Little Signs That You're Growing Up
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Student Life

Little Signs That You're Growing Up

You just might not notice it, but it's happening.

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Little Signs That You're Growing Up
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Growing up isn't easy, none of it is. And I know that first-hand because I'm experiencing it right now. I feel like I am currently in the prime of my growing up because this is the moment where I feel I have to buckle down and get serious. I know, all of it sounds scary and alarming and there are days...well, multiple days...where I wish I could go back to preschool and relieve 1998 all over again. Those times were simple of course because all I did was sit on the letter carpet, play in the sand box, eat afternoon snacks, nap and dress up with my tiny peers. Today, I'm almost 22, and I find myself in a bind when it comes to this whole "growing up and maturing thing." The most important aspect is to not be so hard on yourself. If you're reading this as a 19 or 20-something year old, then this is for you, because this stuff is real. And this stuff can be the ultimate struggle. It's so simple to get caught up in your mistakes and to focus solely on that. But if I learned anything, it's that there are tiny things going on that you may or may not realize are happening, and by that, I mean signs of growing up. Maybe it's a simple act, like calling your mom to tell her that you love her and that you would love to see her and help her out with something small. Or maybe it's something like taking advantage of opportunities around you that can help you grow and advance in your life. Either way, every single form of action counts, and trust me, it's bigger than you would imagine, so remember to give yourself some credit.

You begin to take full responsibility for your mistakes.

It's already difficult enough to acknowledge when you've done something wrong, so standing up and taking responsibility for your mistakes is a huge bonus. Personally, this one has always been tough for me. I was always too upset to just come up and admit that I was wrong, even when I knew that I was wrong. I wanted to be right, and I wanted to get away with things because I was too afraid to face the consequences. When you take responsibility for your mistakes, sure, it sucks. But then after awhile, you find yourself feeling oddly better. Good job.

You pick your battles wisely.

Sometimes, getting angry and telling someone that they're wrong just isn't worth it at the end of the day. When you were a teenager, it was simple to fall into the hands of anger and vulnerability. Silly, stupid things were said and you only craved revenge on the other person. Not seeing them pay for their bad deeds made you cringe, and you wanted to have the last word. But all of a sudden, something switches. You think to yourself, "You know what? What am I doing here?" You realize that wasting your breath on someone isn't worth the time or the energy, and sometimes, just sometimes, having the last laugh is more fun than having the last word.

You have a broader perspective of the world.

And it's the time when you begin to appreciate the little things. It's so easy to take things around us for granted, but when you find yourself having moments of pure appreciation for something, even if it's small, you have this sense of being overwhelmed with happiness. You take into account the lives of other people who are struggling and aren't as fortunate as you. You think about the people who don't have homes, those who don't have running water and food, and the people who struggle with being bullied for their race, gender, orientation, etc. Who knew? All of these wonderful things were right here in front of you all along. Honestly, it's refreshing.

You gain respect for yourself.

Gone are the days where you worried more about how people saw you and less about respecting yourself. I don't know how it was for those who are reading this, but I can safely say that I changed a lot. I was a people-pleaser and I did everything I could to just to be accepted by this group of girls who bullied me my freshman year of high school. I was super self-conscious and I just so desperately wanted to be liked. Of course we all still have confidence issues from time to time, but overall, you know what you want and that's to be yourself. You're happy with the person you are becoming, flaws and all.

You start getting your priorities straight.

Oh man, this is a hard one. That party or studying? Studying or Netflix? Should I spend what's so little in my checking account? Or do I save that money? Shopping? Coffee? No? Yes? Ah. You get the picture. If you've achieved even contemplating having a better priority chart, you're already winning. Good for you.

You ask for help.

There is absolutely nothing wrong when asking for help. Some people might think it's weak or childish in some aspects, but actually, it's quite the opposite. Stepping up, no matter how ashamed or embarrassed you might feel, is one of the most responsible things you can do. It's OK.

You keep in mind when it's an important time to be strong.

In other times when you can't exactly ask for help, or it's in that time where you need to be strong -- mainly because you have to -- is when you are really growing up. There are just those moments where we have to try and internalize our emotions for the sake of, well because we have to in that moment. A courageous and strong girl who can still endure pain and strife and yet smile at the end of the day without giving up, is the most powerful girl.

You begin to care about your future and well-being.

Even in the tiniest ways, like scheduling that doctor's appointment, meeting your adviser on campus about those classes you want to take, or even getting tutoring because you know you're not doing so well in that one difficult class. It's a huge step when you make these meetings, appointments or even making a "to do" list for the day.

But most importantly, you understand that you're going to slip-up in life and make mistakes, but that doesn't stop you from continuing to succeed and to correct yourself. You realize that mistakes are common when venturing off into adulthood. In the end, it's easier to stand back, evaluate yourself, breathe and think, "This is OK. I'm doing better than okay." Take it with a grain of salt.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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