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25 Things About Growing Up That No One Will Tell You, So I Will

25 Things About Growing Up That No One Will Tell You, So I Will

Growing up is never easy, everyone is bound to have their share of ups and downs. Particularly as you transition out of being a teen, times will be turbulent and challenging. While plenty of adults are quick to remind you about the stresses of life, it’s important to remember that you are allowed to enjoy your 20s. There are undoubtedly challenges ahead that will require hard work and dedication, but you can also stay entertained in the process. Get ready for your wild ride into adulthood with these 25 things everyone growing up will learn.

1. School Will Get More Important

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    I know you’re tired of hearing it, but school really does get more important. When you only have a few assignments per semester, one or two bad projects can make your grade take a hit.

    2. School Gets More Entertaining 

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      That being said, every so often in university you’ll have off beat hobby classes, like Philosophy of Harry Potter. Thankfully, this is also the class where you have one project for the whole semester and the professor’s always 10 minutes late.

      3. School Will Get More Fun

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        Despite the fact that you’ll be studying nonstop and sleeping never, you will be able to experience the perks of midnight fast food runs and prank wars.

        4. You Can Go To School ANYwhere

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          General studies are pretty much uniform across most nations. Even if you don’t go to school in another country, don’t forget that you really can just pick up and move. Striking out on your own for school could make all the difference in your life.

          5. Your Safe Places Will Always Be Your Favorite

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            As much as you grow up, and as far as you move away, the places you cuddled up as a toddler will always be your favorites. Suddenly, you’ll be looking for more reasons to visit Grandma’s house.

            6. Moving Will Always Suck

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              On the other hand, when you do move away, you find out why mom or dad was always so cranky on moving day. It doesn’t get better.

              7. Moving To New Places Will Never Get Old

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                But, seeing a completely new place and people will always be rewarding and stimulating.

                8. You Can Choose Your Work

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                  Everyone will tell you that you must choose a career that pays off. However, remember that you will spend approximately 90 000 hours at work over your life. Choose something you love.

                  9. You Can Choose Your Dream Life

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                    Though it’s easy to get tied down with responsibilities, you really can pursue the things you always dreamed of.

                    10. You Can Deviate From The Norm

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                      It might be comfortable to choose a predictable career, so you might be tempted to settle. However, more and more companies are adopting flexible work weeks and better employee conditions. If you throw yourself into what you love, you can usually find some ways to pay your bills.

                      11. Cooking Will Become Valuable

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                        You might get picked on for knowing how to cook now, but it won’t be long before everyone will be wishing they had your skills.

                        12. Cooking Will Make You Sexy

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                          In fact, you will be able to save money on dates if you know how to cook. Nothing is more sexy than someone who knows their way around the kitchen.

                          13. Being Smart And Dedicated Will Make You Sexy

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                            Similarly, you probably get made fun of if you are someone who pays attention in school. Don’t worry – give it five years and people will either envy your job, or your accomplishments.

                            14. Nerdy Interests Are Suddenly Valuable

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                              Similarly, having nerdy interests will start to pay off. Where you used to be made fun of for doing well in school, you now get paid to tutor.

                              15. You Will Find Your People

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                                Especially if you’re someone getting picked on, know that you will find your people as you grow up. As you move to new places, you naturally shed the assumptions of your past.

                                16. The World Is Bigger Than You Think

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                                  Keep in mind that the world is much bigger than you think. Thousands of distinct and impressive cultures span the globe, waiting for you to appreciate them.

                                  17. The World Is Scarier Than You Think

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                                    However, especially if you’ve grown up in the Western world, it can be easy to forget the terrible realities of much of the world. The fact of the matter is, you do need to be careful going about foreign places, but that doesn’t mean your decisions have to be cautious.

                                    18. You Are More Capable Than You Think

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                                      Even though the world is a challenging place, you will find you are tougher, and more adept at handling challenges than you thought.

                                      19. You Are More Talented Than You Think

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                                        You are also likely to find that your younger self was too critical on you.

                                        20. But Talent Isn’t Enough To Get You There

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                                          Even though you should appreciate yourself, unfortunately you’re about to find out that talent is not enough to get where you want to go. Hard work, perseverance, dedication, and tenacity are all required as well. But, if you can hone good work habits, you will be unstoppable.

                                          21. Money Is Worth More Than You Think

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                                            Money suddenly spends faster than you think as soon as you’re paying more of your own bills. For a long time, it will seem like no matter what you do, you barely make ends meet. 

