The Young Adult Crisis

We have all heard about the “mid-life crisis” that many of our parents and fore-fathers have gone through or talked about. That time is usually associated with some risky purchase, dramatic physical changes or some old age rebellion. Instead of talking about moments we must look forward to I would rather focus on the transition or better yet crisis like experience that happens during our young adult years. I have often felt as though no one talks about the many changes that happen during our twenties and thirties, because often society focuses on puberty. When I think of the young adult crisis the following 8 points come to mind.

  1. The gaining and losing of friends. We make friends throughout the course of our lives, however once we hit adulthood there becomes a shift. Some of those friends no longer match our own interests and we simply just grow distant. There are those old friends that manage to stand firm through the test of time even though you don’t talk or see each other nearly as often as before.
  2. Realizing that your family/friends may still see you as a kid or even the person you used to be. Some people have a hard time to letting go of the past and if you let them they will confine you to who you used to be. Many of those people may have good intentions but nonetheless have failed to recognize your growth.
  3. Learning to use your voice as an adult. Yes, that means that you have a voice. It also means that your voice as a child may look quite different as an adult. Your voice now entitles you to enter rooms and join conversations you may have been excluded from before. However, with that voice comes responsibility to be able to handle what you put out there.
  4. Making life decisions that will affect your future. During the young adult crisis, the word future takes on a whole new meaning. Your actions extend beyond the next week and long-term goals include words like: 401k, stock, and mortgage options.
  5. Moving from “situationships” to real relationships and beyond. The great world of dating and long-term relationships continues to transform. Naturally, as we get older we begin to think about whether we want to get married or have children. So, by default the criteria for who we associate ourselves with begins to change and become more selective as well, or at least it should.
  6. Dealing with life after high school/college and figuring out is supposed to happen next. College was the next chapter after high school but now that you have completed that the question remains as what do you want to do next. What next endeavor should you take on? This is the stage that some decide to continue their education, gain some life experience, travel the world, while others may work on creating a family, and even then, there are some that choose to be undecided for a while.
  7. Making time for all the ways your life/attention has now been divided. Once you have figured out what to do next the following question is how will you do it all. You got the job, the house and now you want to manage time for yourself, family and maybe even a partner. This is when priorities have to become clear and that requires a self journey of what matters the most for you at this time of your life.

Figuring out that life does not care about your timeline. This last point is a continuation of the previous and most important. For so long our life was planned. You knew what came after elementary, middle and high school and yet now life is no longer that simple. We have things that we want to do and timeline for how they should all happen. However, life often has other plans for us. The most profound lesson we can learn during this time is to let go of those expectations and the pressure to have it all or have it by a certain time. Patience is called a virtue for a reason and certainly one needed to find peace in this season of your life.