young adult challenges
For today's young adult, the world is vastly different from that of preceding generations. Social media and connectivity and have all been deeply established as integral parts of our everyday culture. You’re among the first individuals to wholly exist in a world driven by digital technology. You’re facing a rapidly shifting job landscape, sharply diverging views on politics and religion, and greater sense of uncertainty surrounding the economy and available career opportunities. You’re also faced with an overwhelming number of options, each with potential risk and reward to consider, creating a transition from your teens that isn’t as clear-cut as preceding generations.
Finding your place
As a young adult, you’re cultivating your own path in life. Finding that path is challenging. While contemplating decisions about careers and relationships, you’re still very much developing your identity. You may find that your views on religion and politics are beginning to diverge from your parents and those you grew up around. You may be struggling with the idea that your post-high school or post-collegiate years aren’t falling in to place like you’d hoped. Or maybe you’re accomplishing the goals you originally set for yourself but you’re having second thoughts or second-guessing your decisions.
If you’re feeling guilt and anxiety because you're not where you think you should be in life at this moment, understand that your struggle is completely normal. There isn’t a specific timetable for making lifelong decisions, yet it can certainly feel that way. But you don’t have to have everything figured out by a certain age. Taking time to understand who you are, to gain life experience, and to consider what you have to offer is critical in giving yourself the best possible opportunity to living a more fulfilling life with career satisfaction and authenticity in your relationships.
Making the transition from your teens to a responsible adult is intimidating. Our culture places a great deal of emphasis on self-reliance, financial stability, and career success. You’re likely to feel pressure to ensure that you’re on a path towards achieving this appearance of accomplishment, even when you aren’t ready to make decisions that will affect the rest of your life. This can create a great deal of internal conflict making you feel as though you’re pulled in different directions. Perhaps you’ve been pursuing a degree or career that's socially revered, but realize it’s not making you happy. Maybe you want to spend time enjoying these years of your life, but you’re feeling pressured by others to commit to something long-term.
You may feel that, unless you achieve the highest education possible, you’ll only end up as a failure. You may have parents or adults in your life who question your work ethic and level of dedication. If your decisions are driven by external pressures and societal expectations, you’re not going to make those decisions with the clarity you need. You need to find a place to clear your head and separate the expectations of others from your own needs and intuition.
Using Counseling to Recognize your Intuition
Being a young adult is a critical part of your personal development. You’re mastering the freedoms of adulthood while simultaneously learning who you want to be, how you relate to others, and where you want to invest your time and resources. There is no substitute for life experience. The more you expose yourself to new challenges, new ways of thinking, and new endeavors, the better equipped you’ll be to find a place in this world that provides you with fulfillment, joy, and self-assurance.
Developing a therapeutic relationship with someone familiar to these challenges can provide you with the direction and self-assurance you need to navigate these years of your life. You will learn to discern between the external pressures in your life and your own intuition. As you progress, you’ll develop an understanding that your instincts are frequently a guide for helping you identify what’s best for you. Above all, counseling is a place that allows you a chance to clear your head and find relief from the relentless pressures of “figuring it all out.