[Wren Butler]: I really don’t think this whole “being an adult” thing is gonna work out for me.
– Ticket to Paradise (2022)
Becoming an adult is not a destination, but a continuous process of growth and self-discovery. The transition from adolescence to adulthood involves more than just reaching a certain age; it requires a mindset shift, a sense of responsibility, making choices, facing setbacks, and contributing to society.
This article explores the multifaceted aspects of adulthood, drawing on psychological theories, personal development, and the importance of connection with others.
Your Turn: How To Be an Adult
“Don’t let anyone tell you who you are–you have to have a bigger idea of who you are than how society sees you.”
-Julie Lythcott-Haims, Your Turn: How To Be an Adult
- Inclusive Adulting Experience:
- “Your Turn” is a genre-blending piece featuring memoir, self-help tips, and diverse profiles.
- Profiles showcase individuals from various backgrounds, encompassing race, gender, education, immigration, neurodiversity, and more.
- Common themes among the profiles include agency, resilience, and character.
- Evolution of Adulting:
- Traditional notions of adulthood (finish school, get a job, leave home, marry, have children) need a modern overhaul.
- Millennials and Gen Z face new challenges: changing job landscapes, high student loan debt, unaffordable housing, and evolving family structures.
- The fear and challenges of adulting for the younger generation should be acknowledged rather than labeled as laziness.
- Mindset over Milestones:
- Adulthood is a continuous process, not a checklist.
- It’s about adopting a mindset of responsibility, making choices, facing setbacks, and contributing to society.
- Focus on developing agency, resilience, and a sense of contributing to the broader community.
- No Fixed Path:
- Reject the idea of a predetermined life track.
- Life is an open landscape; the path is created by walking.
- Challenge external expectations and judgments; prioritize listening to your own voice.
- Life is a Journey, Keep Going:
- Success in life isn’t determined by conforming to set norms.
- Explore different work options to find the intersection of passion and skill.
- Embrace connections with others, as relationships significantly impact happiness and well-being.
- Life involves both challenges and joys; focus on what you can control—your actions and reactions.
- Adulting is an ongoing process; start now and adapt to the journey.
A Guide on How To Become An Adult: Strategies
Mindset of Responsibility
Adulthood is marked by a fundamental shift in mindset—from dependence to independence. Taking responsibility for one’s actions, decisions, and the consequences that follow is a cornerstone of adulting. This includes financial responsibility, self-discipline, and accountability. Embracing the understanding that your choices shape your life sets the stage for personal growth and development.
Adulthood is laden with choices, both big and small. From career decisions to lifestyle choices, the ability to make informed and thoughtful decisions is crucial. Taking the time to reflect on values, goals, and priorities can guide decision-making processes. It’s essential to recognize that choices are not always easy, and mistakes can be valuable learning experiences.
Setbacks are an inevitable part of life, and how one navigates through them is a defining aspect of adulthood. Developing resilience is key to bouncing back from failures, disappointments, or unforeseen challenges.
Rather than viewing setbacks as roadblocks, see them as opportunities for personal growth and learning. The ability to adapt and persevere in the face of adversity is a hallmark of maturity.
Related content: How To Cultivate Resilience
Contributing to Society
Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs suggests that self-actualization, the realization of one’s full potential, is the pinnacle of human development.
As adults, contributing to society becomes a means of achieving self-actualization. Beyond fulfilling basic needs, finding ways to make a positive impact on the community, whether through work, volunteering, or personal relationships, adds meaning and purpose to life.
Agency, the sense of control over one’s actions and the impact they have on one’s life, is a vital aspect of adulthood. Taking initiative and actively shaping your own path fosters a sense of agency.
Moreover, resilience, the ability to adapt and recover from setbacks, complements agency. Together, they empower individuals to face challenges head-on and cultivate a sense of mastery over their lives.
Not a Determined Path but Created by Walking
The journey to adulthood is unique for each person, and there is no predetermined path. Life is dynamic, and individuals evolve through their experiences.
Embrace the uncertainty, learn from each step, and understand that the journey itself is a significant part of the destination. The process of becoming an adult is a continuous refinement of self.
Embrace Connection with Others
Human connection is a fundamental aspect of adulthood.
Building and maintaining meaningful relationships with family, friends, and colleagues provide emotional support and a sense of belonging. These connections contribute to mental well-being and provide a network of support during challenging times. Collaboration and cooperation with others can lead to shared successes and personal growth.
Related content: How To Build Deeper Connections By Listening with Intention
Focus on What You Can Control
Adulthood often involves navigating situations beyond one’s control.
Focusing on what can be controlled, namely one’s actions and reactions, empowers individuals to shape their own narratives. Cultivating a proactive mindset helps in finding solutions rather than dwelling on problems. Understanding the power of choice in responses fosters emotional intelligence and effective problem-solving.
Becoming an adult is a dynamic and ongoing process that extends beyond age.
Remember: the path to adulthood is not a straight line, but a journey of continuous self-discovery and growth.