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Why Growing Up is The Most Bittersweet, But Necessary Life Move

Last night I had never felt more ancient in my entire life. My old, frail twenty one year old body sat on a torn up couch surrounded in a cloud of smoke in the basement of a friend’s house. This was the first time I had really gone out my senior year of college, since coming back from a few months studying in Europe. Watching the toddlers, aka the college sophomores and juniors run around the room, I couldn’t help but feel out of place, in a setting I once felt most at home.

Now I was no stranger to the party scene in my early years of university, even abroad, I held up my “trap queen” persona. However, sitting in the presence of drunk friends, I could only think continuously over and over again, “I am way too old for this.”

We all meet this transitional time, even if we put it off for an uber long time.

We get to this place where we’re no longer young, but we’re not quite becoming a real person yet. I was in a life place where I no longer wanted to be drinking one dollar beers with seventy five people I sort of knew, but I wasn’t ready for cocktails at the art gallery like a forty five year old housewife.

This time in our life that some people refer to as the “quarter life” crisis is both terrifying, but should also be exhilarating. Yes, we have absolutely no idea what to do with our lives, but instead of looking at that as a dead end, we have to welcome the idea that our life is constantly changing. Life careers are not set in stone at this time, meaning we as adults who are entering whatever the “real” world is, have all of the options open to us.

However, with this change from student to working adult, it’s not the career change that is ultimately the problem; it’s the personal changes that hit us really hard.

Friends that we once could meet after class or go out to the bars with on a Tuesday because the “club was going up” and we didn’t have class that Wednesday, doesn’t fit into our business schedule anymore. We find ourselves working nine to five, going to the gym, and going straight to sleep without seeing the people that we would spend twenty four seven with before we plunged into adulthood. The bars we used to go to every weekend now are filled with people three or four years younger, and the feeling of being irelavent starts to kick in.

The secret that all Millennials stuck in this change need to know is that everyone our age feels this way.

We all feel scared that we’re losing the ties and bonds with people that we grew up with, whether it be high school or college friends. However, this change is not unlike the other changes that we already went through in your life. We didn’t keep up with all of your high school friends, why would we have to now? The only reason that it seems so prevalent is because the amount of changes in our life is starting to slow down. So, the key to being happy is to simply accept the change.

We need to realize that certain friends will come and go, however growing up means realizing which people to keep with us along the way.

We all have a core group of ladies or dudes that are “ride or die.” Even Carrie Bradshaw only had a crew of three other women; we don’t need to have a clique of a thousand groupies. Growing up and moving on is coming to terms with the fact that only our true friends will stick with us through all the changes of our life.

So as I sat on the couch watching the infants drink Tecate beer and pass around other recreational smokes, my best friend and I made the “let’s bounce” eye contact. We both got up and were actually excited to be going home early, even though it was bittersweet that I was leaving the people I once used to party with.  I grew to welcome the pleasant change from sitting in a dingy basement, to drinking wine with my best friend talking about our lives.