                                            22. Being Thrifty Is Better Than You Think

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                                              Which is why you will suddenly discover why your parents made you reuse sandwich bags and wear your clothes more than once before washing.

                                              23. Living Simply Is It’s Own Reward

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                                                Even though this financial struggle isn’t always fun, you will learn to love living simply. Things money can’t buy really are the most rewarding.

                                                24. You Don’t Have Forever To Be Adventurous

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                                                  Make sure you strike out and discover a new corner of the world while you’re growing up, because you don’t have forever to be adventurous.

                                                  25. You Do Have Forever To Work Somewhere Soul Crushing

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                                                    There will however, always be repetitive, mundane jobs waiting for you when you get back.

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                                                    Alicia Prince

                                                    A writer, filmmaker, and artist who shares about lifestyle tips and inspirations on Lifehack.

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                                                    Published on May 18, 2021

                                                    How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

                                                    How To Improve Listening Skills For Effective Workplace Communication

                                                    We have two ears and one mouth for a reason—effective communication is dependent on using them in proportion, and this involves having good listening skills.

                                                    The workplace of the 21st century may not look the same as it did before COVID-19 spread throughout the world like wildfire, but that doesn’t mean you can relax your standards at work. If anything, Zoom meetings, conference calls, and the continuous time spent behind a screen have created a higher level of expectations for meeting etiquette and communication. And this goes further than simply muting your microphone during a meeting.

                                                    Effective workplace communication has been a topic of discussion for decades, yet, it is rarely addressed or implemented due to a lack of awareness and personal ownership by all parties.

                                                    Effective communication isn’t just about speaking clearly or finding the appropriate choice of words. It starts with intentional listening and being present. Here’s how to improve your listening skills for effective workplace communication.

                                                    Listen to Understand, Not to Speak

                                                    There are stark differences between listening and hearing. Listening involves intention, focused effort, and concentration, whereas hearing simply involves low-level awareness that someone else is speaking. Listening is a voluntary activity that allows one to be present and in the moment while hearing is passive and effortless.[1]

                                                    Which one would you prefer your colleagues to implement during your company-wide presentation? It’s a no-brainer.

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                                                    Listening can be one of the most powerful tools in your communication arsenal because one must listen to understand the message being told to them. As a result of this deeper understanding, communication can be streamlined because there is a higher level of comprehension that will facilitate practical follow-up questions, conversations, and problem-solving. And just because you heard something doesn’t mean you actually understood it.

                                                    We take this for granted daily, but that doesn’t mean we can use that as an excuse.

                                                    Your brain is constantly scanning your environment for threats, opportunities, and situations to advance your ability to promote your survival. And yet, while we are long past the days of worrying about being eaten by wildlife, the neurocircuitry responsible for these mechanisms is still hard-wired into our psychology and neural processing.

                                                    A classic example of this is the formation of memories. Case in point: where were you on June 3rd, 2014? For most of you reading this article, your mind will go completely blank, which isn’t necessarily bad.

                                                    The brain is far too efficient to retain every detail about every event that happens in your life, mainly because many events that occur aren’t always that important. The brain doesn’t—and shouldn’t—care what you ate for lunch three weeks ago or what color shirt you wore golfing last month. But for those of you who remember where you were on June 3rd, 2014, this date probably holds some sort of significance to you. Maybe it was a birthday or an anniversary. Perhaps it was the day your child was born. It could have even been a day where you lost someone special in your life.

                                                    Regardless of the circumstance, the brain is highly stimulated through emotion and engagement, which is why memories are usually stored in these situations. When the brain’s emotional centers become activated, the brain is far more likely to remember an event.[2] And this is also true when intention and focus are applied to listening to a conversation.

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                                                    Utilizing these hard-wired primitive pathways of survival to optimize your communication in the workplace is a no-brainer—literally and figuratively.

                                                    Intentional focus and concentrated efforts will pay off in the long run because you will retain more information and have an easier time recalling it down the road, making you look like a superstar in front of your colleagues and co-workers. Time to kiss those note-taking days away!

