Growing Up Essay: Guide & Examples [2024]

What does it mean to grow up? Essays on this topic might be entertaining yet challenging to write. Growing up is usually associated with something new and exciting. It’s a period of everything new and unknown.

Now, you’ve been assigned to write a growing up essay. You’re not a kid anymore, but not quite the adult. It would be interesting for your teacher to learn about your childhood memories or read what you think about the experience of growing up.

That’s why:

In this article, we will provide a guide on how to write an essay on growing up. Our team listed some topics to make your writing process more manageable.

📍 How to Write a Growing up Essay

Writing an essay about growing up can seem complicated, but it’s always easier to handle when you have a plan. In this section, we will talk more about how to write an essay on the topic.

  1. Pick a style. There are two main essay types used for growing up papers: reflective and narrative. Both types require a narrator, a clear structure, and a purpose.
    • Reflective essays focus on the author’s attitude towards individual experiences. This type is often required during the college admissions process. For instance, one may write about growing up in poverty and how it shaped his character.
    • Narrative essays focus on a specific event or sequence of events. For example, you might write about the most memorable trip from your childhood.
  2. Select your topic. You can choose to write about yourself or check with the instructor whether it is possible to write about other people.
    When selecting a topic for a reflective essay, you need to remember several things:
    • Choose the topic on the familiar subject. It will be easier to reflect on the issue when you have a lot of relevant experience.
    • Choose the topic of interest. Write about something that provokes a strong emotional reaction from you.
    • Show a unique vision on the topic. Try to approach writing college essays about growing up from a different perspective.
      When writing a narrative essay, you need to remember that your work should tell a story. Your essay topic about growing up needs to agree with the paper’s length and follow the essay structure. Focus on a specific point in your writing.
  1. Recall childhood memories. If you’re writing a narrative essay, you’ll surely need your childhood memories. But how do you come up with the right ones?
    There are several tips that you might consider when recalling them:
    • Think about the event in your life that provokes a strong emotional response;
    • Write what you have learned from the experience;
    • Consider writing about experiences with your friends or relatives. What those events taught you?
  2. Outline your paper. Organizing your paper beforehand will help you write your thoughts down more concisely. Narrative and reflective essays follow the same structure:
    • Introduction: Your growing up essay introduction is an opening paragraph of the work. It grabs a reader’s attention and contains a thesis statement.
    • Body Paragraphs: The childhood and growing up essay can contain three body paragraphs. In each one, provide an example of an event or situation that supports the general topic.
    • Conclusion: In your growing up essay, the conclusion is the final paragraph. It summarizes the main points and brings the paper to an end.
  3. Edit and polish it. When you create your first draft, you might want to revise and edit it.
    • Revise your draft a couple of days after writing it. That way, you will be able to notice mistakes or typos you missed.
    • Try to avoid passive voice. Rewrite the sentences in an active one, if possible.
    • Read your essay out loud. If it doesn’t meet the set criteria, keep revising it.

👩‍👦‍👦 Growing Up Essay Topics

You may not know what your essay on growing up should be devoted to. If it’s the case, look at this section. Earlier, we talked about how to write, but here we will tell you what to write about.

🏡 About Your Childhood

See the topics that can navigate an essay about your childhood experience:

  1. Your family values and how they have been shaping your personality. Engage in reflective writing to show how certain factors of growing up influenced your character. What do you think were the effects of your growing-up period? 
  2. What various roles have you had in your family? How and why did they change? As children grow, the family adjusts accordingly. Remember your roles as a child, adolescent, and young adult. How did they change?
  3. Your personal changes over the course of growing up. Write an essay describing your personal development. What caused those changes? 
  4. Sudden adulthood. Write a “growing up too fast” essay. Reflect on your feelings and emotions about growing up so suddenly.
  5. Growing up with siblings. Write an essay about your childhood experience in a house where you weren’t the only child. Remember what it was like growing up with blood brothers and sisters? Or, maybe you have step-siblings? How did it influence you?
  6. A short memoir. You don’t need to have a dramatic adolescence or an out-of-ordinary story to write about yourself. Share your most exciting stories from childhood.
  7. A significant event from my childhood.
  8. Personal experience of parenting styles.
  9. Describe the events that helped you to learn about life.  
  10. Tell about the time you tried to challenge gender norms.
  11. Analyze your experience of growing up in another culture and the influence it had on your adult life.
  12. Most memorable Christmas of my childhood. 
  13. Discuss how the relationships with your parents influenced your growing up and character formation.
  14. Describe the experience of self-disclosure in your childhood and the consequences it had.
  15. How I used to cope with stress at high school.
  16. Write about your family trips and the effect they had on the relationships within your family.
  17. Analyze how the relationships with your peers impacted your growing up and adult life.
  18. How I learned to ride a bicycle.
  19. Examine how different teaching styles you’ve experienced in childhood influenced your growing up.

In other words, try to focus on something that made your growing up experience memorable and tell about it.

🧒 About Someone Else

What if you do not feel like talking about your own experience in the essay on growing up? Do not worry. There are many other ways to complete your paper.

