The Unspoken Transition into Adulthood
For those that are going into adulthood, some of the biggest worries include acne, making calls to set up appointments, being independent, and just simply not knowing what to do or what comes next. The transition from being a happy child to an apparent miserable adult is not something that really gets discussed for teenagers. It usually gets glazed over with something along the lines that one “must” go to college and select the career that they will practice indefinitely. Young adults should be exposed beyond this limited scope as they make that shift of responsibility in their lives, such as the discussion that acne is nothing compared to the ever-impending forest of butt hair coming their way.
As you make the awkward and foreign transition into adulthood, it is important to know that you do not have to go to college. Your parents, teachers, and most likely even your friends will advise you to go to college because it will get you more money, it is a safe investment, and that it is a staple in today’s society. In some respects these are all somewhat true but what they do not tell you is that college is not for everyone. Some people learn better by themselves and a degree does not make you qualified for or guarantee you a job. Successful YouTuber and streamer Michael Reeves dropped out of college and pursued his own aspirations just as many famous rich people do. With the accessibility of information increasing, the opportunity to maneuver as an entrepreneur or pursue self-taught skills is as prosperous as ever. This is not to shame those who chose to invest in attending college, but rather highlight the alternative options that are present for those developing into the primary ages associated with entering college.
Another important issue to address is developing financial literacy or understanding how expensive living can be. As a child, we may receive five dollars from a relative and can buy at least six snacks from the deli, but as you mature, it may resemble a guilty spend. Natural expenses of food, electricity, water bills, and other financial responsibilities can come faster for some than others, making it very important to start saving. How much you save is subjective as it can depend on your career, community, opportunity, and knowledge, but regardless of your circumstances, it is important to make safe and thought-out investments. This could be extended to bonds, stocks, and even everyday occurrences such as food. After all, food always seems to spoil much quicker when you buy it yourself.
It is essential that as an individual takes a step into adulthood, there is also a progressive parallel occurring, supporting the defining elements of their own character. It is essential that even as our daily lives evolve and become more complex, so does our understanding of ourselves, even if it’s just the simple experiences we wish to indulge in. Although teenagers may not be the most experienced in life, they are entitled to have an opinion and have their feelings validated by both themselves and others. During the awkward shift, we sometimes get lost in the liminal-space of needing permission to act as an independent adult. This should not entail someone to be the rebellious teen depicted in magazines, but rather develop confidence in their emotions to the extent where a baseless remark from an adult cannot undermine you. This emotional stability, confidence, and maintained healthy perspective in life can be difficult when hardships are first introduced, but as every character that has walked through their stories, just adhering to your honest values will take you forward.
There is no need to rush into adulthood because one of the worst mistakes someone can have is growing up too fast or not growing up for the right moments. As scary as it sounds, you do not immediately become an adult and it is important to enjoy the care-freeness that accompanies being young while still recognizing the small incremental changes that come as you get older.
Dave Stopera, 23 Things No One Tells You About Becoming An Adult, BuzzFeed, July 2018, https://www.buzzfeed.com/daves4/thins-they-should-have-taught-you-in-school-as-a
Sparg Briony, 15 Things Nobody Told You About Becoming An Adult, Alux, November 2020, https://www.alux.com/becoming-an-adult/