When I turned 21 back in March, I never expected to feel any different. I simply assumed I would just continue to carry on living it up at college, partying on the weekends and working on myself during the week. And that is how it went, until these last couple of months. At first, I noticed that I didn’t have the stamina to party like I used to. Instead of 3 nights a week, it’s turned into one night of the weekend. Preferably Friday, so that I can do something productive on Saturday and Sunday. I also noticed that I was no longer as pumped up and excited before going to a party. Getting ready to go out used to be one of my favorite things to do – going through the steps of showering, picking out something cute to wear, putting on makeup, taking photos with friends and socializing, then going to the event of the night. I mean, what doesn’t sound fun about that?!
This month I have been really reflecting on this change, both to myself and in therapy. And I am sure that I am not the only twenty something who is reevaluating life. I imagine a lot of my friends are going through the same thing themselves. It’s a common theme in both adolescence and in your twenties. When I reflect on it, it completely makes sense. I have been doing this for the past four years now. So not only does the concept of partying get old, but I am also four years older. I am different. I am maturing and my interests are expanding. I am constantly changing, like everybody else. I’d rather go apple picking with a bunch of friends on a Saturday morning than lay on the couch all day hungover and swearing to myself I will never drink again. I’d rather spend my Sunday at the SoWa Market than sleeping the day away. Don’t get me wrong – I still like to have a good time on a night out with friends, but I am learning the beauty of moderation. Slowly, but surely – I am learning!
I am also seeing my perspective on friendships change. I’ve heard countless stories from older friends who have told me that they were a complete socialite in college, but once they left and entered the real, working world.. they slowly saw those friendships drift away and only the quality ones remain. And that they were were absolutely okay with that. They recognized it’s better to be able to count high quality friendships on your fingers because those are the ones that will be there for you in the end. Now that I am in my fourth year at college, I have found myself really assessing my friendships. I can now recognize which ones of them are my real, true friends and which of them are more like ‘party friends’, who only really text me on the weekends to see what I’m up to that night. And that’s okay – it’s okay to have those friends, they are definitely a good time. But every so often it saddens me when I realize they actually don’t know much about me at all and I don’t know much about them. I’m at the point in my life where I am craving more intimate relationships. I want to truly get to know people, and I want people to truly know me, and want to know me. I can feel myself searching for more of these types of friends in new ways, like trying to get involved in various different communities that relate to my interests such as fitness clubs, dog owners, bloggers, psychology majors, etc.
At first, this huge change in perspective felt overwhelming to me. But I am in the process of accepting that this is part of life, and part of being in my twenties – years in which everything is constantly changing, nothing is permanent. Life is impermanent. When we are younger, we are always looking outside of ourselves to find connections and to understand ourselves but in our twenties, we begin to look inside ourselves and evaluate who we are and what we want in life. We focus on exploring and fixing the insecurities of our adolescence and rely less on attachments to others. We begin our journey of self-discovery and we no longer feel that we need friends, instead we choose to have friends that will enrich our journey and be there for us when we need them and vice versa. We will see the friendships based on little substance, or friendships that are negative and draining, disappear and will instead want to surround ourselves with the friends that will remain regardless of distance and time. Friends that will bring us up instead of down.
“Change is inevitable. Growth is intentional”