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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at SBU chapter.

As humans, there is one task that we have truly learned to master. Hair, nails, into various heights, etc. We are practically masters at the idea of growth.

In high school, it was always funny when the boy you sat next to in class came back to school an extra foot taller, after not seeing each other all summer. We have learned to extend our growth past our physical bodies, into the psychological and emotional realm as well. In growth, we are well-versed professionals.  

This although, has proven to be quite a predicament for me, particularly in the past year. I have not always been very keen on the idea of change. Substantial shifts in life tend to feel like being jostled by ocean waves on a stormy day. For all those who will experience adulthood (which ends up being most of us), it is chock-full of change.  

Change in which you must learn to cope with.  

Change that forces you to make a serious number of “big girl decisions.” 

Change that compels you to grow, no matter how painful it might be.  

Coming to college was my first true experience with the burden of growing pains. Believe it or not, St. Bonaventure was not my first choice. There was once a time that I was dead set on attending the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. I had my life figured out to a T. A 5-year plan? Junior year of high school Grace had never heard of her. I thought I had the next 20 years of my life and career chiefly written.  

Although, one of the most arduous parts of change is that we do not know everything. We do not have life “all figured out” at such an age. New York is a beast I fear I was unequipped to conquer. So, I pivoted and landed on St. Bonaventure University. This change was unknown and terrifying to me. Sometimes, I still think about what could have been if I had moved out to the city. I am often haunted by the feeling that I have disappointed the dreams of a girl I once was.  

Today, I am an 18-year-old girl. A journalism student at St. Bonaventure. Today, I am also that 10-year-old girl that found a love in drawing designs in her notebook, of clothes she would hopefully own a company for one day. She is all I could have been, and I am all that she might be. She lives within me. I see her every day when I pick out my clothes for school. Putting on a “cute fit,” I turn to the mirror and see her smiling back. She still lives within me. I think this is an appropriate feeling to experience, but I would be a fool to say it didn’t offer an occasional melancholic sting. Ugh…the pain of growing up.

As readers, I will not lie to you. This has been an immensely difficult year to navigate. I have grown up more than I thought was possible. This sense of change has been met with a great deal of growing pains. Getting older is hard and I often miss when life was much more simple. I like to think that somewhere, perhaps in an alternate universe, my high school friends and I are still eating lunch together, just like we used to.  

I wish for that version of me to cherish it more than this version ever did – because this version never realized how quickly time passes and we are hit with the ever-present thought of growing up. There are a lot of things I wish for in life. I wish there were more than 24 hours in a day, and that coffee was only $1, and that growing up was not always so damn hard. I wish growing pains were only physical. Maybe that would be easier to manage. Alas, they are not. That is just the way life goes.  

With that said, experiencing change can undoubtedly be a difficult journey. My own has been marked with uncertainty, discomfort, and even fear. Growing up often demands us to step outside of our comfort zone, confront unfamiliar territory, and adapt to new circumstances. Amidst the challenges, we are provided opportunities for personal development and growth. These moments of transition serve as catalysts for self-discovery, resilience, and strength. They push us to embrace the unknown with courage. Growing pains are hard. That is no doubt. But conquering them makes us better. Better friends, better daughters, better sisters and a better version of that little girl that lives inside all of us.  

Grace Hodara is a new member of Her Campus, here at St. Bonaventure University. She is a Class of 2027 Journalism major from Salamanca, New York, and is also involved with Study Sorrento SBU and Jandoli Women in Communication. Away from academics, you can find Grace playing some kind of sport (usually lacrosse or soccer), watching Bills games, listening to music (her music taste is perfectly summed up by that picture of Taylor Swift and 21 Savage at the 2024 Grammys), or traveling (being home for more than 2 weeks at a time is not exactly her strong-suit). She is an avid reader and writer, and is excited to start this new chapter in working with Her Campus SBU!! :)