While there’s nothing wrong with embracing our inner child (we still love ice cream and potato chips and being outside in the summertime as much as we did back then), we all know that once we hit our 20’s, we really do have to become grown-ups.
Sometimes this can be a daunting task, but even if we wish that we were back in college and having fun all the time and not worrying about important things, we do have grown-up responsibilities. Bills don’t care if you don’t want to pay them. Your boss wants you to show up for work and do an awesome job. And your parents want you to stop asking for money all the time and start making your own.
Read on to find out how to grow up and become more mature.
1.) Forget “adulting” and take things seriously
In recent years, people have been talking about the concept of “adulting” – the idea that you don’t really want to grow up, so you take the whole thing pretty lightly. You poke fun at the fact that you would rather eat French fries for dinner instead of making a nutritious meal and learning to cook. Also, you joke about the sad state of your bank account. You just generally wish that growing up wasn’t actually a thing.
Unfortunately, if you want to grow up and become more mature, then joking around about it isn’t really going to help. Sure, it might make you feel better, and it might be fun, but it’s not really what you need to be doing.
Take things more seriously and you really will feel better. When you admit that you love your job, for example, and that you like making a salary and being able to cover all of the expenses that come with being a grown-up (from your rent to groceries), you’ll be super proud.
2.) Stop gossiping
It’s hard to become more mature when all you do when you get together with your girlfriends is gossip (and essentially talk negatively about other people). Gossip is honestly never a great idea. It doesn’t even make you feel good when you do it, either, so when you think about it, there isn’t really a great reason to do it.
Instead of gossiping, have real conversations with the people in your life, from friends to family members to coworkers and your partner if you have one. You’ll start thinking in a more mature way once you stop criticizing other people for the decisions that they have made. After all, you wouldn’t want them to say mean stuff about you, right?!
The first few times that you try to stop gossiping, you’ll notice that the people that you’re talking to are still doing it. That’s cool – you just don’t have to join in. They’ll soon realize what you’re doing and start talking more positively as well.
3.) Stop worrying about little things
When you’re in high school, it’s super easy to think that every decision that you make is a huge deal and that everything matters so much. That’s why teenagers have such a reputation for being overdramatic and worrying about everything. It’s tempting to carry those feelings and that attitude over into adulthood, but it’s not the best way to grow up and become more mature.
Instead, you can stop worrying about the little things. You can definitely train yourself to start thinking that everything is going to be just fine (and better than fine, it’s going to be totally awesome). It’s more mature to assume that things will work out and that nothing bad will happen if you are ten minutes late to dinner when you’re meeting your best friend or boyfriend, or that even if you’re having a difficult time, things will get brighter in no time at all.
You’ve probably noticed that you’re less dramatic at, say, 25 years old than you were when you were 15, and that’s because with age comes a lot of great stuff, like worrying less and knowing that things will work out.
4.) Do more things for other people
Being mature means thinking about other people more than you think about yourself. It’s also a surefire way to feel good about yourself.
Think about it: it’s Christmastime and you’re out shopping, maybe sipping a hot chocolate, and generally enjoying the season. Would you feel better if you spent a ton of money on buying presents for yourself… or if you spent money on the people that you care about? It’s definitely the last option.
When you want to grow up and become more mature, thinking about other people and doing nice things for them is a great way to get there. It’s a great idea to stop thinking so much about yourself and have more compassion for other people and the things that they are going through and struggling with. It’s a reminder that everyone struggles and that your problems aren’t as bad as you think that they are.
Sure, you don’t have to buy material things to do that. You can become more mature by checking in on a friend who’s having a rough week or asking your mom if you can help out with Thanksgiving this year so she doesn’t have to cook the entire meal herself. People will start to notice how mature and thoughtful you are and will really love and appreciate it.
5.) Be okay with saying no and listening to yourself
You can’t say yes to every party that you’re invited to and everything that people want you to do. Well, okay, technically you can say yes, but you won’t be happy and you won’t enjoy yourself. So what’s the point of that?!
If you want to grow up and become more mature, it’s a good idea to learn to say no. And you also have to become okay with that. You might feel bad at first if you turn down a party invitation or tell your boyfriend that you need a night in to relax and can’t go out with his friends this Saturday night. But you’re listening to yourself and what you need, and that’s a very mature, grown-up thing to do.
Growing up means being in tune with yourself and being a friend to yourself as well. Think of this as self-care. While your college student self might have gone out seven nights a week and been completely fine and had tons of energy every day, you know that’s not the case now and that you need to take more time to rest. Recognizing that is very grown-up.
Are you ready to grow up and become more mature? Even if it seems fun to be 20 years old forever, you definitely know that every age has its pros and cons and that growing up can still be a good time. With these tips, you’ll be able to become a more mature person (and a person you can be proud of) and become an adult as well.
You can still eat ice cream and potato chips and spend a lot of time outside during the summer months… while paying your bills, your rent, and eating vegetables.