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Sitting down and reflecting on my childhood was such an interesting thing to do. It made me remember some of the most important lessons I learned, and made me rethink certain aspects of my adult life. Growing up is tough. Being a teenager is tougher. But the journey of adulthood can be a hard one too. Here are the top 5 things I learned as an adult (that I wish my younger self already knew).

  1. It Gets Easier

I don’t mean to be cliché, but this is such a truth it couldn’t go without saying. Adolescence is hard. With it comes emotional confusion, an unrelenting desire to fit in, and oftentimes, a lot of acne. But despite your upbringing and however you were categorized in high school, getting older is always better. You meet new people and your life will change. You just have to let it. You just need to persevere. I know it’s hard – but you can do it.

  1. You’re Stronger Then You Think

You know how I was just talking about perseverance? Can you tell me a time when stuff got really rough and you just gave up? Sure – I can too. But can you also tell me about a similar situation when you stuck it out and stood your ground, even when you didn’t think you had it in you? Me too. When life gets you down sometimes you just want to give up; but as you get older, you don’t. You work hard, you play hard, because you’re strong. Even when you’re not, and even when you feel like you’re at your weakest, you are strong. Growing up teaches you to grow that thick skin and fight all those battles that adult life brings.

  1. Most Friends Aren’t Worth It

When you’re young you base your life on how many friends you have and how popular they are. In adulthood you realize how easily those relationships dwindle. Being popular probably would have made you feel really good in high school – but you’re a grown up for a much larger portion of your life and eventually you realize quality trumps quantity every single time. I’d take my 2 best friends over 20 ‘cool’ friends any day – because those 2 friends are always there for me no matter what, and those 20 other ones just never seemed to be able to give me the time of day.

  1. Growing up isn’t all it’s cracked up to be

I remember being a teenager and eagerly anticipating being free to make my own choices. What young naive me didn’t realize is that with freedom comes responsibility and a hell of a lot more stress. I bet any adult you asked ‘would you like to be a kid for a day?’ Would say OhMiGOD YES! PLEASE!! Because we all miss the care free mentality of being child. We miss having our lunches packed for us, coming home to freshly cleaned sheets and a warm made up bed. You don’t appreciate it when you have it, but I’d take the stress free life over freedom to stay out late on weekends any day.

  1. Mistakes Aren’t Mistakes – They’re choices.

I’m no stranger to the game of mistake making. In fact, I make an error in judgement on almost a daily basis. The difference is, I’ve grown to appreciate these indiscretions as lessons instead of burdens. Embarrassment sucks and is the most common emotion followed by mistake laden choices. But, mistakes shape who we are, and are the things we need to recognize and respect in our lives instead of bury away and avoid. You can’t learn if you don’t screw up sometimes. You can’t respect hurt if you’ve never gone through it before. And you can’t appreciate the meaning of “I’m Sorry” if you’ve never been on the other end of having to be the one to say it.

What did you learn from growing up?