A few weeks ago, in my human development class, we talked about emerging adulthood aka 18 years of age-early 20s and possibly later 20s. We read articles and had a discussion on this possible stage. Some theorists consider it a stage of human development while others view it as a transition period, not a stage. Either way, they do agree that there are some common characteristics of this age range, such as feelings of instability due to college and constantly moving around, role transitions (not a teenager but not yet a fully independent adult), and feelings of confusion for navigating life. The articles also said that this time period was a time for people in my age range to focus on ourselves and to take risks.
Prior to reading these articles, I have seen screenshots on social media and had discussions with my friends about these feelings that we were all experiencing. I have heard older adults say that they felt the same when they were my age but something about seeing actual research supporting my feelings felt so validating and made me relax a bit. (This could possibly be influenced by my personality type and heavy involvement in research.) Researchers are actually finding these commonalities among different groups of people in various areas of the world. Now of course this “stage” varies among cultural groups but there are some similarities. While reading the articles I thought to myself, “Its okay that you do not have everything together. No one has everything together at this point. You are supposed to be in this spot of constant adjustment, reevaluating, and modifying your ways of navigating.” It feels like I am on the right course, even if I could be on the “wrong course.”
Now I can say that I do not have all of the answers for how my life is going to turn out without having an anxiety attack. Yes, I have goals and plans, but nothing is guaranteed (as I have learned time and time again). I will figure things out as I go, and I am going to make mistakes. For once I am okay with this. I feel like this class topic came at a perfect time for me, because a few days prior I was stressed out about my career and overall future. I was also wondering if I made a mistake choosing to go to graduate in Chicago instead of staying in New York. It could have a message from the universe telling me to relax, “You are doing life right,” or just a coincidence. I like to think it was a mixture of both.
Time to Focus on You:
You will figure it all out eventually. Take a few deep breathes and focus on the small things that you can control.
Photo by Bryan Minear