3,024,000 seconds. 50,400 minutes. 840 hours. 35 days. 5 weeks.

Many of you may have noticed that I haven’t been writing a ton recently. Why? Because I’ve been spending the above amount of time away, at camp (although not contiguously). Why am I writing about this?

Well, this is an addition to the topic I’ve been writing about recently: growing up (here are  the links to my first and second articles about this). Another part of growing up that may not continue when you’re a full adult is staying away from home for an extended period of time without people you know and love (such as your parents).

As with a lot of kids my age, right now is one of the biggest times when that will happen — because of camps.

I know that personally, I’ve done a total of three camps this summer — two two week programs and a one week. Especially with the two week camps, I’ve felt this strange emotion at drop-off and pick-up. What was it? I’m not quite sure.

It almost felt like a mix of pride, sadness, and, well, I don’t know. But what I do know is that I probably felt this unknown emotion as I realized what I was doing: growing up.

What about during the camps? It was different — very different — from life here in Chapel Hill. I was managing my own money, I was remembering to brush my teeth, I was in charge of my own choices in terms of food, etc. It’s just so different than normal life — in a way it was almost scary but not so scary that I didn’t have fun doing it.

Like I’ve been talking about, it felt both good and bad — I was growing up, but I was growing up — if that makes any sense. I certainly enjoyed myself while I was away for those 3,024,000 seconds, but, at the same time, it felt like an eternity, having only done this a few times.

I guess what I’m trying to say here is that this is yet another part of growing up – which means it’s both good and bad. I love it but I hate it. It’s… bittersweet, for lack of a better word.

When you were growing up, did you have this experience? Did you enjoy it? What are your other thoughts on this topic? Let me know in the comments below.