I see lists everywhere that are titled vaguely like ’10 signs that you’re growing up’, and I would read them and go, okay, I agree with some of it, the other stuff not so much. Growing up is different for everyone, some people do it seemingly flawlessly, for others, growing pains are more than evident. To me, it’s all a part of the journey! So here is my list of 20 telltale signs that you’re growing up.
1. You’re Reading This List
To me, one of the biggest signs that you’re growing up starts with acknowledging that you’re growing up in the first place! Before, I would have just passed by this kind of list and say to myself – I’m still young, no growing up here! But then I started to think to myself, hey – maybe I am growing up, and the things I’m experiencing is normal, other people are going through it too. Growing up is a journey, it’s nice knowing other people are going through the same thing.
2. You Understand the Importance of Being Healthy
When you’re young, it’s like you’re invincible. You can stay up super late, eat pizza, ramen, and fries all week, and still feel like you have the energy of a thousand tigers. Then you get a little older and realize you can’t live like this all the time, and you need to start taking care of yourself. Recognizing this is one of the telltale signs that you’re growing up, because you start to comprehend that you have to treat your body well. It’s the only one you got, so be nice to it!
3. You Accept That Some People Just Suck
When you’re younger, you go through experiences that are less than pleasant, and more often than not those experiences feel like the be all and end all of your dramatic young life. You search for an explanation as to why some people are just really sucky. When you reach that point in your life, when you realize that sometimes there is no explanation for why some people are just mean, it’s one of the true signs that you’re growing up. It’s not like you have anything against sucky people, you’re just smarter and wiser now to not spend any energy on it. And because of that, it bugs you less, and you go on living your awesome life. Score!
4. You’re Okay with Having a Handful of Friends
Gone are the days when you would count and compare how many Facebook friends you have. Now you can proudly count your closest friends on two hands, and you wouldn’t have it any other way. To me, that’s really one of the signs that you’re growing up. Because as my best girlfriend always says, she’d rather have 4 quarters than 100 pennies, it’s the quality of your friends, not the quantity!
5. Money is Spent on Bills
Disposable income is great, but one of the most common signs that you’re growing up is when you find yourself with a savings account, and spending most of your money on bills (and groceries, but mostly bills). Your rent, cell phone, gas, insurance ... after all that is paid for, you probably only have a little bit of fun money left to spend. But you’re smart enough about your finances now that you know that you should save for a rainy day. This is a good thing, because you need to save before you can spend!
6. You Spend More Time with Family
When you’re in high school, spending time with your family isn’t all that cool. You see your sister in the hall and you pretend not to know her, your parents come and pick you up from school and you just run as fast as you can and hope that they don’t linger in the parking lot; it’s just not a cool time! But one of the loveliest signs that you’re growing up comes from you wanting to spend more time with family. You help out around the house more, don’t rush mom off the phone, ask dad about his opinion on cars ... it’s a sign of maturity, and it’s beautiful.
7. Weddings, Weddings, Weddings
Everyone is getting married. Everyone is engaged or planning on having babies, and you’re left either sitting through all these weddings, or listening to your former champion jagerbomb drinking roommate talk about baby names. This is definitely one of the most obvious signs that you’re growing up. When the people you grow up with start growing up, and in a big way, you do too!
8. Job Security = Good
I once read this lovely article on Huffington Post about Gen Y, it’s called ‘Why Generation Y Yuppies Are Unhappy’ (huffingtonpost.com) and it’s one of the best articles I’ve ever read. One of the surefire signs that you’re growing up is when you start favouring job security over the coveted ‘love your job and you’ll never have to work a day in your life’ mentality. Yes, that would be incredible, and some people are lucky to really like their jobs. But for the most part, you’ll sacrifice completely loving your 9-5 in lieu of getting that steady paycheck. And it’s not a bad thing. You’re not giving up on your dream, you’re surviving in this crappy economy. Be proud of that!
9. You Have Real Furniture
Real furniture means actual furniture you assemble. Not patio furniture, or plastic chairs and a single pull out bed that’s also your couch. Real, true, furniture. That is one of the signs you’re growing up. Because no one wants to go over to an apartment and sit on the floor drinking from a plastic cup, real furniture is a good step towards grown up land.
10. Staying up Late is for Special Occasions Only
Honestly, one of the sure signs that you’re growing up is when you go out past 11am, and you think to yourself – how the heck did I do this for 4 years straight? I would much rather stay in than go out, and when I go out I’m usually home by 2am at latest. Last weekend I went out to a friend’s party, we left at 12:30 and I was exhausted. Thank goodness it was a Saturday night.
