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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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                                                    Last Updated on September 16, 2020

                                                    3 Simple Signs of a Strong and Healthy Relationship

                                                    3 Simple Signs of a Strong and Healthy Relationship

                                                    In helping many people solve their relationship woes, I am often asked for the signs of a good relationship.

                                                    Well, what’s fascinating about relationships is the dynamics of two individuals coming together and staying together amid an array of perceptions and misperceptions.

                                                    Our relationships are not only influenced by our current actions but also by our past relationships and the life experiences that we bring forward into the current relationship. How we deal with misperceptions and misunderstandings determines the strength and health of our relationship and the level of happiness we are able to experience.

                                                    Much of the subconscious programming that takes place throughout our life causes us to sabotage our happiness by preventing us from engaging effectively, especially when we become emotionally triggered.

                                                    These mostly unconscious “scripts,” which we tend to run on autopilot, include our thoughts, words, and actions that result from these. Some may even refer to them as “baggage.” While we can rewrite these scripts and stop them from contaminating our relationships, we only become aware of them when we are in an emotionally empowered state.

                                                    So, what are the signs of a good relationship?

                                                    It boils down to these four essential requirements:

                                                    • Emotional empowerment
                                                    • Aligned attraction
                                                    • Sexual functioning
                                                    • You and your partner

                                                    While we can take it upon ourselves to develop as an individual, a strong and healthy relationship results from both personal growth and teamwork with our partner in order to resolve any problems.

                                                    Let’s take a look at how we can do this.

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                                                    1. Emotional Empowerment

                                                    A clear sign of a good relationship is that both partners stay focused on what they want to create and how they want to feel. It can be too easy to blame our partner when we’re not feeling good about ourselves or somewhat overwhelmed with the curveballs that life seems to throw at us continually.

                                                    You may have heard of the saying, “Making mountains out of molehills.” When we’re not in charge of our emotional state, that’s precisely what we do!

                                                    Someone also said, “It’s not what you say, but how you say it.” Our words and the emotional power behind them are either being constructive or destructive in our relationships.

                                                    By trying to override your emotions and dredging up past situations, you may blow a current situation entirely out of context, keep retriggering yourself and your partner, and prevent essential issues from being resolved. Aside from that, it makes you feel disconnected.

                                                    As a reminder, allowing yourself to indulge in petty annoyances and sarcastic comments will likely drive a wedge between you and your partner. So, is that worth your attention?

                                                    When we focus on what we don’t want, we continually default to the old subconscious programming cultivated from our life experiences. These “scripts” can become self-destructive when expressed through negative rumination and self-talk or critical observations of our partner, rather than being the fun, uplifting, and naturally motivating partner that they fell in love with.

                                                    Many couples start competing against each other when they are emotionally triggered instead of supporting each other to create the best outcome. While we can quickly become obsessed with being right (or not being wrong), it’s essential to stay present, focus on how we want to feel, and align our words and actions toward that outcome.

                                                    Couples who enjoy a strong and healthy relationship consciously monitor their emotional states and can therefore influence the impact of their verbal and non-verbal communication in a positive manner. This offers a long-term benefit of enhancing their overall desire to be together and connect on more intimate levels.[1]

                                                    2. Attraction in Alignment

                                                    Known as the love and bonding hormone, oxytocin doesn’t just play an important role in intimacy. In truth, it’s also vital for increasing trust and attraction between two people. Synthesized in the human brain when you trust someone, the oxytocin molecule also motivates reciprocation.

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                                                    We’re living in an age where an individual’s independence is ruling the day, and the social codes of chivalry have become sadly redundant. However, it’s never a good time to become complacent in how we interact with each other and in respecting the environment we share.

                                                    According to Paul Zak, a neuroscientist and researcher at Claremont Graduate University, oxytocin is generated in the brain only after some concrete event or action, such as someone making way for you in the street.[2]

                                                    “When someone does something nice for you such as holding a door, your brain releases oxytocin, and it down-regulates the appropriate fear you have of interacting with strangers.” — Paul Zak

                                                    Suddenly, you feel like the person in front of you is not a threat. Then, according to Zak, this feeling disappears quickly for a good reason,

                                                    “If you just had high levels of oxytocin, you would be giving away resources to every stranger on the street. So, this is a quick on/off system.”

                                                    This has important implications for those in a relationship. Zak says:

                                                    “If you treat me well, in most cases my brain will synthesize oxytocin and this will motivate me to treat you well in return.”

                                                    In a relationship, our actions and behaviors are either attracting or repelling our partner. This is especially true when we have conflicting values. Common conflicting values include personal hygiene, health and fitness, and general tidiness.

                                                    It’s important to know and respect what’s important to our partner. After all, one of the real signs of a good relationship is having the desire to continually step up and live your “A” game.[3] When our partner takes the time to communicate something important to them, we need to acknowledge that it’s essential to keep a relationship long-term.

