Everyone is forced to grow up, it's a part of life. One of the hardest parts of growing up (for me anyway) is that it is forced upon you, you have to do it. Once you reach a certain age, your parents, your friends and society tell you, "okay, it's time to go out on your own now, good luck." That's pretty scary when you think about it, how you went through your whole life always having your support system nearby, living comfortably at home, then all of a sudden, your child years end. For me, they ended the day I graduated from high school. I turned over my tassel and in doing so, I turned over a new chapter of my life. This may sound corny but it's true. By turning my tassel from one side to the other, I inadvertently said goodbye to one chapter of my life and said hello to a brand new one that seemed insanely scary.

Since growing up is such a big deal it helps to have a strong support system to help guide you through it. That being said, while your mom or whomever you live with will try to the best of their ability to help inform you on growing up, some things you just have to experience to learn from on your own.

For example, I remember when I was sixteen and I told my mom I really wanted a perm. I have naturally straight hair and I have always been awful when it comes to styling my hair; meaning I never curl it and when I try to, it always looks nothing like how I had intended. So, I told my mom I wanted a perm so my hair would be curly all the time and I wouldn't have to curl it again. She agreed with my logic and within the next few days, I was at my hair salon getting a perm.

Now, if you've never gotten a perm let me tell you, it's not a quick and easy process and my mom knew that. From start to finish, I was in the salon for about six hours. Having my hair rolled up in curlers, being drenched in perm solution, and even having the solution rinsed out of my hair with the curlers still intact (this was one of the most painful experiences I had ever had).

I remember when it was all said and done, I asked my mom why in the world she didn't tell me about the extensive process and she said, "If I told you, then I thought you wouldn't have done it." I'll always remember that. My mom had gotten perms in the past, so she knew what to expect but she didn't tell me so I had no opportunity to chicken out just because I would have been too afraid.

This is just a small example of how sometimes you just have to experience things in order to learn and grow up. Hearing advice from others definitely aids in the whole growing up process, but at the end of the day, your life is different from theirs, not in a bad way, but you will most likely experience things differently just because no two people are exactly the same. So, don't read this and yell at your mom for not providing enough information on what happens after you graduate high school or what to expect at college or even what the perm process is, because she gave you all the information she could and you have to do the other part by experiencing it for yourself.

I'm probably not the first to tell you that growing up is hard and I probably won't be the last. Another hard part about growing up for me is watching your friends and family grow older with you. Especially when you're away at college or have moved out and don't see your family and friends as much and then when you do, you notice subtle changes within them. This isn't a bad thing, no person stays the exact same for their whole life, but it can also be a little hard, watching the people around you grow and change and there's nothing you can do about it. Also, your friends and family will most likely see some changes within you that you probably didn't realize were there.

Growing up is hard for everyone, but everyone has to do it. So many things come along with growing up, you change and mature and experience new things and the people around you are doing the same.

Growing up is also an interesting process to me. It's slow but fast all at the same. When you reflect how you've grown up in say, one year, you most likely envision a different version of yourself than how you are today and are amazed how fast that one year went by.

So, sure growing up is difficult, to say the least, but a lot of positive outcomes come from growing up, like meeting new people, experiencing new things, gaining more knowledge and becoming wiser, and so much more. Furthermore, try being grateful that you have the opportunity to grow up and continue learning because every day is a gift that isn't promised.