11. You Want to Give Back
I think the older you get, the more you realize that the world works in a give and take kind of way. I was taught when I was younger that when you’re in a position to give back, you should. Truly feeling this in your heart is one of the definite signs that you’re growing up. It doesn’t matter how you give back, be it with a charity, or just buying a cup of coffee for the man on the street, when you do something good, you feel good. The best part is, you’re not expecting anything back; you just want to do it because it’s the right thing to do.
12. The Radio Plays Your Favourite Songs on-Back-in-the-Day-Fridays
The way back playback is always my favourite, because nowadays I get less and less excited for music. And like the generation before us, one of the biggest signs that you’re growing up is when you maintain the fact that the songs you grew up with are the best songs ever. Music just isn’t as good as it used to be. It’s a true fact, and Britney will always be Queen B in my heart, and NSYNC and BSB the best boy bands ever. Sorry 1D fans.
13. You Check the Weather Network Every Morning
I check the weather every morning. I need to know if it’s going to be warm, or cold, or if it’s going to rain, or snow, and I need to dress for it! I never used to care too much for the weather, but now I can’t leave the house without knowing! Being an obsessive weather-checker is definitely one of the telltale signs that you’re growing up, because who else would put The Weather Network app on the home screen?
14. You Buy Clothes to Last
Let’s put it this way – there’s a reason it’s called Forever 21 and not Forever 26. I’ve had my fair share of clothing mishaps, and I’ve learned that when you buy clothes, it might cost a little bit more, but it’s definitely worth it. You do not want to go through a dozen $15 sweaters, because you’ll love your 1 or 2, $50 dollar sweaters much more, and they’ll last a heck of a lot longer! So yes, how you outfit your wardrobe is one of the signs that you’re growing up!
15. Having a View on Politics
See when you’re younger; you don’t know much about politics. Because you don’t care that much about the news, and politicians look boring and filled with speeches that are just really, really long. Having a view on politics is one of the signs that you’re growing up, because you realize that certain things in the world either sit well with you, or make you want to stand up and make a statement. You want your voice to be heard, and you care about the way the world around you is shaping up to be, so get in to some political debates!
16. You’re Less Hard on Yourself
I read this wonderful interview with Kate Winslet once (and really, who doesn’t love her?) where she said that one of the signs you’re growing up is when you’re just less hard on yourself, and more forgiving. You don’t sit around and be sad after a long day, or when something goes bad, you just move on and get over it. You’ve learned to be nicer to yourself, and you’ve learned to forgive yourself easier. Words of wisdom from Kate, I love it.
17. You Cook Your Meals from Scratch
My boyfriend and I love to cook. It’s not only a ton of fun; you also spend a heck of a lot less, and your meals just taste better! If you can’t honestly remember the last time you went to McDonalds, it’s one of the sure signs that you’re growing up. The only thing I get from McDonalds now are smoothies, and that’s because my man and I love their strawberry banana smoothies. Plus, they’re healthy, which is another plus of cooking your meals like a grown up, you actually know what’s in them!
18. You Become Proactive (and Know What Proactive Truly Means)
Instead of complaining about something crappy in your life, you go ahead and get something done. You foresee something, and you take the necessary steps to plan for that something. This is being proactive. This is one of the signs that you’re growing up!
19. You Take Strange Pride in Being Uncool
This is 100% fact on the list of signs that you’re growing up. You have absolutely no shame in breaking out in song and dance when you hear the Spice Girls, or you and your co-workers bond over collecting Beanie Babies when you were younger - that’s owning your ‘uncoolness’. So when your 15-year-old cousin looks at you and goes, what’s your favourite movie to watch at Christmas, you can say that it’s Home Alone, and just smile when they make the face that reads ‘what the heck is Home Alone?’ It’s the best freaking Christmas movie ever little one. Best. Christmas. Movie. Ever.
20. You Have No Clue What You’re Doing
Lastly, one of the most telltale signs that you’re growing up is that you have no idea what you’re doing. Because honestly, we’re all on this crazy ride of growing up, and no one is ever sure of what they’re doing. But as long as you’re following some semblance of a path and you feel okay, that’s what matters!
No one writes a guidebook on how to grow up properly, because there is no right or wrong way. But there are common things that all of us go through as we’re growing up, and it’s great to know that we all go through the same ups and downs on this roller coaster. So tell me, what’s a sign that you’re growing up to you?