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Life > Experiences

Growing Up & Growing Apart

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 Washington chapter.

Growing up. Growing apart. 

Both seem like inevitable facets of life, don’t they? 

Freezing time is something that I, as I’m sure many of you, have often wondered about. To be able to pause the unrelenting and stressful tick…tock…tick…tock of life’s clock would likely be a weight off all our shoulders. To stop time and live freely in one moment for as long as possible – who hasn’t wished for this at least once? 

Nevertheless, it remains impossible for us to stop time. And, as a result, it is often impossible for us to avoid the common byproducts of this passing time. What I’m really saying is this: growing up can often be synonymous with growing apart. 

A mere six months ago, I was confident that my friends and I were the exception to this idea. Sure, it happened to some people, but it would not happen to me. There was no way. After all, how do you grow apart from people you have essentially grown up with? No time or distance could break down the concrete friendships I had grown accustomed to.  

Or so I thought. 

I have been away from home and in college for about six months now, and I have begun to feel quite acquainted with my new life here. Be that as it may, there are times that I still long for the familiarity and bliss I associate with my childhood home and my high school friend group. 

You can imagine my shock, then, when I returned to something quite different when going home for spring break. The idealized and glimmering version of home I had conjured up in my mind seemed to have lost its sparkle. Of course, I was incredibly happy to see my family and friends again, but things just were not the same as they were before. My room, my friends, my routine: they all felt a bit foreign. 

Specifically my friends. It’s an odd feeling, realizing that someone who would have known every single detail about your life a year ago now only knows bits and pieces. I really struggled with this notion because it was a sign of that all-too-scary six letter word: change. I had changed. My friends had changed. Our livelihoods had changed. We were moving through life in different ways, down different paths. How were we supposed to know we would end up in the same place by the end? How were we supposed to feel confident that everything would work out, despite the unavoidable changes? 

These are questions I still don’t know the answers to. In fact, I don’t know if there are any answers. 

After some reflection, I’ve realized that although growing up and growing apart can be devastating, it is also natural. The important thing to remember, however, is that just because growing up and growing apart sometimes go hand in hand, it doesn’t mean they have to. Friendships can grow and change and morph just as people do, but it takes effort. It takes commitment. It takes care. 

So, as unsettling as it is to know that nothing will ever truly be the same, I relish in the knowledge that this doesn’t have to be a bad thing. I cannot stop time, but I can adapt to it. And so can you. And so can your friends.

The tick…tock…tick…tock of life’s clock doesn’t have to define our lives. It can shape it, certainly, but it does not have to overpower us. With hard work and true effort, friendships can last the test of time, likely emerging even stronger in the end. 

Growing up and growing apart is a concept I am still trying to figure out. However, I hope that some of my musings have served to comfort or console anyone who is going through something similar. 

On a final note: text your friends. Tell them you love them. 

Sometimes that’s all it takes.

Tara Boyd

Washington '26

Tara is a second year student at the University of Washington. She is studying English Literature and hopes to one day be an author. In her free time, Tara can be found reading, dancing, going to concerts, and spending time with loved ones!