in front of a girl about to embark on life's big adventures and stepping out to conquer the world, one day at a time. Well, at least some portion of that feeling flashed up today, and as rarely as that happens, I am holding on to it for as long as possible.

"Hopes & Dreams" | June 2019