As we grow into the young adults that we’re supposed to be, it’s inevitable for things that once felt familiar to no longer resonate with us in the same way.
While your bell bottom jeans or plastic choker necklaces still fit, they just don’t fit. And that’s okay. It’s okay for us to grow up, to acknowledge the things that have made us who we are and to move on from them as we forge the path of who we’ll become. Change can be scary, but here are some things it’s okay to grow out of.
At some point, our bodies will demand that we be nicer to them—hangovers become more debilitating and all-nighters more difficult to recover from. It can be tough to shake the FOMO when it seems like every twenty-something is painting the town red on Friday and Saturday nights, but it’s important that we listen to ourselves and our needs. There’s no shame in skipping the dance floor in favor of a dinner party, movie marathon, or even laundry night.
Many of our earliest thoughts and opinions are initially formed as a product of our environment. They may stem from the politics discussed in our household, town or school culture, religious teachings and more. As we come to understand more about the world and our place in it, there will come a time when our preconceived notions are challenged, and we will feel uncomfortable. Embrace that. We grow the most from that discomfort, and it pushes us to develop informed and passionate opinions.
For a lot of our lives, the “next five years” had been clearly laid out for us, our sense of time dictated by school bells, summer vacations, and exam schedules. Once we exit academia and enter into the world of decision making, there’s an immense pressure to figure out who we’re going to be and what we’re going to do. It’s our first time facing this level of uncertainty, and so, we create ironed and starched plans to land that job, move to that city, find that special person. But life is chaotic, and dreams can shapeshift. Don’t be afraid to change your mind, scrap the plan or make a new one. Uncertainty is inevitable, and it doesn’t have to be scary; it can be exciting.
It's important to surround ourselves with people who lift us up, support us in all the ways we need and inspire us to be our best selves. Not every friendship reaches that level, or is able to stay that way. People are in constant flux, and our needs change over time. It’s okay to recognize when a friend or group of friends no longer makes sense in the context of our life. Ultimately, we have limited time, energy, and emotional resource, and while melancholy, outgrowing people is not a bad thing. It just opens up room in our hearts for others.
The ending of a relationship is usually hard and painful for both parties, and sometimes, it just doesn’t feel like there’s a “good reason” to break up. It’s easy to get comfortable or complacent, to settle for what’s familiar. But the reality is that it’s possible to fall out of love and still love a person. We’re allowed to feel that way. While moving on might seem like the hardest, most gut-wrenching decision, its healthier in the long run to know ourselves and know what we deserve.