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10 Signs You’re Growing Up

So, here you are. Riding these so-called tides we call adulthood. And yet you’re not fully there. Not as small or naive as you used to be, but not completely grown up. You’re still learning and developing. You’re in that grey area. And while it seems impossible at times to get out of, you understand that the confusion you find yourself swimming and occasionally drowning in marks the true beginning of your potential. Psych2Go shares with you 10 signs that you’re growing up:

1. You’re a lot more cognizant about how to spend your money.

With every job you’ve had and the amount of stress and struggles you had to overcome, instead of fulfilling the instant gratification of buying those cute shoes or whatever else is trending in popular culture today, you find yourself wanting to tuck away the money you worked so hard for towards something more fulfilling instead. You’ve stopped using your money for short-term happiness and instead, gear it towards your long-term future up ahead. An investment of solidity.

The amount of clothes and other miscellaneous junk I buy has decreased significantly over just this past year. Don’t get me wrong. It’s great to indulge and treat yourself to retail therapy every once in a while, but it’s become a low priority on my radar. I find myself holding off on instant gratification to establish more financial independence.

2. Everyone around you is either getting engaged or getting married.

You’re no longer watching the people around you fall in love, or even fall out of love, for that matter. You’re watching them maintain healthy, stable relationships, and you’re wondering if you’re capable of doing the same without letting your pride get in the way or wincing over the word “compromise.” And by wondering this, you realize that you still know so little, and have miles and miles left to go.

My cousin is getting married next month. It seems just like yesterday when his sister and I would often sneak into his room while he was out and we’d use his computer to play Nickelodeon games. I’m excited to attend his wedding. Being able to witness him with the person he wants to spend the rest of his life reminds me to slow down every once in a while to let the people in my life know that I love them.

3. You realize that your parents were just as lost as you are, and you learn to forgive them.

Life doesn’t come with a manual. When your parents had you, they didn’t know what they were getting themselves into. That’s just the thing: no one does until you’re actually in it and doing it. So, you guys fight and have disagreements. And sometimes this makes you feel more and more misunderstood every step of the way. But, it gets old. The whole me-against-the-rest-of-the-world convention. You find yourself wanting more. You find yourself wanting to understand.

My mom was 18 when she married my father and the both of them moved to America. She had me when she was 21. The two of them not only had to grow up fast, but they had to adapt to essentially a whole new world —all while having me. I used to think that being gutsy meant living on the edge and putting off the whole safety net for something more fulfilling. But, my parents took an incredibly bold step by moving to the U.S. just to build the kind of stability they lacked in their home country. I’ve learned over the years that establishing any form of safety doesn’t make you any less braver. It’s a privilege. And I’m grateful that my parents gave that to me.

4. Your sleeping and waking habits are becoming a lot more consistent.

Your body has adjusted to a more set routine you’ve established with more responsibilities creeping up on your plate. This means waking up earlier to run errands and complete chores and sleeping at a more reasonable hour so your body suffers less the next day. And while it seems boring, it actually has amazing benefits!

I’m admittedly still within the process of toning down my night owl tendencies, but I’m determined to tame them! It’s like that quote from How I Met Your Mother: “Nothing good ever happens after 2 A.M.” Because you’re just left wide awake with all your terrible consuming thoughts while the rest of the world is asleep. And all that does is give you unwanted feelings.

5. You’re laying low on the junk food and implementing more exercise in your daily regimen.

Your metabolism isn’t as fast as it used to be. You find yourself swapping sugary sweet drinks for water and a lemon and walking extra miles on the morning strolls you take. Taking care of your body is no longer at the bottom of your list. It’s a necessity to your well-being.

I’ve been addicted to junk food all my life, because of its easy accessibility and affordability. But, I began listening to my body more and have cut down on the amount of sodium I consume. Eating healthy for me and doing exercise both still feel like the equivalence of taking gross medicine, but what keeps me coming back for more is the way my body feels when it knows it’s being well taken care.

6. Public opinion no longer influences you as much as it used to.

It gets old and by constantly being exposed to it, in a lot of ways, you’ve grown desensitized to it. It’s harder to shock you now, because you’ve seen and heard so much. You find yourself craving for something different and a little more offbeat.

7. You begin to substitute spontaneous adventures for calmer ones.

It takes energy to be on the go all the time. Instead of opting for shiny opportunities that originally seemed fun, you realize that they seemed better in your head than when you’re actually in the middle of experiencing them and suffering from the exhaustion that follows. Nowadays, you prefer something more calm and soothing that helps take away the stress you get from everyday life.

I used to travel a lot growing up and had this fantasy of me continuing to do so no matter how old I get. But, I think this stemmed from feeling lost all the time. I’ve always considered myself a wanderer, and what better way to wander than to travel, right? But, it’s a lot more complicated than that now. I learned that it doesn’t matter where you end up going, because you’re always taking your own baggage with you.

8. You started planning more.

This helps you establish and work on both short-term and long-term goals. Now that you’re learning more about who you are, it helps you realize what you want and go from there. Planning becomes more prevalent as you work on the dreams you want to achieve and the life that you want to live.

9. You started planning less.

You’re probably wondering how this is, because it completely contradicts the last point. But, the thing about growing up is also realizing that no matter how concise, detailed, and well thought out your plans are, unexpected curve balls show up and force us to throw away and re-evaluate what we were once so sure of. No plan can help us prepare for those moments, so you’ve learned to take things with a grain of salt.

10. You stopped resisting and learned to join the dance.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you stopped becoming who you are. That’s always going to require a certain dose of courage. But, it’s all about survival. And those who can’t adapt will eventually fall behind. You’re learning how to compromise a little bit in every situation life throws at you, all while maintaining a healthy and honest part of who you are.

What are some things you’re noticing as you’re growing up? Leave a comment down below!

Catherine Huang
Catherine Huang graduated from the University of Rhode Island with a BA in English. She has a penchant for storytelling, ramen, and psychology. Catherine is a writer for Psych2Go and looks forward to reaching out to its growing community, hoping to encourage others to tap into self-examination and confront life's challenges head on with the most difficult questions.

2 Comments

  1. Holy crap, I just went through this entire thing and I related to ALL of it… AND I’M 15 WHAT THE CRAP WHY AM I RELATING TO ALL THIS?!

    1. Hi Maddie, thanks so much for reading! =) I’m glad you were able to relate to the article! There’s always a lot of learning involved at the age of 15, so it’s completely healthy experiencing all of this. I hope you have a great day!

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