By: Eshe Ukweli
It feels like only yesterday you were preparing for prom and deciding which college you would attend—worrying about the trivial things in life felt far from simple, like what your crush in fourth period thought about you and why your best friend hasn’t texted you back yet. But the transition from your teens to adulthood brings on a whole new set of problems. It can be a lot; budgeting and handling bills, building a career, dealing with the loneliness of living by yourself, and all the while wondering if you’re doing “it” right.
The truth is, there is no one right way to “adult”. The internal pressures we put on ourselves to achieve, and the constant access to seeing others our age succeed via social media might cause anxiety, but your 20’s are yours. Yours to try, mess up, and try again; to find your path and forge a life uniquely yours.
Of course, this is easier said than done, so to help you take your 20’s with stride, we’ve come up with five tips for adulting.
- Set a schedule and stick to it. Finding time to juggle hanging out with friends, balancing your career and passions, and maintaining time for oneself can be difficult. So creating a set schedule, with enough time to do all the things you need to do and enjoy, can not only optimize productivity but decrease stress and anxiety.
- Embrace uncertainty and lean into the unknown. Throughout your journey into and during adulthood, there will come hardship. Instead of shaming yourself for every pitfall or shortcoming, embrace those moments that feel hard and have no clear solution. While everything might not happen for a reason, there is reason in everything. Lean into your insecurities, find the lesson to be learned and the way you can improve for the future.
- Decenter others and put yourself first. The most significant shift in adulthood is having complete freedom and agency to decide what you want out of life, but it can be easy to forget this. It is so easy to get caught up in what family might say or what someone else is doing that you can forget to honor your voice above everything. Step into your 20’s putting your thoughts and opinions first.
- Take a breath and be gentle with yourself. Adulthood brings many happy moments where our hard work pays off, just as much as it brings moments where we fail. Beyond understanding failure as a moment of improvement, it is essential to be gentle with ourselves as we learn and grow. We cannot shame or bully ourselves into the life we want or the person we want to be. But with gentle assurance and patience, we can become our best version of ourselves.
- Lastly, confidence is genuinely vital. You have all the necessary skills and tools within you to not only survive, but to thrive. Your abilities and previous experiences have brought you this far and will carry you into your future. There is no one way to adult successfully. Trust that your way of navigating the world is not only enough, but worthy of your celebration.