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                                                    While we like to think that our partner will be attracted to us no matter what, this is not realistic at all. “A” is for attraction, and we need to keep attracting our partner instead of being lazy and pretending we can get away with unappealing or inappropriate behaviors.

                                                    Any unresolved issue can build up resentment and undermine the quality of a relationship. However, the thought of approaching a challenging topic can increase stress and anxiety to the point where it is nearly impossible to clearly communicate the problem without it sounding like an accusation or blame.

                                                    Due to the fear of retriggering our partner by bringing up the same topic repeatedly, we often delay dealing with the issues that are of utmost importance to us. Over time, it can result in frustration, annoyance, and disconnection. We are sentient beings, so this type of emotional resistance can often be felt by the other person.

                                                    Furthermore, we usually communicate a part of a request out loud and then complete the reasoning behind it internally. Unfortunately, our partner doesn’t hear this internal monologue, so they have no idea about the extent or importance of our need. Therefore, many problems aren’t fully discussed, and the main issue remains unresolved.

                                                    “Prolonged stress and anxiety are like poison to oxytocin,” Paul Zak said. The underlying biological hypothesis is that stress — particularly the type that does not have a clear ending point — inhibits oxytocin release.

                                                    In a healthy relationship, both partners can retain the desire to step up and continue to attract each other through verbal and non-verbal communication. Try remembering the following:

                                                    • Every person has their own preference for how things are done, so effective communication requires actively listening as well as clearly communicating your needs.
                                                    • Before talking about an important matter, make sure you have your partner’s full attention. Then, try to keep your words focused in the here and now.
                                                    • Instead of rehashing a similar experience from your past for context and risking triggering each other emotionally, get to the point and explain what you want at once. If you feel uncomfortable doing that, try starting a request with “I like it when…” or “It makes me feel…” You may also ask, “How can we work together to create a win-win situation?”
                                                    • If something is important enough for your partner to mention out loud, then you must respect, consider, and adhere to it whenever possible. For example, if a partner is brave enough to open up about their need for sexual intimacy to feel more connected, it may be an issue that needs to be addressed in your relationship.

                                                    According to psychiatrist and Emory University professor Larry Young, increased intimacy can strengthen your connection as a couple, especially when you combine it with other rewarding experiences that get your brain’s reward system going.[4]

                                                    Verbally appreciate your partner’s effort in supporting your needs and make sure to retain your individuality and interests outside the relationship to keep your mutual attraction.

                                                    3. Sexual Function

                                                    Sex is the one thing that differentiates a strong, healthy relationship from a platonic friendship. Sexual intimacy is one of the most important signs of a good relationship and has often been described as the glue that holds a relationship together.

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                                                    Sexual intimacy allows two people who seek the ultimate connection with each other to come together. However, intimacy problems can lead to separation, loneliness, and disconnection — feelings that can eventually tear a relationship apart.

                                                    Unfulfilling sex leads to an increase in stress hormones which results in a lowered libido as sexual intimacy becomes a souce of discomfort on all levels. A common cause of a low libido is, for example, sexual function issues such as early ejaculation and erectile dysfunction challenges in men; and orgasmic dysfunction for women.[5] An unwanted sexual technique such as hard and fast or constant changes of position can also be off-putting.

                                                    While work stress, children rearing, and communication issues can all lower your libido and affect your overall desire for sex, a sexless marriage or relationship is not favorable for the vast majority of couples long-term.

                                                    One of the most important things for women in a relationship is to experience a sense of connection or feel loved and close to their partner. But this is where things can become tricky pretty quickly, considering women naturally have much higher levels of the bonding hormone oxytocin than men. For men, higher levels of oxytocin are generated through intimate connections.

                                                    What is the takeaway here, you may ask? Our hormones influence our behaviors, and oxytocin is said to be responsible for allowing us to experience love. In reality, studies have also shown that oxytocin can even work as the brain’s “moral molecule.” The more intimate moments we have, the more our bodies release the said hormone.

                                                    This is especially important for a male to feel more connected and attentive toward his partner. Research indicates that a man who is often sexually intimate with his beloved can produce increased levels of oxytocin.[6] In turn, it boosts his desire to hold and connect with his partner and stimulate positive social interaction.

                                                    A positive sign of a strong and healthy relationship is both partners’ desire to be intimate with each other. If either of the partners has little or no desire for initiating intimacy, then they need to address the issues mentioned in this article to restore intimacy in order to enjoy a truly fulfilling partnership.

                                                    Final Thoughts

                                                    The most important sign of being in a strong and healthy relationship is that you feel happy within yourself and in your connections.

                                                    While it’s not always possible to stay happy and connected with someone, ensuring that you are emotionally aligned with yourself and aware of your partner’s needs will go a long way to guarantee the health and longevity of your relationship.

                                                    After all, compelling narratives also cause oxytocin release and can affect your attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors.

                                                    More on Maintaining a Healthy Relationship

                                                    Featured photo credit: Candice Picard via unsplash.com

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