The Young Adult of the Past and Present

We have a lot to learn from others; in this case, our grandparents.


Sometimes we think we are the only ones who are going through issues.  However, every generation goes through similar stages in life.

I came upon an assignment I wrote for a class in high school, called “The Young Adult of the Past and Present.” For the assignment, I had interviewed one of my grandmothers.  The original document has been changed only to take out personal information.  

My grandmother has lived in the same city for her entire life; she was born in 1921.  I chose to interview her because I think she has had a really interesting life. I wanted to find out how she was socialized to handle three developmental tasks: 1) separation from family, 2) development of intimate peer relationships, and 3) choice of career.

My grandmother left home right after high school to go to college. She went into training to become a nurse and lived in residence. Her family didn't want her to leave home; rather, they would have preferred her to stay home until she married. My grandmother, however, made the decision to leave home on her own.  Her family financed her nursing training, and she was thankful that they supported her in this way.

When it came to relationships, my grandmother was very popular, and her family let her date whomever she chose. She dated many young men; but when she found the right young man, she stuck with him.  During the war, she met a fellow officer and they really liked one another. They began dating and planned to get married. My grandmother says it was a real fairytale romance.  However, this young man was in the upper class and his parents told him that he could not marry her because she was in the middle class.  He had to choose between her and millions and millions of dollars; he chose the money.  She was heartbroken.

However, she overcame her broken heart when her brother introduced her to her future husband. When she came out of the army at 25 years-old, her brother told her that she was old and needed to get married.  He then set her up with my grandfather. My grandmother knew my grandfather was the man for her for many reasons; mostly, she knew he would make a great husband and father for her kids.  She wanted at least four kids and eventually had five. My grandmother and grandfather have been married happily for over sixty-five years. :)  They are still madly in love with each other!

My grandmother decided to be a nurse for many reasons.  This career allowed her to travel the world, help people, and be self-reliant/independent. Another reason was that this job allowed her to be equal status to men. It also enabled her to be around men a lot, which she really enjoyed. After nursing college, she became a teacher in nursing and an officer in the Canadian Army during World War II.

I found the interview with my grandmother extremely interesting, as I learned new things about her that I had never known.  I realized that her family really loved her and let her follow her dreams.  My grandmother is a brave woman, who challenged herself a lot.  She gave me advice on how she made her life choices at this early time in her life: stay positive, never think that anyone is better than you, believe in yourself, and look deeper than just the surface (in terms of people and situations).

My grandmother has much to teach others, as she is now in her nineties and going strong. Through listening to her personal story, I have learned many kernels of wisdom which I can apply to my own life.  Her story is important. Thank you, Grandma. I love you dearly.


While I have had the privilege of having amazing mentors in my life, you, too, can learn more from those close to you.  You can ask them to share with you their personal life story.  Both of you will grow from their sharing in this way, I am sure!

"Live your life from your heart. Share from your heart. And your story will touch and heal people’s souls."- Melody Beattie

Thank you for reading and your presence at this beach retreat. You Rock! I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts in the comment section below.

See you at the beach!