When I was younger, I pictured my wedding and imagined having kids and thought of what kind of dress I’d want and how many kids I wanted. It was mostly a dream because it felt so far away. I thought my early 20’s would be a good time to get married. When I got to be in my early teens, I still thought I wanted to get married and have kids, but I knew I would not want to get married at an early age. Then in my mid-teens, I considered the fact that I could maybe adopt children and if I didn’t get married, it wouldn’t be the end of the world but I still figured I wanted to get married in my late 20’s. Now, at 19 years old, I know multiple people my age who are engaged and I’m also realizing that many people’s parents met in college and that kind of scares me. To many of my friends’ shock, I’m considering not taking the traditional route of getting married in your mid-20’s and having children in your late 20’s and living in a suburban neighborhood with the same job for 30 years. While I respect everyone’s different life choices, whether they want to marry at age 20, or have children out of wedlock at age 30, the older I’m getting, the less appealing marriage and children seem to me. I’m such an independent person and I love experiencing new things and the idea of “settling down” freaks me out. I want to put my career first (become a child clinical psychologist). I specifically want to work with children because I do really like children, but I don’t think I want the commitment of raising my own. I also want to travel and have pets for companions. I feel like even in the 21st century it’s more startling for a women to say she doesn’t want to settle than a man and thats pretty screwed up. I also realize my views have been warped by society. When I was little, it was engraved in my head that getting married and having children is the route you’re “supposed” to go. But now I realize, it’s totally okay to break traditions.