When It's Time To "Grow Up Already"

When It's Time To "Grow Up Already"

You can be an adult and still be a child at heart.
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I am 21 years old. I have one year of college left, a bunch of loans, two part-time jobs, and my entire future stretching out in front of me. I also have no definite plans post-graduation.

I feel a lot of pressure to decide on something, to nail down my plans because people are asking me constantly. What are you doing after graduation? Have you found a job yet?

These questions are constant reminders that I’m not a kid anymore and that I need to decide what to do with my life. Because I’m an adult. I can vote, I can legally purchase alcohol or a lottery ticket, and I can go see an R-rated movie if I so choose. I can make my own doctor’s appointments or schedule a haircut. I do my own taxes, grocery shop, and a number of other things that are frequently termed “adulting” by my peers.

And maybe this happens to you too, but I get a lot of flack from people if I happen to use the word “adulting” to describe something I’ve done, or if I choose to spend my day off building a blanket fort or watching a Disney movie. These things are not considered to be adult behavior, and I’m told I need to grow up. I need to start behaving like an adult. I need to “act my age and not my shoe size.”

But I reject that. There is a difference between growing up and behaving like a “grown up” all the time. One happens as you age, and there are certain responsibilities that come with that, like paying bills and having to make your own appointments. Growing up is a part of life.

Behaving like a grown up, on the other hand, isn’t something I need to do all the time. Sure, if I’m at work or school, I can be professional. If I go to the bank or need to call my insurance agent, I can speak in an appropriate manner and do what I need to do.

But that doesn’t have to be all the time. Acting grown up constantly is stressful. It’s stressful because being an adult is stressful. There are bills to pay, work to do, and the older you get the more responsibility you accumulate.

So releasing your inner child and not acting like an adult sometimes is the best thing you can do. Watch a Disney movie. Build a fort. Eat ice cream right from the container. Go to a playground and swing for a bit. Relieve the stress. Remember that being an adult doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be boring and grown up all the time. It doesn’t mean your personality has to change, and it doesn’t mean you have to be consumed by responsibilities.

All it means is that you’re older, and you have to learn how to function as an adult in society. If you can do that, then it doesn’t matter how “grown up” you act. It doesn’t matter if other people think you’re grown up or not. That’s their problem, not yours.

You can be an adult and still be a child at heart. It’s more fun that way. Besides, it’s your life, and you get to live it the way you want. Don’t let people who have lost themselves to the gloom of adulthood and mortgages weigh you down. Embrace your inner child, and, if anyone tells you to grow up, just tell them that you are satisfied with your current height. That should confuse them long enough for you to make your escape.

Cover Image Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

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To The Girl Struggling With Her Body Image

It's not about the size of your jeans, but the size of your heart, soul, and spirit.

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To the girl struggling with her body image,

You are more than the number on the scale. You are more than the number on your jeans and dresses. You are way more than the number of pounds you've gained or lost in whatever amount of time.

Weight is defined as the quantity of matter contained by a body or object. Weight does not define your self-worth, ambition or potential.

So many girls strive for validation through the various numbers associated with body image and it's really so sad seeing such beautiful, incredible women become discouraged over a few numbers that don't measure anything of true significance.

Yes, it is important to live a healthy lifestyle. Yes, it is important to take care of yourself. However, taking care of yourself includes your mental health as well. Neglecting either your mental or physical health will inflict problems on the other. It's very easy to get caught up in the idea that you're too heavy or too thin, which results in you possibly mistreating your body in some way.

Your body is your special, beautiful temple. It harbors all of your thoughts, feelings, characteristics, and ideas. Without it, you wouldn't be you. If you so wish to change it in a healthy way, then, by all means, go ahead. With that being said, don't make changes to impress or please someone else. You are the only person who is in charge of your body. No one else has the right to tell you whether or not your body is good enough. If you don't satisfy their standards, then you don't need that sort of negative influence in your life. That sort of manipulation and control is extremely unhealthy in its own regard.

Do not hold back on things you love or want to do because of how you interpret your body. You are enough. You are more than enough. You are more than your exterior. You are your inner being, your spirit. A smile and confidence are the most beautiful things you can wear.

It's not about the size of your jeans. It's about the size of your mind and heart. Embrace your body, observe and adore every curve, bone and stretch mark. Wear what makes you feel happy and comfortable in your own skin. Do your hair and makeup (or don't do either) to your heart's desire. Wear the crop top you've been eyeing up in that store window. Want a bikini body? Put a bikini on your body, simple.

So, as hard as it may seem sometimes, understand that the number on the scale doesn't measure the amount or significance of your contributions to this world. Just because that dress doesn't fit you like you had hoped doesn't mean that you're any less of a person.

Love your body, and your body will love you right back.

Cover Image Credit: Lauren Margliotti

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8 Reasons Why California Is “The Place To Be”

Many people ask me why I left such an amazing place, and I still don't have an answer.

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I've vacationed in California all my life. I've traveled up the coast and through the deserts and mountains of the Golden State. I've lived there for five years and attended college at a UC (University of California). I am convinced that California is "the place to be", and here's why:

1. The coastline is absolutely breathtaking.

Laguna Beach, CA.

Kathryn Kaloroumakis

The turquoise water crashing into the intricately chiseled cliffs is nature at its finest. Hop on Pacific Coast Highway to drive along 840 miles of pure beauty.

2. The weather.

You don't even have to check the forecast in California to know that it is sunny and seventy degrees.

3. Hollywood.

Hollywood, CA

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Being in Hollywood is like being in a movie - spot celebrities roaming the area, gaze upon the amazing mansions that fill the hills, and tour iconic movie sets and studios.

4. The gourmet Mexican food.

Roberto's Tacos, CA

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Whether you are dining in at a classy restaurant on the water, getting take out Mexican from a little shack in the desert, or grabbing a taco from a food truck on the beach, you can't go wrong with the Mexican food.

5. The various universities all across the state.

University of California, San Diego

Kathryn Kaloroumakis

Whether you want to study in a beach town, the desert, or the redwood forest, there is a home for you. The state holds 264 colleges and universities for students to choose from.

6. The endless amount of public trails and parks.

California welcomes people to explore the great outdoors - whether you are roaming through the Redwood Forest, hiking to the Hollywood Sign, walking the trails at Big Bear Mountain, or running the trail to the Golden Gate Bridge, there is always another sight to see in California.

7. The various types of terrain.

Mammoth, CA

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Only in California can you surf in the morning and skii in the afternoon. The desert, the forest, the beach, the mountains, and more - all exist in California.

8. Home to “The Happiest Place on Earth”.

Paradise Pier, Disney's California Adventure

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There is never a dull moment hanging with Mickey Mouse at Disneyland or hopping from ride to ride at California Adventure.

Many people ask me why I left such an amazing place, and I still don't have an answer. California is the place to be.

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