I think my old thread was stopped, considering I disappeared form the forum for a long time. I was 24 at the time when I grew my beard. I grew the beard out for 10 weeks and didn't use the 24/48 hour rule. Made the mistake of shaving. Of course back then, I picked at my certain spots, like my soul patch (grew out and up) and my thinner hair on chin. Also the girl I was dating at the time influenced my decision some (although I said I wouldn't let anyone influence my decision). I was so ashamed of shaving, I took a long break from the board. Almost 2 years later, here I am. I have been seeing a lot of beards around especially at the craft breweries I visit. I have been keeping the stubble/scruff since I shaved my beard off. Now I'm a fitness coordinator at a retirement center and even the CEO of the company has a shorter grey beard. So, it wouldn't be frowned upon if I grew mine out. I now know what the process is like. This time if I grow it out, I want to maintain a cleaner look (trim the mustache so I can still see the corners of my mouth, keep a shorter soul patch, and make defined cheek lines). I understand that with my beard there are a lot of "slow growers" in the sides and middle of chin, so it would start to fill in around 8-9 weeks. I would like to maintain a cleaner, trimmed beard. Still debating about growing it out, but if anything I can encourage young men to keep on track and grow out their first beard. It's definitely a mental challenge with yourself. I put a signature of my beard journey a few years ago.