The Struggle of Being a 'Half Adult'

I bet you're wondering what a 'half adult' is, or how someone could be half of anything. I'll admit, I somewhat coined the phrase, but I thought it was particularly fitting to individuals who are at a crossroads... those of us who are still young and fun, but who have to settle down to look for a full-time job, a place to live once we graduate and who are wondering how to become our own legacy. Being a junior or senior in college can be nerve-wracking, especially with the pressure to find a job when everyone else may be just as qualified and hardworking as you. There is an internal pull to focus strictly on searching for jobs and figuring out how you can put a certain amount of money in your savings account each month without completely being out of money in the present. But at the same time, as a half adult, you really want to enjoy your last few months with those who have shaped your life over the past four years, you want to hit the town and have a few drinks and you also want to take advantage of all of the little, overlooked things that college has afforded you with. So, how do you do all of these things and not become overwhelmed? It's a feat in itself, but any transitional moment in life is a bit awkward and clunky, almost like how you felt when you had braces and baby fat in middle school. It takes time, patience, practice and even a little bit of spontaneity to balance becoming an independent, full-fledged adult and having fun on your own time. Realizing you have to buckle down and figure out what you're doing from here on out is definitely intimidating, but just remember that nothing in life is set in stone and your happiness is and should be your number one priority, regardless of the incessant pressure from outside forces to find a job immediately and be able to support yourself. This whole 'half adult' thing is something I, myself, am dealing with and I thought it may be helpful to include some advice on how to be fun and responsible in this crucial time in your life. 

 

1. Don't Be Too Hard on Yourself 

Don't set expectations that are way too high and almost unachievable. Making a plan to apply to one job a day or a few jobs a week is doable and not overwhelming. If you find that you don't have the time to apply once a day, then settle on focusing on one job that you find to be really interesting a week. Websites like Indeed.com, Zip Recruiter and Glass Door can also be amazing guides in weeding out jobs you may not be interested in and helping you find jobs in areas you really enjoy. Typing in key words and setting a location for where you want to live in the future can narrow your search to be specific to your wants and needs and may provide you with just the right match for you. All in all, remembering that a job is something you should truly enjoy and be passionate about can help alleviate some of the stress. 

 

2. Dedicate Time to Yourself

This piece of advice is oh-so important and cannot be stressed enough. After the work for the day is done, classes are over and you've given it your all, you need to set aside an hour or two for 'you time'. Taking a bubble bath, having a wine night with some friends, applying a face mask or cooking a meal that you love are all great ideas for how to unwind at the end of the day. A great idea to take your mind off things is to dedicate one or two days a week to hanging out with friends, going out to a restaurant or hitting up the mall. As the saying goes, "All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy" and you could sy the same for yourself if you don't remember to de-stress. I don't think anyone wants their happiness to be compromised from overbooking and poor allocation of time. 

 

3. Be Open to Meeting New People 

Even though it may be your senior year and you feel that you have a solid friend group that will follow you as you start your journey into the business world, don't forget to be open to meeting new people. Connections are vital in the real world and who you know can make or break your acceptance into a company or organization. Joining clubs, becoming more involved in activities you may already be a part of and going out of your way to hang out with people you have been wanting to spend time with in the past can all lead to open doors as far as career opportunities or even just new friendships that can offer you a different perspective. 

 

4. Continue to Build on Your Strengths

Just because it's the end of a chapter in your life doesn't mean you can get lazy. Make sure to continue to build on the strengths that you've cultivated throughout your four years in college and don't let all of your hard work and involvement go out the window. Whatever areas of study and organizations you've found yourself to have a passion for should be a stepping stone for self growth, self improvement and a way to give you professional skills for the career you wish to pursue. 

 

5. Be Organized and Responsible

Remember to balance your fun times with work and organization. Keeping a planner and writing out what you want to accomplish each week can work wonders because you will feel like you got a lot done and that you are staying on track. Don't let all of your hard work be of no use in your last moments as an undergraduate and fall to the wayside. Staying responsible and completing your assignments and job applications ahead of time will make you feel so much better about your journey as an undergraduate and a future young professional! 

 

 

Keeping in mind all of these pieces of advice will help you as you have fun in your last months in college. Remembering to have an old soul and a young outlook on life will help you see two perspectives as you begin to venture out into the real world. Always try your best to balance work and play and take to heart the idea that your happiness is key to any experience. 

 

Photo Credit: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5