What follows next are additional ideas for you:

  1. Write essays on growing up based on a work of literature or songs. Choose your favorite piece of literature or a song that talks about growing up. Write several paragraphs about the portrayal of the growing up period in music or literature. 
  2. Write essays on growing up with a single parent. Write an essay about growing up without a father or mother. What is it like? What impact can it make on a person’s character?
  3. Write about growing up without parents. A childhood spent in an orphanage or with distant relatives can have lasting consequences. Think about the effects it can have on a person’s character.
  4. Write an essay about growing up in a small town. Think about the advantages and disadvantages of living in a small town. Why do you think it’s good or bad to live in a small town?
  5. Write about youth growing up fast. Children become adults quite quickly. Discuss the possible reasons for children to grow up faster.
  6. What happens to the mentally challenged children when they grow up?
  7. Examine how Nhuong depicted childhood in the book Water Buffalo Days: Growing Up in Vietnam.  
  8. Discuss the changes digital technology brought into a growing-up process.
  9. Childhood’s effect on adulthood: the story of John Wayne Gacy.
  10. Explain how the environment influences the growing up and physical development of a child.
  11. Describe the relation between difficult childhood and personal development.
  12. Description of lost childhood in Night by E. Wiesel.
  13. Analyze the consequences being bullied or being a bully in childhood may have in adult life.  
  14. Frank Conroy’s childhood in his book Stop-Time.  
  15. Explore how childhood development and growing up shown in Born to Learn video.
  16. Examine the stories about coming of age and infantilism in literature.
  17. Discuss the peculiarities of growing up in multiracial family.
  18. Analyze the authors experience in Country Pride: What I Learned Growing Up in Rural America by Sarah Smarsh.
  19. Describe the problem of childhood obesity and the ways it influences children’s life.

👧 Growing Up Topics for College Essays

Writing a college essay about growing up essay is a great opportunity to reflect on the challenges and triumphs that made you who you are. Here are some compelling essay prompts and topics that will help you share your unique coming-of-age experience.

  1. Essay on how growing up has shaped my life. Describe the pivotal moments from your upbringing that have had an impact on your personality and aspirations. You may also reflect on the lessons learned from your family, friends, community, and cultural surroundings. How did these experiences shape your values and worldview?
  2. What are the effects of growing up in poverty? Essays on this topic can explain how growing up in financially disadvantaged circumstances shapes people’s lives. If it’s something that resonates with you, you can write about it in your college essay. For example, describe the challenges you’ve faced and the experiences that have fostered your resilience. You can also analyze how these circumstances have impacted your values, such as a passion for social justice.
  3. What are the challenges of growing up? Consider the impact of family dynamics and cultural influences on your personal development. You can also discuss how overcoming these challenges has influenced you as a person and how it made you stronger.
  4. Is taking risks a necessary part of growing up? An essay on this topic can discuss the potential benefits and drawbacks of taking risks at a young age. Is taking risks an essential part of maturing and gaining independence, or are there other ways to learn? Remember to provide examples to illustrate your point.
  5. Fear of growing up. For this essay, consider how young people grapple with the challenges of transitioning to adulthood. What anxieties are associated with leaving behind the safety of childhood? Discuss the potential consequences of the fear of embracing adult responsibilities and provide real-life examples.
  6. Explain how peer influence shapes a person’s identity.
  7. The challenges of being the oldest sibling.
  8. How does one’s cultural background determine one’s childhood milestones?
  9. Social media and the coming-of-age experience.
  10. How education shapes a person’s future opportunities.
  11. The impact of childhood experiences on adult development.
  12. Explore the influence of gender identity on your journey to adulthood.
  13. The connection between your childhood hobby and adult career choice.
  14. The importance of self-discovery in the process of growing up.
  15. Write about the challenges and joys of adolescence.

📝 College Essay about Growing Up: Example

For your inspiration, we came up with a growing-up college essay example. It will provide insights into the content and structure and help you write an outstanding paper.


I have always been captivated by the world of art. Throughout my childhood and adolescence, I have been experimenting with different forms of self-expression, such as painting and sketching.

As a child, I was fortunate to have a supportive family that nurtured my love for art. My mother enrolled me in an art class and was always ready to provide me with supplies. All this helped foster my creativity to the point where I decided to pursue an art education in college.

During my teenage years, I was surrounded by a diverse group of friends who shared my interests. We went to galleries, attended art events, and collaborated on projects. These friendships enriched my artistic perspective even further. They also taught me about the diversity of creativity and expression.

In addition to art, I have various hobbies that help me become better at what I do. In particular, I enjoy reading non-fiction about renowned artists. Aside from traditional art forms, I also experiment with photography and digital design.

My family and friends played a major role in my decision to pursue a career as a creative. Their support and my belief in the power of self-expression will help me contribute to our school and the whole community.

Thank you for reading this article! Hopefully, you found the information written here useful. If so, don’t forget to comment and share this article with your friends.

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🔗 References

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Comments (2)

Mila Easley
Mila Easley

I’m so happy to find your site. I like your posts on writing various papers! Now I’m working on my essay on growing up, and your post on this topic is very helpful for me!

Rickey Allen
Rickey Allen

Marvelous tips for writing essays on growing up! Thanks so much for this! I’m a fan of your blog!