On Growing Up and Growing Old: 10 Truths the Real World Has Taught Me
Life is the most inconsiderate and harshest teacher anyone will meet. It’s more ridiculously unforgiving than your worst college professor, and it doesn’t wait for you get back up before throwing another challenge. But it’s through these challenges that we learn, so we trudge and take it all in.
I am still too young to say that I have already learned it all. In fact, I’m pretty sure that the knowledge I have now is just a smidgen of the knowledge I’ll have in the coming years. Still, the real world has taught me a lot more than the hours I spent listening to lectures.
1. It’s better to fail than to have regrets later.
Say yes to everything. Say yes to the challenges and to the difficulties that the real world has to offer. Say yes to adventures and misadventures. Welcome mistakes and missteps because you’ll realize soon enough that you should have said yes even when you were doomed for failure.
2. There will always be someone better than you.
That doesn’t mean that you should stop giving your best. Be it in your social circle or at work, there will always be someone wittier, someone younger, someone smarter, someone better looking, and someone with better social graces. It doesn’t matter. There will be people who will accept you, flaws and all. And in their eyes, you might not be the best one, but you’re still the right one.
3. Learning doesn’t stop after graduation.
All the studying and evolving your craft continue once you enter the real world. In fact, this is the time when you’re expected to keep getting better, especially now that you’re having hands-on experiences on a daily basis. There’s a constant need to be on top of your game, and the only way to do that is to educate yourself and to absorb everything you witness and experience around you.
4. The people you’ve known forever will not stay the same for always.
People change, and there’s nothing more important than realizing this as early as possible. Friends can grow apart, and it’s up to you to let it happen or try to fix it. The thing is, sometimes it cannot be helped. When life happens, oftentimes we’re too busy with our jobs and too caught up with our dilemmas that friendships often fall apart. Let’s just say that adulthood is the truest and most difficult test of friendship, and the ones that survive are the ones for keeps.
5. Learn from the mistakes of others, before you end up committing them, too.
Life is too short for you to only learn when you make mistakes. Instead, take note of your surroundings and the people around you. Do not let history repeat itself by not letting other people’s mistakes happen to you, too. Be smart in discerning and forming your own opinions. Though your own experience may be the best teacher, the experience of others can also serve as a guide.
6. The younger generation irritates you the way your generation annoyed the previous ones.
If you think teens these days are annoying with their pa-famous Facebook status or pabebe attitude towards anything, remember that we probably went through the same phase. If they had One Direction, Justin Bieber and KPOP, we had our ‘90s boy bands and Meteor Garden. The way they go gaga over AlDub or JaDine is definitely the same way you gushed over Jolina and Marvin—minus the constant social media spazzing.
7. Hobbies cannot feed you, but they’ll make you feel alive.
Spending an entire weekend reading a book or depleting your life savings for traveling may seem like a waste of time for others, but if it keeps your heart pumping, there’s no reason to stop. We all have our little guilty pleasures that we’d rather hide from the world. But event though our little hobbies and guilty pleasures most probably do not pay the bills, they definitely put a fun spin on adulthood. We may be oldies, but we don’t have to be an old bore.
8. Sleep can be your best friend.
You’ve never loved sleeping as much as when you finally collapse on your bed after a stressful day at work. On most days, you crave nothing more than the warmth of your bed sheets and the cold side of your pillow. You can spend an entire weekend sleeping, and you’ll still think it’s a weekend well spent.
9. Success comes in various shapes and sizes.
It happens differently to people, and there’s really no telling how or when it will happen to you. Only when you stop comparing your humble achievements to the “big” achievements of others will you realize that your little triumphs can be considered a success in their own little ways.
10. You will never be too old for anything.
Be it shifting careers or going back to school, age should never be an issue. There’s no age limit to pressing the reset button. We will never be too old to dance in the rain, to laugh at corny jokes, to go solo backpacking, to have a silly crush, to fail, to triumph, to start a romance or to finish one.
Eventually, we’ll come to a point and realize that age is really just a number. Growing older can shape us as a person, but age will never be the sole definition of our character.
Growing up is never meant to be easy because nothing that comes easy would ever feel worth it.