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For millennials, being an adult is sort of like a job. You show up whenever you’re scheduled and clock out once you’re done for the day. This seems totally different from how our parents and generations past learned how to grow up. It seems like it came naturally to them, while younger generations are struggling to keep up with the times.
There’s no doubt that many factors stacked against us in this day and age make it harder to leave the nest feeling financially secure or even ready for life. Wouldn’t it be great, then, to have a manual with everything you need to know before you embark on this journey into adulthood? Yes. But even though it doesn’t necessarily exist, we can still make sure to take in as much helpful and positive information as we can.
One of the biggest adjustments is getting used to working life. Whether you’re working full-time or part-time, it is a drastic change from academic life. Depending on the atmosphere of your workplace, you may find yourself struggling to get used to such a new schedule and environment--especially when you’re just starting out. However, as with any new experience, it is important to take it all in. You should aim to absorb as much information you can as you go through different jobs, because what you learned at one place can benefit you in the next. Don’t look at errors you make as mistakes, but instead as necessary steps to getting where you need to be. Most importantly, have confidence. There is only one of you and you’re the best person for the job.
The responsibilities that come with adulthood can be pretty overwhelming. It’s easy to feel like you’re alone in the struggle, but trust that everyone else is just trying to navigate things, the same as you are. The best way to stay on top of it all is to stay organized, which can be tough now that you’re on your own. Find a system that works for you and stick to it. As an adult, letting things fall through the cracks can make for major consequences later on. That light bill isn’t going to pay itself! Planning, scheduling, and setting reminders is getting easier, as the power to do so is literally at our fingertips, with one swipe of our phones. Keep physical calendars in your car or purse, hang one on your fridge, or keep one by your bed. Have a notepad ready to jot things down. Whatever your method, make sure that it’s on-hand and visible to you each day--that way you won’t miss a beat.
During all of this, it’s especially important to have a supportive tribe. No matter how many or how few, it’s a good idea to have people around you whom you can lean on and who can support you. Some are lucky enough to carry friendships from school into adulthood, but the relationships you make in adulthood are just as significant. Try to be open to new people while protecting your space. With any friendship, support, love, and growth should be at the core. As you receive these things, remember to genuinely return the favor.
Work, relationships, responsibilities, adulting--balancing it all can be difficult! However, you don’t need to rush through the process. Taking it one day at a time and enjoying it for what it is will take a lot of pressure off of your shoulders. Having ample time for work, rest, and play will help you avoid burning out. Young adulthood can be a scary time, but--with the right tools--it can also be very rewarding.
Jaimy aspires to be a relative voice to other young adults like her. As a Haitian-American first-generation college graduate, she knows that the complicated journey she's been on to get to where she's at now is the same story for many others. She challenges the status quo by going after what she truly believes in which is having the opportunity to be creative while unapologetically pursuing your passion and not conforming to what everyone else deems is right for you. Jaimy loves to read, stay active, and spend time with the people she loves.