Growing up is hard to do. Ironically, when you were about seven years old, you couldn’t wait to grow up. You thought, staying up late, partying all night, and eating whatever you wanted were the greatest things on earth. Now here you are, a millennial with a nine-to-five job, crippling responsibilities, and payment reminders from your mortgage loan officer. Where have the years gone?
Why is adulthood or “adulting” a hard pill to swallow? Wasn’t it just yesterday when you thought your biggest problem was because the kids at the popular table thought your outfit was weird? When you have transitioned from your early 20s, it’s easy to think you have all the answers to life’s questions. After all, you have a new job fresh out of college and great friends. It’s your first shot at independence, and you finally can say that the world is your oyster.
Yet here you are, in your 30s and feeling jaded. You admit to yourself that in your 20s, you knew practically nothing, and now you are just making things up as they go. How are you supposed to navigate through life while juggling a job, family, a relationship, friends, and of course, responsibilities?
According to the American Psychological Association, millennials report more stress than any generation, and specifically, college students are more stressed than ever before. It was also found out that a great percentage of these millennials grew up with an “I can have it” attitude as opposed to an “I deserve it” mindset.
Here are some hard truths about adulting that millennials find difficult to do:
1. There’s no wishing on a star, only hard work.
Tiana’s father from Princess and the Frog said it best when he gave his daughter some practical advice and said that old star could only take you so far. He added that wishes don’t always come true and that she has to work hard to make her dreams come true.
Whether it’s getting that college degree or landing that dream job of yours, the harsh reality is that you have to work for it. You have to burn the midnight oil for you to pass those exams and ace that interview before you get that job. It’s something that no amount of wishing from shooting stars can cure, and you’re just going to have to deal with that.
2. Everyone moves at their own pace.
Ever wonder why everyone on your friend’s list is suddenly getting engaged, getting married, or having a baby, and you’re not? There will come the point in your life when you feel tempted to compare yourself to your peers or your other family members who seem to have done well for themselves with their promotions, big houses, and new cars.
It’s only natural to have the crippling fear of falling back, of being a failure. The best way to get through this is that everyone moves at their own pace and that you will get there someday. You have to learn to keep going and to stay in your own lane.
3. Friendship doesn’t always last forever.
Remember when you and your college friends were so close, you did everything together? All of a sudden, life happened, and you’re too busy to see each other. Pretty soon, you find them on Facebook with families of their own, and you ask yourself why you have drifted apart.
Sometimes the hardest part of growing up would be choosing those who belong to your life circle. They don’t necessarily have to be so many in number, but they are your lifetime mates, the ones you know will stand the test of time.
Cherish whatever friendships you have, and don’t regret what you had before. Rather, be thankful that it has happened.
4. Losing a job isn’t the end of the world.
At one point in your life, you will most likely lose a job on one occasion or another, whether it is by retrenchment or you’re terminated. It will be stressful because you have bills to pay, and you feel like you have lost your self-identity.
Remember that your job or lack thereof does not define you. Jobs come and go, and you will get one eventually. Just be persistent, and you can manage to survive it all.
5. Be kind to yourself.
Psychologist Susan David said that people with self-compassion tend to be more motivated, less lazy, and more likely to succeed. This is the time of your life when you have to stop feeling guilty for being kind to yourself. This means that you have to treat yourself right by eating the right food, sleeping an adequate amount, and do the things that make you happy.
Happiness may be relative, but you only have one life, so it’s best to live it to the fullest and practice some well-deserved self-love.
6. Never Stop Learning
Learning doesn’t end in the classroom. You can learn a new skill at any given moment in your life, whether it’s driving a stick shift or perfecting those batches of cookies. One of the greatest things about growing up is that you learn as you go, and you can pick up nuggets of wisdom along the way. As you hit those milestones, you will enjoy the journey even more.
Life is a series of ups and downs. Growing up is a challenge, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t have fun along the way. Learn to take the good with the bad, the bitter and the sweet. Such is life, c’est la vie.