Kelley Wood, LPC
People in their 20’s face unique challenges. When it comes to navigating these times of transition, whether entering the workforce directly upon finishing high school or continuing your education in college or trade school, you may feel like you’re flying blind. Reality: adulting is hard and the struggle is absolutely real.
There is so much about being a 20-something that gets hyped – the freedom from parental rule, opportunities to discover who you are and what matters to you, and endless possibilities when it comes to stuff like dating, friends, or where to live.
What you don’t hear much about it the intense level of stress and uncertainty that often accompanies the freedom. There are a lot of major life decisions that get made during your 20’s and it can be really difficult to know how to choose well.
Do you find yourself struggling in any of these areas?
Redefining your relationship with your parent(s): You desire for your parents to view you as the adult that you are, while they struggle not to treat you like a child. That dynamic gets especially tricky if they are providing you with some kind of financial support.
School and/or Career: You could be in college, doubting if this major really is for you, unsure of what else you might enjoy. Or, I have my degree, now what?!?! Maybe school wasn’t for you and so you got a job, but the thought of doing this kind of work for the rest of your life makes you feel thoroughly depressed. Social media can make us believe that we have to look like we’ve got it all figured out and that we’re living our best life now. Having to become financially independent can feel like an impossible task, especially if you aren’t familiar with things like budgeting and saving.
Dating: It’s not uncommon to be wrestling with your sexual identity at this point in life. Receiving a lack of support or acceptance from your family can feel crushing. Additionally, you may eventually find yourself with evolving expectations for your romantic life – for example, where you had been happy casually dating a variety of people, you now find yourself wanting to be in a committed, long-term relationship (or vice versa).
Community: Maybe you’re struggling to balance keeping high school friendships and making new friends at college or in a new city. If you moved to a new city for work, how do you go about making friends? Is there a way to meet people other than by going to a bar? It can feel awkward or intimidating to meet people and develop new friendships, so it’s not surprising that many 20-somethings experience strong feelings of loneliness when they lack a sense of community or feeling part of.
If you find yourself struggling with any of these areas, know that you don’t have to figure things out on your own. A licensed counselor can help you work through the feelings of depression, anxiety and being overwhelmed that so often come with the transition into adulthood. I have a great deal of experience helping people in their 20’s sort through these issues and would be excited to walk alongside you through this part of your journey.