I dig my toes into the soft, white sand. The sky is illuminated by billions of stars, which is surely a new sight for me, as there are never this many stars in my hometown of New Jersey.
I think back to how I was when I first arrived in Australia and how much I have changed in just the first two months of living here. My friend walks back from the ocean and lies down beside me.
“Beautiful night, isn’t it?” he says, grabbing a towel and wrapping himself in it.
“Always,” I say, gazing into the sky. Truly, everything always does seem beautiful here.
If there’s one thing I’ve learned from traveling and living in a new country, it’s that it kind of forces you to grow up and see things from a different perspective. You’re on your own in this big world, and being a naïve child isn’t going to cut it.
I have grown a lot faster than I ever imagined I would. I haven’t necessarily grown physically, which is unfortunate because I would like to be a little bit taller, but mentally I feel like I have the mind of a full-grown adult.
And this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Yes, growing up can be scary and it’s definitely not easy, but there is so much to learn and absorb in this world. And believe it or not, there’s more to life than the mentality of our youth: the world of partying, socializing and being free.
The thing that young adults don’t realize is that real freedom comes when you actually grow up. Young people get caught up in a carefree lifestyle, and before they know it, they’re going to be too old to to keep up with it.
They don’t want to grow up, and they try to push it away as long as they possibly can, despite the fact that adulthood is right around the corner.
Youth doesn’t last forever, but growing older is a beautiful thing if you embrace it. Here’s why:
1. Your body isn’t just growing, your mind is, as well.
Yes, we are all aware of grey hair and wrinkles. Of course, your physical appearance will change with time, but think of how much you will learn by the time your hair turns grey!
When you’re young, your mind is like a blank canvas waiting to be filled in with something extraordinary. It’s only as you get older, that the canvas will become more and more beautiful.
2. It’s a wakeup call.
Hey, 20-somethings! You’re not going to be in your 20s forever.
If you don’t already, pretty soon you will have to have a decent paying job, pay rent, cook for yourself, etc. You may still think that you are in the gray area between being a child and an adult, but in reality, you are an adult.
Just because people refer to you as a “young” adult, doesn’t mean that you’re a child. Partying is good every once in a while, but it’s also good to prioritize and make sure you sort your sh*t out and get the important things done first (e.g. school work, jobs, etc).
3. You begin to see people for who they really are.
We all know one really immature person in our lives. Most likely, he or she is the same age as you but acts like the exception.
Maybe you hang out with a whole group of immature people. It gets a bit exhausting, doesn’t it? Immature people have two choices: either stay immature or grow up.
Those who choose to grow up become the people they are meant to be, while those who stay the same fall by the wayside. Seriously, you can’t spend your whole life playing Call Of Duty or watching Netflix.
4. You realize that being on your own is healthy.
It does seem a bit intimidating to live on your own, make your own money and probably my least favorite, cook for yourself. But once you are out on your own, doing the things you used to rely on your parents for, you feel extremely accomplished.
Here’s a secret: It’s actually kind of fun! You may start out by living in an apartment with people you don’t even know, which can be an exciting way to build new friendships.
I’m not saying you won’t struggle, because let’s be honest: Everyone struggles when they first leave home. It’s the struggle that will make you, not break you.
5. You become more open-minded.
You’re focused on your own path and you couldn’t give a damn about what other people think. You’re also not too concerned with other people and their affairs.
You were once too scared to travel to another country, write that novel you’ve been thinking about or pick up the guitar and learn how to play. Now that you’re older, though, you realize there’s no reason to hold back anymore.
Instead, you become more open-minded to the never-ending possibilities in life and grab every opportunity there is to do whatever you want.
6. You can put things into perspective.
Think about how you were five years ago. Yeah, it’s a little embarrassing, right? But it’s good to look back and see how much you have changed over time.
It could be little things, like how you’ve taken up dancing as a new hobby, or it could be something big like living in a different country; all of these things can drastically change you.
Now think about where you’ll be in the next five years. You begin to realize that change is good for your mind, body and soul. We rely on change to make us more intelligent people, and change is the only way we can learn to better ourselves.
7. You eventually understand what really makes you happy.
As you grow older, you understand yourself better. When you understand yourself better, you realize how easy it is to make yourself happy. It could be reading a good book at night before you fall asleep, or relaxing by the beach and swimming in the ocean.
If you don’t like the cold weather, it doesn’t make much sense to live somewhere where it’s cold, does it? Part of getting older is realizing that you need to make these decisions for yourself. It’s your life, isn’t it?
8. You realize that taking care of your body is important.
Come on now, I know how good McDonald’s and ramen noodles are, but you can’t eat that stuff forever. Trust me, what you put into your body will make such a big difference, mentally and physically.
Being mature also means taking decent care of yourself. Yes, that means exercise is a must. Even if it’s something small, like walking for 20 minutes every day, it’ll still make a big impact on your overall health.
9. You have more time than you think.
The one thing I have noticed about youth today is that they never seem to have enough time. They constantly yearn for more, and dread when they have to live in the real world, get a real job and have actual responsibilities.
Once you actually are in the real world, though, you realize that you have so much life in front of you to live. You begin to see that life is an adventure, rather than a worry, and time becomes less of a problem for you.
10. It’s inevitable.
No matter how hard you try, you can’t stop yourself from growing up. Instead of trying to push it back, just let it happen.
Grow up. Let life shape you into the person you are meant to be. Go out into the world, and face adulthood head on. Really, it’s not that bad.
Photo Courtesy: We Heart It