Rosalie’s Reactions: The Peter Pan Syndrome Hits Seniors


With just a little less than 30 days of school left for Nanakuli High and Intermediate School’s Senior class, the Peter Pan Syndrome has taken root in some of the hearts and minds of a few of my fellow peers including myself as well.

So in order to understand my term called the Peter Pan Syndrome, I’d like to start off with another term that’s widely used on the west side of O’ahu; the term is called “Senioritis”.

Senioritis is a term which refers to the lack of motivation and drive that normally occurs within each high schoolers’ Senior year simply because they’re on their way out.

At this point of the year every Seniors’ lives as young adults: roles and responsibilities like paying bills, signing up for college, learning to drive, or even the struggle of obtaining their first steady job is on the verge of beginning (if it hasn’t already); and they just don’t really care too much for high school.

And in contrast Peter Pan Syndrome is strictly for individuals who refuse to accept that they’re on their way out.

Peter Pan, if you’ve never heard of him before, is a beloved Disney cartoon character full of magical powers, youth, and a hefty amount of stubbornness.

He never wants to grow up; and though it may seem like he feels he has a responsibility of being irresponsible, he has aspirations and expectations.

In fact the reason he’s identified as a childish figment of imagination is due to his sole purpose which is to allow kids to be kids because at this prime age they still believe anything is possible.

Being able to pursue that freedom unjudged is one of the main reasons he refuses to leave Neverland, because no matter what craziness occurs in London, his home on Neverland is the paradise he creates and, to a certain extent, controls.

In contrast to Pan, Disney included a young girl named Wendy Darling. She’s equally as stubborn, yet much more mature and nurturing. And although she enjoys Neverland she manages to sacrifice her chance at eternal security.

For students like me, the past four years of school was spent finding my personal Neverland. And within my last 2 years I’ve managed to build a home for myself through student government and the performing arts center in Nanakuli, but it’s the people I share it with who makes my Neverland magical and secure.

My friends and family and the friends who became family made these places special; so when it comes to meeting new peers, having new teachers and a change in scenery… I’m worried about how it will affect all of us.

So my question now is how do you find a balance with new roles and responsibilities when your brain and heart is still wired for the old ones? How will you know you’re secure in the new environment?

You just have to retrain yourself, adjust your schedule and be prepared for some hiccups in your new pattern. Continue to be flexible and try your best to bring the people you love with you on this new adventure.

And in life you’ll realize you’re more like Wendy, and it’s your job to share your experience and the lessons you’ve learned from Neverland with other people who need it.