Becoming an Adult, and other Landmines

Its hard to grow up these days.

There’s so much to navigate. And so many landmines that can blow up and derail any and all possibles.

Puberty alone can bring tons of issues – body issues, eating issues stemming from body issues, hormonal twists that bring on pain of all sorts for young women, changes in thinking patterns that bring defiance into the family.  Surviving this alone gets you a yay from me.

But there’s so much more to navigate. High school, college, post-college, getting a job, being independent and on your own.

What happens when a young person just cannot move through one or more of these stages? Anxiety about being an adult has grown over the last decade. Many more young adults are facing the world with trepidation. I don’t wanna get a job, I don’t wanna havta get up and go to work. I just want to stay with mom and dad have them take care of me. 

True, the job market and the issues of low wages and higher costs of living have derailed more young people. Coming out of college or any post high school program and trying to find a job that can help pay down student loans while also providing enough to support a person in their own apartment is almost a non-starter. Many young adults in their early and mid 20s are still living at home, or are at least very close to home while living in a place with lots of roommates. Many parents are still writing checks or depositing money into their children’s accounts to help them pay bills and wondering if they will ever not have to do that.

Some cultures still kick a kid out at 18. In the inner cities this phenomenon has had lots of young adults scrambling for a couch to crash on while trying to navigate adulthood alone. High schools have welcomed recent graduates back to try and help them where they can. Other 18 year olds are still in high school, just trying to graduate, and now they are also trying to find a place to call their own with no funds and no income. High school counselors can get overwhelmed, and often have to seek outside resources.

Many more young adults also suffer from anxieties about life. Queries about relationships, sex, gender, resumes/CV’s, bosses, job hours, transportation, moving away, staying at home with parents abound. Some anxieties are easily soothed with information, others persist and need therapy and medications to help. Parents don’t always know how to deal with young adult children trying to transition to adult life, and a young adult still living at home can feel stifled.

There isn’t one way to avoid the landmines of becoming an adult. But there are resources out there. And there are adults who are living decent lives, so there are ways to survive.

Landmines can be avoided, or survived. Been there. Have the scars to prove it.

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