I will be the first to freely admit that I lead a pretty privileged life. I come from a loving household with parents who provide me with not just everything I need, but also everything I ever want. I go to a good university and have a pretty active personal and social life.
And yet I still get stressed out, almost on a daily basis. You know why? Because I’m an adult, that’s why.
Now, it is usually assumed that the minute you turn 18, you are an official adult. I don’t really know what that means. So, one minute, I am 17, an angsty confused childish teenager, and the next minute, I shed my naïve childish persona and suddenly become a smart, mature adult who has everything figured out?
Here’s my whole issue with this adulting thing that you’re expected to do after you turn 18. One minute, you are a child, spoon fed everything you know by your parents and teachers, and the next minute you are off to college, and expected to know how to live on your own, provide for yourself, and maintain yourself financially, physically and mentally?
This isn’t a smooth transition into adulthood, it is literally being shoved into the real world, with no clue what to do.
Now, I admit that I do not feel like an adult. I know at the ripe old age of 21, I am classified as an adult, but I still feel like a 15-year-old half the time.
I think I have picked up the knack of looking after myself and going through the motions fairly well, but my childish spirit lives on.
Is this because as the youngest child, I have been babied my whole life? Or is this because of my own personality where I live in my own little mind universe, teasingly dubbed by my friends as “Appsverse”? Or is this a common phenomenon that most college students just don’t feel like adults? They might be seen as adults, but they are just kids at heart?
In my opinion, we need to help teenagers transition into adulthood a lot earlier on.
Teach them how to balance their finances.
Teach them how to take their own decisions responsibly.
Teach them how to maintain their mental health.
Teach them how to navigate their personal lives in a more mature way.
The approach of simply pushing the baby bird out of the nest and hope it will learn how to fly works, but it takes time.
Adulthood is definitely picked up through experience, but a few helpful preparatory tips given to college-aspiring high schoolers in advance will more likely help them than hurt them.
To the parents who read this, don’t go from babying your kids to expecting them to know everything about the real world, the minute they go off to college.
Start showing them the ropes in advance, so they go to university as confident self-sufficient individuals, as opposed to confused kids who feel like they are masquerading as adults.
To the college students struggling with adulting, at the end of the day, having a youthful spirit and approach in everything you do is a wonderful thing. You’ll pick up adulting as you go through life, but your inner child can and should still live on. The world is a lot more magical when you look at it with a sense of childlike wonderment!