Out of all the things trending around the world, I'm glad that self-growth is one of them. Maybe it's normal for young adults to think about what they really desire in life and if they're on the right path, or maybe sharing personal experiences has become more socially acceptable for the public to see, so everyone feels more comfortable. Regardless of trends, I am here for this party. I'm no Dumbledore of life, holding infinite wisdom of being conscious of thyself, but I've lived long enough to know what works and what doesn't for me to continue on my path of life.

1. Write Letters To Your Future Self

At the start of high school, you might of had to write a letter to yourself that you were to open at graduation. I remember reading what 14-year-old me wrote; that by the next year, I would have transferred high schools to be with my best friends and that I was the number one fan of Selena Gomez.

Two years ago, after a pretty hectic year of ups and downs, I decided to write my future self a letter, so that I could look back and see how much I've changed. In the letter, I described my current state of self and what was happening in my external environment. I also wrote down my hopes and wishes that I had for my future self.

When I looked back and read my letter one year later, I started crying out of pride because I had successfully overcame what was bothering me at the time. By the time you'll have to open and read your letter, whether that's one or five years later, you've mostly likely forgotten about it. Reminiscing over your past self always proves that whatever you're going through now will pass.

2. Take A Damn Break & Practice Mindfulness

Admiring the Konigssee photo by Simon Migaj (@simonmigaj) on Unsplash

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When you're growing up from being a teenager into a young adult, it's so easy to fall into the anxious box of thinking too much about your future and/or the past. You're either remembering when you had less responsibilities and more time to yourself or stressing out about finding a job, moving out, and even thinking as far as starting a family. It isn't healthy to have your mind spread out everywhere except for the time which matters the most -- the present moment.

Personally, I've grown to become an impulsive person with a "GO GO GO" mindset, and it wasn't until a semester I was trampled with school, work, and clubs, that I felt so overworked and broke down. Even though I saw the benefits of everything I was participating in, inside, I was really tired and I just wanted to hibernate from life. 

If you're anything like me, sometimes the hardest thing to do is to let go of the reins and take it slow. You only live once, you never know when you're going to go, but the long-term effects of not giving yourself enough time to breath is not worth taking every opportunity you think you can handle. 

3. Make Time For Your Old And New Hobbies

When we reach a certain age, some of us think that we've learnt everything about ourselves, including what we like and don't like, and what we're good at and what we're not. Just because you didn't start singing at a young age doesn't mean that you can't when you're older, and just because you stopped playing sports in high school doesn't mean it isn't too late to play once again.

When I was younger, I used to manage my own mini businesses, through creating jewellery and drawings, and selling my creations for a few cents to my family members. I also used to dance three times a week from when I was little to the middle of high school. As I got older, it seemed like I no longer had time for what I loved to do. If there's one piece of adult advice that was always given to me that I finally understand and support, it's this: "When you aren't given time, you make time."

Hearing that as a teenager, I would have rolled my eyes and complain about having to study or do homework for school, while having to hang out with my friends in between. Now that I'm older, I realized that if you really care about something or someone, you have to make space in your pile of responsibilities. That being said, if you find yourself complaining about not having any time to draw, read, or do whatever it is you desire, you can choose to close this tab right now and just do it. I'm joking, I hope you reach the end of this article, but remember that you really have more control over how you spend your time than you think.

4. Create (Smaller) Goals

Journal, book, bullet journal and pen HD photo by Estée Janssens (@esteejanssens) on Unsplash

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Having a big vision of what you want to achieve is wonderful, but creating a checklist of smaller tasks you can handle day-by-day is where it's at. The fun part about handling smaller goals firsthand is that you don't see the finishing product. In a way, that could be a disadvantage as well, as it could cause you to quit your project. 

Let's say you want to get fit, but you haven't worked your body since you were forced to take P.E. until Grade 10. The key is to first create the ideal finish line, whether that includes a certain amount of pounds to lose or a desire to increase muscle. After that's settled, you should now take 10 steps back to consider reality and intertwine the two. Be honest with yourself, but don't lose your vision. An example of creating smaller goals in this case would be to do one exercise a day for a week and then adding another the following consecutive weeks until you reach your goal. In the end, it all depends on how fast you want to reach your goal and how motivated you are.

This task really takes practice, but in reality, at the end of the year, you're going to be left with a bunch of unfinished projects you wish you had finished. Idealism and reality are complete opposites, but once you lock them together in a room, they'll compromise and the results will be stellar. 

4. Recognize That Everyone Is On Their Own Journey, Including You  

During my senior year of high school, I kept thinking of how different it will be to see everyone part ways and do their own thing, whether that's sticking with school, taking a gap year, or working. Not only that, but when we graduate, we're broken free from the last structured system that we took part in. All of this freedom is given to us. The problem is that despite being handed the freedom to choose, we still feel obligated by society to follow the path of life.

There's no doubt that we stop and think "Wait, why am I doing this again? Why am I in school? Why am I not in school?" No matter what the dilemma, one thing is clear; you aren't spending enough time thinking about how you really feel about your life.

Simultaneously, how can you expect an 18-year-old to know what kind of career they want? How can you be so sure of something when you're at such a malleable age, trying to figure out our place in this world? Coming-of-age issues aside, growing up is like having a bunch of voices telling you what you should be doing. Sure, you could have an opinion and a different dream than what it expected of you, but the power forms the moment you start listening to that little voice in your head that represents you.

Everyone is on their own journey, so who gives a damn what you decide you want to do with your life. As long as you're moving, it doesn't matter where you go. And for my fellow students whose parents expect you to follow the path of life, what they really want is for you to be happy, and if you show them that your choices will reflect that desire, they'll lower their guard down a bit and be the greatest support of your dreams.