Ahh, young adulthood—full of changes, inquiries and experiences. We all turn out differently, but there are some common “coming of age” themes in most of our lives. Check out these ten things that most of us worried about at some time or another, and be thankful for the wisdom and reassurance that comes with experience!
1. You wanted to be doing what the “cool kids” were doing.
There was a group of “those kids” in everybody’s lives growing up. It doesn’t matter if, ten years ago, you were in middle school, high school, college or already starting your first grad job—there’s a clique everywhere you look. For some reason, they set the standard for what was cool and for an even stranger reason, we all listened.
2. You wondered if you’d ever meet ‘the one.”
Chances are, you’ve now met “the one,” or one of them, or you’re just happily living your life and not letting it be ruled by your relationship status. Either way, hopefully you’ve learned to love yourself and know that your self worth isn’t determined by a big, white, Cinderella wedding.
3. You needed to know if you were “normal.”
You are. What’s “normal,” anyway? Whenever anybody says to me, “I’d give anything to go back to my teenage years” I think, “really?” I, for one, am thrilled to have moved past the raging hormones and constant self doubt that growing up brings.
4. You were worried about saying / doing / wearing the “right” thing.
See above: “what’s normal, anyway?” The right thing and not following it could be ammunition against you in your younger years. Now you’re free to nerd out to whatever you’re passionate about and not give a flying saucer over who cares.
5. You longed to get your parents off your back.
…and move out, be free to “LIVE MY OWN LIFE FOR ONCE MUM, GOD!” Now you’d trade in your mortgage stress and kids’ school fees for five minutes of adolescent freedom. It’s all worth it though, right?
6. You weren’t sure if you were on track with other people of your age/ gender/ peer group.
You were, but that didn’t stop you from obsessing over the things that felt so secret and weird that you’d die if anybody else found out. Somewhere on the path to adulthood, the track meandered off in several different directions, and we all stopped worrying about extreme conformity.
7. You cared what your Myspace profile said about you.
Now, it’s all about Facebook / Twitter / Your Wellness Blog / what that picture of your dinner says about you! I kid, but hopefully for most of us, there’s less pressure to manage our online presence in a “how cool am I!” kind of way. I do feel for today’s teens, growing up in a world completely saturated with online social sharing.
8. You listened to what your “frenemies” said about you.
We’ve all been there with the toxic relationships and BFFs that actually weren’t. As you got older, you realized the benefit of healthy relationships and (hopefully) ditched those out to sabotage you.
9. You didn’t know what you were going to do with your life.
Ten years ago, the idea that your interests, skills and talents might change was a foreign one. You needed to know how your life was going to play out and what you were going to “be” when you grew up. Now, you’re too busy living, changing and adapting. One of the best things about maturing is realizing that life is what you make it. Fancy a career change? Go for it—the world is your oyster!
10. You wanted to know “what it all meant.”
Young adulthood is full of new experiences and one of the things that makes us human is trying to make sense of those experiences. You may have been worried that everything had to have a significant meaning or be an indicator of your future. Now, you’re more happy to go with the flow and recognize that, sometimes, a new idea is just that—it doesn’t have to reshape the fiber of your very being!
Here’s to growing up, fond memories and living with hindsight. What changes do you think will take place for you in the next ten years? What do you worry about now that you secretly suspect will just be another phase?
Featured photo credit: Picjumbo via picjumbo.com