Online Community Manager

Fear of Growing Up

“Dear S2S Mentors, I am afraid of growing up. I have been my whole life, and... I just don't want to grow up. Do you have any advice or reassurance? Thank you.”

- Solene



Good gracious, but I relate to this so deeply. Growing up has been a prospect that’s been rather frightening to me for some years—and (speaking as someone who recently became a legal adult last year) it’s also been very relevant for me of late.

That said, the good news (again speaking as someone who recently became a legal adult last year): It’s neither as sudden nor as scary as it sounds. It’s not as if I had my eighteenth birthday and all at once found myself dumped into a new world. People tend to become more responsible, more independent, more “mature” (all those characteristics that could be described as part of “growing up”) pretty naturally as we age. After all, I bet you’ve already “grown up” in a lot of ways since you were, say, two years old, right? :) So rather than thinking of it as a sudden, precipitous jump from childhood to adulthood, it can be helpful (not to mention much more accurate!) to think of it as a gradual life process, one in which you develop from birth to seniority.

Remember that you don’t have to become a different person just because you hit a certain age. You’ll change in some—in many—ways as you age, of course, because that’s a natural (and, I would argue, largely a positive!) part of human development, but in the end you, Solene, will still be you, Solene—albeit with the benefit of more experience under your belt. :)

And finally, know that it’s okay (and, I think, fairly normal) to not want to grow up, even to be afraid of it now, as long as it doesn’t interfere with your life too much. You’re fourteen years old; you have plenty of time left! You aren’t supposed to be prepared for adulthood now. Live in the moment, appreciate your youth, and trust that growing up will happen over time—and that when the time is right, you’ll be ready. It’s not now.

Again, though, I definitely understand where you’re coming from, and I wish you the best. Hope this helps a bit, and feel free to submit another question or PM me directly (or reply in the comments below) if you want to talk about this (or anything else) any further. <3


~ Sarah

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  • Im not afraid of growing up but see my little sister growing up is the worst!
    It’s hard to explain but seeing her like that what will happened when shes all grown will we still be close...and seeing her makes me think about me!
  • I used to be afraid of growing up too. I still don't want to speed it up but since I decide on what I want my career to be and I've sort of made some loose plans and it doesn't seen quite so scary anymore.
  • This is helpful thanks! :)
  • Indeed! The idea of being an adult right at this moment probably is very scary, but by the time you turn 18, you'll feel a lot more comfortable with the world and have many more of the tools necessary to move into adulthood.
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