After writing the recent post about the life cycle, it occurs to me that there is more to talk about. Surviving the teen years is hard, but at least kids are still with their parents, for the most part. After graduation, or turning 18 year old, it gets harder, and some parents are still around but others push their little birds out of the tree, and hope that they will fly. Depending on what choices young adults make, they can either start a successful life, or start of life of stress.
Let’s define young adulthood to start our discussion. For our talk, young adulthood is defined as people age 18 to about 24 years old. The reason that I talk about this age is simple. Between those ages, it’s not uncommon to flounder a bit as people decide what they are going to do long term. This is the age when people are in college, or starting a job. They are moving out, and trying to get used to paying bills, managing landlords, and getting the hang of being independent. By 24 years old, people graduate from college, if they went, and are settling into a career. If they have been working, they have gained knowledge about being independent and are hopefully settled into a life that may or may not include marriage, kids, and a mortgage. The hope is that parents are still around to provide guidance when needed, but people are making their own mistake and hopefully learning from those mistakes.
It’s not uncommon for people to struggle during this time, trying to figure out where they belong. They try out different jobs, or courses of study. They relocate away from family, and are alone, or they move to be close to other family for other kinds of support. Dating changes and people think more about long term relationships. It’s a trying time and it’s easy to get overwhelmed, especially with rejection and having issues finding a way to support yourself. I remember applying for jobs, and not getting anything. A friend of mine hung his rejection letters on his wall. I don’t think I could have done that only because it would make me feel worse, but it seemed to motivate him to keep going.
The other thing that can happen is having trouble adjusting to jobs and being fired or let go for poor work habits. I work with people often who are often late for work, because they don’t understand all the pieces involved in a good work ethic. They are often fired, without fully understanding why. There are so many people in line for jobs these days, that employers don’t have to settle for poor workers. Young adults who can learn this early can benefit from the lesson.
Bridging the gap from teenager to full, productive adult, is a hard transition. It takes courage, support, strength, and knowing when to ask for help. I always said that middle school was a hard transition, but the transition to adulthood can make or break someone’s future. If you can’t handle stress, rejection, and financial problems, it can break you, steal your confidence, and make the future difficult. Just remember as you try to manage this time, get help, stay positive, and work hard. Follow directions and learn all you can. It can make the difference when you are working on being happy for life.