The Truth About Adulthood
Let me set the scene: You’re about to walk across the graduation stage to receive your Bachelor’s Degree. Your family and friends are all in the stands, waiting to cheer for you as you showcase your biggest accomplishment. You’re excited about what the world has to offer, you’re excited about all the potential you have, all the opportunities that will be at your door step. You’re about to enter adulthood, finally! The world is your oyster.
Eh. Yes and No.
The analogy I like to use to explain the transition from graduating to adulthood is you’re walking backwards towards the edge of a cliff, but you’re not aware you’re on a cliff. Everyone in front of you is telling you not to worry, don’t look behind you, and encouraging you to just keep going. Keep on walking you’re almost there! So, you continue. From trying to stay awake in your final classes, to finishing your senior paper the night before, you continue walking, you finish, you graduate, and then BOOM. Down the cliff you go.
At first you panic cause you don’t know what the hell is going on. Graduating was supposed to be great! Life was supposed to be easy afterwards. My degree was supposed to open all these doors and opportunities. Instead, you’re met with debt equivalent to a surgeon’s year salary, confusion, entry-level jobs that require 5–10 years experience, and an identity crisis. However, in the midst of panic and anxiety, you look around and find a comforting sense of camaraderie. Everyone is falling down with you. Everyone from your parents to your peers is just as worried and confused, not sure what the next step should be.
The truth about adulthood is: no one knows what the fuck they’re doing, and you won’t either. THIS IS OKAY. Everyone is just going about life, day by day, moment by moment, figuring out what they think they should do to make their life as fulfilling as possible. And these choices look different for everyone. So what should you do? Make the best decisions for you and your life. Don’t compare yourselves to your friends, your family, your parents, your neighbors, your coworkers. Don’t be afraid if your passions and interests seem to change constantly. Don’t obsess over “the perfect path,” and trying to fit into the standards society created for you. Remove toxic things and people from your life if they’re only hindering your growth and where you’re working towards.
Adulthood can be struggle; but there truly is beauty in it, and an unmatched sense of confidence you’ll gain from the growth you experience during the struggle. However, you have to seek your growth and seek your confidence. It won’t just show up at your doorstep like a beautiful Edible Arrangement’s basket. You have to work at it. You have to find the light in the midst of darkness, you have to find the motivation when you’re feeling defeated, you have to find peace and contentment when you’re met with trial after trial. No one else will do this work for you; so take control of what you can: your life, your happiness, and your perspective.
The truth about adulthood is building the confidence to pave your own path and being yourself unapologetically. The truth about adulthood is accepting the changes you see within yourself and in your surroundings. The truth about adulthood is being able to appreciate your mistakes and successes equally. The truth about adulthood is yes, at times you’ll feel like you’re falling. But those times won’t last forever and when they end, they’ll be replaced with you feeling more grounded and comfortable in the adventure adulthood has to offer.