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  • Lexi Ellenbecker, alumna

6 Tips to Growing Up

Millennials, we’re getting older. Soon the world is going to be in our hands. Things are getting real. It’s time to make the decision to grow up. Use this new year to begin to evolve. Here are six ways to start:

1. Get your finances in order.

Our early twenties were a whirlwind of nonsensical spending. It seemed money would mold in our pockets if it stayed there too long. Even when we started making real money, it was easy to spend and hard to save.

This year, take control. If you struggle with figuring it out on your own, there are many apps out there, and you can find the perfect one for you. Stop spending money on things you don’t really need and put extra cash in a safe at home.

You want to feel in control of your finances. Know exactly what you’re paying and what you’re saving.

2. Make a five year plan.

This is something I always thought was for adults – and then I realized I am one.

Get real with yourself. How old will you be in 5 years? Where do you work? Where do you live? Are you healthy? Are you doing things you love?

Sit down and write your goals out, followed by the practical steps you would have to take to get there. Place it where you’ll see it every day.

You’ll probably have to grind and save now to make your dreams happen later. A little bit of suffering now for a better version of your future self.

3. Move.

As we get older, we’re prone to depression, illness, weight gain, etc.

Start taking your health seriously. Mental and physical. Realize that you can’t keep eating junk food and sitting on the couch. Start working out and eating whole, healthy foods.

Exercise elevates mood, relieves stress and countless other benefits that should not be taken lightly. It’s time for a lifestyle change.

4. Go out of your way to do difficult things.

We are creatures of habit. We find our comfortable routine and stay there.

Listen to people who inspire you – famous or not. I can promise you, none of them live in a comfort zone. Regardless what they’ve accomplished, it was never easy. Failures were, in hindsight, stepping stones to their eventual success.

Think of things you want to accomplish. Things that would really make you happy. Choose things that terrify you.

The more something you want terrifies you, the more important it is to do. Failure is inevitable for success. There is nothing better than the feeling of overcoming resistance and doing something hard.

5. Cut people off.

When you’re young, friends are easy to find. As you get older, that drastically changes. “Show me who your friends are and I’ll show you how you are.” ~Spanish Proverb '

The truth is, our lives are greatly influenced by the people we surround ourselves with. Sometimes the people we try to help aren’t helping themselves. Sometimes friends get outgrown and, while memories are nice, things change. Grown-ups have no time for drama. No time for people who refuse to move up in the world.

Find your “friend scissors” and cut them off.

6. Stop being tribal and identity obsessed.

This is a hard one. We love our tribes.

The reality is that things are complicated. There are no easy solutions. You want to hold on to that tribal identity. It’s important to be part of a group. This is how people are controlled.

Focus on finding similarities instead of differences. Listen to intelligent people you don’t agree with and see things from their perspective. Learn that your ideas are not you. Someone de-valuing an idea you hold is not de-valuing you. You may not always change your mind, nor do you need to; however, you should always walk away with more knowledge and a new perspective.

When you really get down to it, people generally want the same outcomes – they simply have different ideas about how to get there.

Children pick teams. Adults find solutions.

Be kind to your future self. Make choices now that make things better for the future you. You’ll thank yourself.

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