Adulting: The True Art Form

In today’s society, there is no such thing as becoming an adult considering the consistent growing and molding we all have to go through in our lives.

What is an adult? Biologically, it is someone who has reached sexual maturity, around ages 12-14. Psychologically, it is when you “complete adolescence” and reach young adulthood which is said to occur around your 20s, as stated by Sutter Health in Palo Alto. But what if you’ve done all that and still don’t feel like an adult?

The world is changing and becoming an adult is different now in comparison to when our parents were in the same transition years ago. Now, the transition is correlated with stress, depression, pressure, and especially media.

Watching ‘how to’ videos can’t fix everything and pulling extra shifts at work won’t distract from the fact that we’re transitioning into adulthood, whether we want to or not. As a generation, we’re filled with stress and responsibilities at the moment, most of which we’re still learning about. High school doesn’t teach us about this transition into adulthood: doing taxes, how to balance a checkbook, how to cook something healthy for yourself or how to make a routine or schedule for yourself. These key components to being an “adult” we have to discover for ourselves.

“My biggest responsibility was to get great grades,” said Carlos Polanco, a Skyline student who is from El Salvador and came to America in his senior year of high school. “Balancing my studies and work is still one of the most difficult things to do.”

Polanco talked about pressure from this type of multitasking and how it takes a toll on you as a young adult. He explained that there is something pre-established in him that if he is working hard, then he’s the one who should take care of himself. He mentions how he still requires other things from them, just not all things.

“What reminds me that I’m not a kid anymore is that I need to manage all of my own expenses,” Polanco said. “I don’t rely on my parents to pay for my things, but not because they’re unable to. At this age, we’re still learning about how the world works outside.”

The results of a study by UK Youth, a charity, found that of 1,000 18-25-year-olds polled, money, appearance and career worries as well as fears about the future meant a large chunk of their time was spent feeling anxious or under pressure. The study also found that “one in 10 participants felt they have no-one[sic] to turn to discuss their stress, leaving them to face their fears alone.”

“My biggest fear for becoming an adult is giving up on my main goals and settling for what I know I can do, but not truly love,” said Lauren Wright, a Skyline student. Wright was working as an independent contractor when she left high school and found it new and difficult to maintain her own schedule on a daily basis while juggling school.

In an interview with The Independent, a representative for UK Youth said, “Despite living in our ever-connected world, young people need safe spaces more than ever.” Finding a safe space, a place where you can confide in others and provide self-care for yourself can in fact help you with this transition into adulthood and can make it seem less scary than it looks. Regardless of stress, fears, or insecurities, we have to go through these obstacles to get to our goal. But it’s also okay to enjoy your favorite show or ice cream, even if it’s meant for kids. When you really look at yourself or even another adult you know, we’re all just big kids at heart.