When You’re 23 & Scared To Grow Up

23 and scared to grow up

Today is my birthday and it’s exciting, yet it’s really weird. To start it all off, this post has been in the forefront of my mind for a while now. I was actually inspired by this post on Chasing My Desire. Although our lives are very different from each other, I still see a lot of similarities. It’s different when you wake up and you realize that you’re in this awkward place where you should be an adult, but you still don’t feel anything like one. Additionally, it’s weird when you look back on what you thought you would be doing at this age and be completely in awe at the reality. I can say that I have a good life, but I am absolutely terrified of my future. What can you do when you’re 23 and scared to grow up?

You see, I don’t spend every moment thinking of my future. However, there are many days where I know that going to school is going to end one day. Looking back, I think I was far more prepared after graduating college for being an adult than I am now. Isn’t that just the weirdest thing? That being said, I’ve always loved being in school. It’s what I do and it’s what I’m good at! Think about it. I’ve been going to school since I was maybe 5 or 6. It’s a weird thing to think that it’s going to end one day. It truly makes me scared to grow up!

When I think about my birthday, I'm absolutely happy. Who else loves cake and ice cream? Click To Tweet

When I think about my birthday, I’m absolutely happy. Who else loves cake and ice cream? This year I’m having a party and although it’s so stressful planning one, I’m still very excited. I think about it and ask, “Why am I scared to grow up?” Well, I think it’s because I hate when good things come to an end. I try not to think of it like that because this is only the beginning of a new chapter. However, every new chapter of my life has been met with great willingness from me. So why am I not more ready to get to the end of this one?

Perhaps the story doesn’t have to stop, but I can’t help but look back at my old life as a college student and miss it. I remember so many people were so excited to graduate and start working. Although I felt ready to graduate, I don’t think I was really all that excited about it. As I know my time as a grad student is ticking away, that same anxiety is coming back. It’s like I know I’m capable but I’m a bit scared of this whole growing up thing.

If you had told me as a little girl that I would be 23 and scared to grow up, I wouldn’t have believed it. Knowing what I know now, I wish I would’ve taken full advantage of that freedom to be able to take risks. I’ve always played it safe and I’ve always been a good girl. I think that’ll always be a part of me, but perhaps this year, my 23rd year, I won’t be so scared to grow up anymore.

Question of the day: What advice would you give to someone who is 23 and scared to grow up? Have you ever felt this way before?

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  1. I’m 29 and struggle with this! I wouldn’t say I was a ‘conventional’ adult as I have chosen career over a lot of things in life and am kind of behind in the whole family thing. The only advice I would give is to be stop comparing yourself to others and go at your own pace – and if you wanna get to 29 without a child screaming your house down it doesn’t have to be a bad thing, right?

  2. Great post! Seriously relatable 👍
    I just turned 24 and am officially out of university. I really miss the routine and comfort of being surrounded by people my age most likely going through similar things. Adulting is tough and there are so many aspects that go unsaid or are poorly explained. I actually wrote about it too!
    The advice I would give a 23 year old is, adults are just as clueless as you so take their advice with a grain of salt. Have a fuck of fund so you can escape a toxic relationship, work environment, home etc.
    Thanks for the awesome post 😃✌️

  3. Oh wow I can totally relate to this… Whilst I don’t really know the answer, some of these comments are so lovely to read. Very wise words! Hope you’re having a great birthday 💖🌠 xx

  4. Advice I would give would be – relax, you’ve got this. At 23 I had a family and couldn’t push to do the things I wanted to do because I had a child and was pregnant. I say make a timeline of what you want to accomplish and plan it as carefully as you can. That can cure some of your anxiety. Happy birthday!

  5. This is a tricky one. I’m 27 now, and every year I’m excited for my birthday, but then I remember how I used to tease my brother and sister about how close they are to 30. My advice would be to: just forget your age, take each day as it comes! It is easy to feel scared about growing older, but it’s inevitable. I think take every opportunity given to you (as long as it suits), so that your life is full. That way when you are old, you will be able to reflect on your life and have no regrets. 🙂


  6. Insightful post! My advice to someone scared to grow up is to know that an ending is always a foot to a new beginning. You don’t have to be afraid just take it a day at a time and know that your journey is important. When you adjust your way of thinking, mistakes lead to beautiful results. I say go on and embrace the future with a positive attitude and you’ll receive positive back <3 Happy Birthday!

  7. Crikey im turning 33 next month! Honestly over the last ten years I have experience SO much stuff so please dont be scared to grow up. The future holds so many challenges and excitement. Focus on that and think how little time is actually behind you compared to what is yet to come! If I had to give 23 year old me advice it would be to take more chances-whats the worst that can happen! #Blogstravaganza
    P.s Happy Birthday!!

  8. I totally understand how you feel. My boyfriend is 25 and he feels like there’s a lot of pressure at his age to settle down, and get a house, and get married etc! I’ve just turned 21 and although I know there are people my age doing these things – I’m just not ready. I, too, am scared to grow up. I don’t feel ready to start ‘adulting’. This was a fabulous post, sweetie. Try not put too much pressure on yourself and just enjoy your bday celebrations! <3 happy birthday darling!

    Charlene MCElhinney

  9. I’m only twenty, and I’m still terrified of growing up, but at the same time, I want it all the happen quickly – I want to move out and get married and start a family! I think my advice, being your junior, would be to enjoy it all, and be selfish – these are your years, and it’s your future! 🖤

  10. If you are 23 and scared to grow up i would say stop worrying about growing up and just enjoy your life. Take each day as it comes. And from someone who had her first kid at 25 I would say enjoy the single life before you have kids!

    Amina xx | http://www.aliandher.com

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