5 Sure Signs of Growing Older

5 Sure Signs of Growing Older

Beginning the first day of senior year of college, I aptly labeled myself a “senior citizen.” Walking onto campus on move in day felt different from the three years past. I felt older and the routine welcome week jobs I had as an orientation leader suddenly felt contrived. I vividly recall walking around campus as a freshman, talking with my friend from home about how the seniors seemed so old; “like real adults,” my friend commented. Now, I’m not sure how “adulty” I felt, but I certainly sense a shift occurring.

Having been out of school for over a year, now, I am sometimes overwhelmed with feeling juvenile and inexperienced at work and in the community. Although I do not let this get to me, I am frequently asked when I will go back to school. When I mention I will be going back as a teacher, I always get a shocked, “really?!”

All that aside, I have been noticing another shift. A strange one, but somewhat welcomed. I am getting older and the thoughts I have and habits I have adopted have proven this to me. How many of these signs have you noticed in your lives?

1. Naps

Admittedly, this is not a new habit. Senior year of high school marked the beginning of this great procrastination method. Now that I don’t have homework, I still find an excuse to take my naps. What time do these naps occur? Take your pick - 12pm, 3pm, 4pm, or a pre-dinner 5pm nap. I once had a friend ask me why I was awake at 3 in the afternoon. Naps make me feel both young and old but, man, nothing makes you feel older than hearing your back crack as you finally get out of bed after the sixth snooze alarm goes off.

2. Social Media

How do people get hundreds of likes on these photos of their sandwiches? I look at some instagram photos and wonder if I even know 759 people who could like my pictures. Things that I’ve learned? The duck face is still popular, but has matured to a sort of confused chicken pucker (smaller beak, bigger results). The healthier your homemade meal, the more likes it will accrue. Hashtags aren’t just ironic anymore, and a supposed #l4l (like for like?!) can get you a like from hundreds including handles with names along the lines of @VeganLoverDabsAllDay. “Finstagram” is not a nickname for a hip Chuckie Finster. Puns will get you tons (of likes), and so will rhyming. And, finally, we can no longer rejoice when we get our 11th like and the names turn to numbers; we shall only rest easy when we reach the triple digits.

3. Clothes

If I could live in sweatpants all day, I 100% would. The comfier the better. The slouchier, the roomier, the comfier, the cozier. I would choose a tshirt dress over a mini skirt any day of the week. If it has fleece, I’m in. I sometimes see pictures of my high school self and shudder at the amount of discomfort I must have endured. Grandma was right all this time: an elastic waistband = a happy waist.

4. Children

I alternate between ogling at sweet babies and covering my ears when I hear a child scream. My many years of babysitting has given me a large collection of memories and headaches. I have found myself arguing with a seven year old over whether Zoey 101 was still on. I have had the best afternoons riding on a Fisher Price roller coaster through a sprinkler with a four year old in tow. I put my foot down when we play “family” unless I can play the baby who gets to take naps. Children are both daunting and adorable to me. Our difference in age is becoming increasingly larger and I am acutely aware of this change.

5. Reminiscing

A simple picture from TimeHop can make me spiral into my past. I remember old friends who have grown apart, past teams who have left a handprint on my heart, and cringeworthy memories from high school. Although I am young, my past sometimes feels like a different lifetime. The shoeboxes that fill my house with my parents’ old photographs has never seemed more relevant. Now instead of digging through these boxes, I flip through my phone.

These are only a handful of my sure signs of growing older. Luckily, I've started welcoming these changes to make room for new memories and new habits in my twenties. So I keep collecting my observations and buckle up for the road ahead.


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