When I was little, I would look up to the bigger girls who knew where they were going and what they were doing. They just looked like they had everything figured out. That was my idea of what it meant to be all grown up. It wasn’t until I started college that I began to understand what that truly meant.

Freshman year was rough for me. It was hard when things didn’t work out the way I wanted them to. It was even harder to ignore the discouragement, get up, and try something different. Adding to the equation was my habit of blaming the external world for my failures. The one glimmer of hope in my unhealthy viscous cycle was chance and luck. I hated feeling absolutely powerless over my life. I felt like I was being dragged around to places I didn’t want to go, but had no say in. I wanted so badly to be those girls who were the bosses of their own lives.

In my frustration, I would blame my mom. Since I was little, my mom has been struggling with depression. Her insecurity would bleed into our mother-daughter relationship and end up poisoning everything. I remember envying my friends whose mothers were so loving and nurturing. The resentment I carried resulted in a warped understanding of my reality. Because my mom failed in the art of motherhood, I had never been given the abilities and nurturing I needed to succeed in life. Consequently, I thought I would never be able to succeed.

My perspective soon changed. That’s when I knew for certain I was growing up— I took full responsibility for my own shortcomings! I realized that yes, there are a lot of conditions that aren’t fair in life. But I can either let life take over me, or come around and take over life. And the “taking over life” part starts with facing myself head on— no matter how hard that may be—so that I can build myself up.

I think I finally get why “the bigger girls” walked with such a bold step, so sure of themselves. They were the ones who grew up. They looked in the opposite direction: inward. As for me, I think I’m on my way to being the captain of my ship, just like them. Because, for the first time, I am my own compass.

Comments (3)

  1. Lauren Kaiser


    This is an awesome firsthand example of what we’ve learned about control and influence. I’ve had some difficulty fully agreeing with this concept, but I will say that I can definitely see how controlling your own life and not letting others influence you is overall a better way to live. Your new perspective on life is really great because it shows that we have the power to changes in our life if we are unhappy.

  2. Paulo Miro


    I agree with Ruth’s comment. This article shows a complete transformation from a perspective of understanding misfortunes as bad luck tossed on you by the world, to a complete understanding of his or her power over his or her own life. It is admirable to be able to see that even though you were dealt tough cards, you have chosen to look to that as an opportunity to take hold of your life and move from there as your own compass. Grown up.

  3. Ruth


    I believe this article, Finally Growing Up, is a fantastic representation of the lessons we’ve learned in class. The girl’s journey when going from believing her environment and mother controlled her to understanding her self-worth and potential displays the idea that the only individual who has control over you is YOU. I enjoyed her realization that one truly becomes an adult when they look “in the opposite direction: inward”.

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