All The Things I Feared Most About Growing Up

Growing up and entering the real world for the first time is beyond scary. In The Wilds on Amazon, a group of teenage girls from vastly different backgrounds end up stranded on a desert island after a plane crash. They’re forced to take care of themselves and rely on each other if they want to live to see another day.

Although graduating and moving away from home isn’t exactly the same as getting dropped on a mysterious island, it’s still a massive change. It’s still incredibly scary. Here are some of the main things I worried about while growing up to prove you aren’t alone in your fear:

1. I was worried about taking care of myself without adults around to guide me.

All throughout high school, your parents are around to correct your mistakes. They can guide you in the right direction, give you advice when you’re struggling, and offer you encouragement when you lose faith in yourself. However, when you grow up and embark on the real world, you’re pretty much on your own. You’re forced to make your own decisions and take responsibility for your own actions. You aren’t a child anymore, so you can’t expect your parents to magically make everything okay again. You have to take care of yourself. You have to learn who you really are and become your own unique person. You have to truly find yourself.

2. I was worried about fitting in with other women.

Even today, women are pitted against each other way too often. They’re forced to see each other as competition in the workplace and on the dating scene. However, tearing other women apart isn’t going to get you further in life. Working together is going to be much more productive than competing with each other. However, it isn’t always easy to get along with people who are different than you. It isn’t always easy to communicate your thoughts and feelings in a productive way. When I was growing up, one of my biggest challenges was learning how to love myself enough to appreciate other women’s strengths instead of being jealous of their successes.

3. I was worried about taking on new, adult responsibilities.

When you’re young, there’s not much for you to worry about, aside from getting your chores done on time and completing homework assignments. Even if you slack, what’s the worst that can happen? You might get detention or a grounding, but it won’t be the end of the world. However, when you’re older, not fulfilling your responsibilities might mean you go hungry. It might mean you don’t have a place to rest your head at night. It might mean you’re in big trouble. The older you get, the more responsible you are for your own safety and happiness. Your to-do list starts feeling a lot more important.

4. I was worried about getting into more serious, mature relationships.

Dating changes significantly as you grow older. When you’re young, it’s easier to enjoy your crushes. You can snuggle with them and kiss them and hold their hand without worrying about what tomorrow will bring. However, once you get older, there’s more pressure to get serious. Your flings can easily turn into committed relationships, which could eventually turn into lifelong marriages. Even worse, there are so many more relationship issues to worry about when you’re older — from cheating to pregnancy. At some point, relationships stop being harmless fun and start being a little more stressful.

5. I was worried about staying optimistic after having such a troubled past.

When you’re young, the world seems like a beautiful, safe space. However, as you grow older and experience death and heartache, you realize the world can be incredibly cruel. One of the hardest things about growing older is reminding yourself to stay positive. You have to stop dwelling on your past problems and choose to remain optimistic. Even though the world can knock you down, you have the power to pick yourself back up again. You should never give up on yourself, even when it feels like everything is going wrong. You have to remind yourself everything is going to be okay again soon. Growing up is scary — but you’re going to survive. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Watch the first episode of ‘The Wilds’ for free for a limited time on Prime Video’s YouTube.


Holly is the author of Severe(d): A Creepy Poetry Collection.

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