Reaching Adulthood: How To Adjust

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 Adulthood is often glamorized as a life full of over-sized wine glasses, expensive cars, and a home that mirrors the latest IKEA catalog. We all have different ideas of what it means to be an adult. When I was a teenager I desperately ached for a life free from curfews and term papers. Now, I cringe nostalgically when I reminisce times where credit card bills, car payments, and entry level jobs were as real of a concept as unicorns or the Leprechaun.

Adjusting to adulthood can be really rough. At times, it can feel like trying to fit an android phone case onto an iPhone. Exhausting, frustrating, and not getting you anywhere.

For those of you just beginning the rigorous–yet rewarding road into adulthood, I have provided something that I wish I had a few years ago. I’m providing you with advice on how to enjoy the ride and to reach your destination safely.

1. One of the world’s biggest secrets is that no one feels like a real grown up.

This is something that I have recently learned, and the idea alone has completely changed how I deal with myself and others. When we are young, we tend to view adults as superheroes. In reality, adults are just people with experiences and responsibilities. No one feels like they are at the epoch of personal development. No matter how old you are, there is always room for improvement, space to grow, and things to learn. Embrace this reality early on in your journey to adulthood and it will save you from feelings of incompetence. No one feels like the perfect grown up and that includes your parents, teachers, bosses, and friends you see on Facebook holding obnoxiously large wine glasses.

2. People often have the tendency to think the grass is always greener on the other side.

When I was in junior high school, I couldn’t wait to get to high school. When I was in high school, I couldn’t wait to go to college. When I was in college, I couldn’t wait to start working. When I started working, I couldn’t wait to be promoted. Our brains are wired to have the desire to grow and move on to the next challenge.

Nevertheless, things usually aren’t necessarily better or worse. They are simply different. That’s what becoming an adult is like. It’s a change. Like any change, friends, family, and having a great sense of humor will carry you on to the other side. It is good to have goals and to feel excited about the future.

Just bear in mind that things may not be exactly how you pictured them, and that is completely okay. Being an adult isn’t a greener pasture; it’s just a different side under the same sky. Remember that it doesn’t matter what side of the fence you are on. Both sides contain beautiful roses and pesky weeds.

3. We all have different ideas of what it means to be an adult.

Some of us view being an adult as having a full-time job with benefits. Some of us feel being an adult means having your own place to live and paying your own bills. Some think being an adult is having a family of your own. Learn and understand that people have their own visions and ideas of what growing up means to them. Believing that a life achievement will define your mark of adulthood is what the English call “rubbish”.

Being an adult means different things to everyone. As a result, we all look differently
when we are “adulting”.

4. Kill the comparisons (Facebook is not your friend).

Do not compare yourself to others while you are on your journey to adulthood.
Everyone looks different when they are becoming who they are. Do not feel bad about yourself because you haven’t found that perfect job yet, or haven’t found that perfect someone. We all have different lives–which is a beautiful thing. Focus on your life, while striving to be gracious and grateful for what you have and who you are. There is someone somewhere looking at your life and wishing they had what you have.

5. Beware of high expectations.

Be careful not to have exceedingly high expectations for yourself. It is good to have goals; however, be careful not to beat yourself up if you are not at the place you think you should be for your age. No one is exactly where they want to be. In addition, don’t compare yourself to where your parents were in their life at your age. Economy and culture are not the same way it was thirty years ago. An adult in the year 1976 looks completely different from an adult in 2016. Trust yourself and celebrate where you are today as a person.

6. Have fun and enjoy the ride.

Life is about enjoying where you are at this moment. Don’t be hard on yourself when you make a mistake. Learn your lesson, improve, and laugh about it along the way. View your life as a movie. There are sad parts, happy parts, and moments of comic relief. The best part is that you are the writer, director, producer, and the star.

Make your life a good movie. A positive attitude is everything. Things are only how we perceive them to be. Reaching adulthood is full of stepping stones and milestones. Hold on tight and enjoy the ride. Embrace adulthood with open arms. Relax and take a deep breath. You are doing just fine where you are. Best wishes to all and happy adulting!