                                                    Effective Communication Isn’t Always Through Words

                                                    While we typically associate communication with words and verbal affirmations, communication can come in all shapes and forms. In the Zoom meeting era we live in, it has become far more challenging to utilize and understand these other forms of language. And this is because they are typically easier to see when we are sitting face to face with the person we speak to.[3]

                                                    Body language can play a significant role in how our words and communication are interpreted, especially when there is a disconnection involved.[4] When someone tells you one thing, yet their body language screams something completely different, it’s challenging to let that go. Our brain immediately starts to search for more information and inevitably prompts us to follow up with questions that will provide greater clarity to the situation at hand. And in all reality, not saying something might be just as important as actually saying something.

                                                    These commonly overlooked non-verbal communication choices can provide a plethora of information about the intentions, emotions, and motivations. We do this unconsciously, and it happens with every confrontation, conversation, and interaction we engage in. The magic lies in the utilization and active interpretation of these signals to improve your listening skills and your communication skills.

                                                    Our brains were designed for interpreting our world, which is why we are so good at recognizing subtle nuances and underlying disconnect within our casual encounters. So, when we begin to notice conflicting messages between verbal and non-verbal communication, our brain takes us down a path of troubleshooting.

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                                                    Which messages are consistent with this theme over time? Which statements aren’t aligning with what they’re really trying to tell me? How should I interpret their words and body language?

                                                    Suppose we want to break things down even further. In that case, one must understand that body language is usually a subconscious event, meaning that we rarely think about our body language. This happens because our brain’s primary focus is to string together words and phrases for verbal communication, which usually requires a higher level of processing. This doesn’t mean that body language will always tell the truth, but it does provide clues to help us weigh information, which can be pretty beneficial in the long run.

                                                    Actively interpreting body language can provide you with an edge in your communication skills. It can also be used as a tool to connect with the individual you are speaking to. This process is deeply ingrained into our human fabric and utilizes similar methods babies use while learning new skills from their parents’ traits during the early years of development.

                                                    Mirroring a person’s posture or stance can create a subtle bond, facilitating a sense of feeling like one another. This process is triggered via the activation of specific brain regions through the stimulation of specialized neurons called mirror neurons.[5] These particular neurons become activated while watching an individual engage in an activity or task, facilitating learning, queuing, and understanding. They also allow the person watching an action to become more efficient at physically executing the action, creating changes in the brain, and altering the overall structure of the brain to enhance output for that chosen activity.

                                                    Listening with intention can make you understand your colleague, and when paired together with mirroring body language, you can make your colleague feel like you two are alike. This simple trick can facilitate a greater bond of understanding and communication within all aspects of the conversation.

                                                    Eliminate All Distractions, Once and for All

                                                    As Jim Rohn says, “What is easy to do is also easy not to do.” And this is an underlying principle that will carry through in all aspects of communication. Distractions are a surefire way to ensure a lack of understanding or interpretation of a conversation, which in turn, will create inefficiencies and a poor foundation for communication.

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                                                    This should come as no surprise, especially in this day in age where people are constantly distracted by social media, text messaging, and endlessly checking their emails. We’re stuck in a cultural norm that has hijacked our love for the addictive dopamine rush and altered our ability to truly focus our efforts on the task at hand. And these distractions aren’t just distractions for the time they’re being used. They use up coveted brainpower and central processes that secondarily delay our ability to get back on track.

                                                    Gloria Mark, a researcher at UC Irvine, discovered that it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds for our brains to reach their peak state of focus after an interruption.[6] Yes, you read that correctly—distractions are costly, error-prone, and yield little to no benefit outside of a bump to the ego when receiving a new like on your social media profile.

                                                    Meetings should implement a no-phone policy, video conference calls should be set on their own browser with no other tabs open, and all updates, notifications, and email prompt should be immediately turned off, if possible, to eliminate all distractions during a meeting.

                                                    These are just a few examples of how we can optimize our environment to facilitate the highest levels of communication within the workplace.

                                                    Actions Speak Louder Than Words

                                                    Effective communication in the workplace doesn’t have to be challenging, but it does have to be intentional. Knowledge can only take us so far, but once again, knowing something is very different than putting it into action.

                                                    Just like riding a bike, the more often you do it, the easier it becomes. Master communicators are phenomenal listeners, which allows them to be effective communicators in the workplace and in life. If you genuinely want to own your communication, you must implement this information today and learn how to improve your listening skills.

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                                                    Choose your words carefully, listen intently, and most of all, be present in the moment—because that’s what master communicators do, and you can do it, too!

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                                                    Featured photo credit: Mailchimp via unsplash.com

                                                    Reference

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