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Emerging Adulthood: Your Mini Survival Guide

Have you been feeling like you haven’t quite “launched” yet? Does it
appear that everyone else is in-flight while you are still trying to find the
runway? You’re not alone, in fact, there is a term for this feeling because of
how common it is. It’s called “the Quarter Life Crisis.” Put plainly, young
adults feel immense pressure to figure out their futures and find their bliss,
often resulting in some intense soul searching. This process is
developmental and can lead to anxiety, confusion, stress, and even
depression when your efforts aren’t exactly paying oR right away. As an
emerging adult myself, I have to say we are in this together. Feeling like you
are in-between the life you just outgrew, and the life you want is normal.
And, there are ways you can survive this crisis. Here are my personal tips
and tricks to riding the wave of emerging adulthood.

1. Cancel your trip to “Assumption Land”

In a social-media-driven world, it can be easy to use what we see on
the internet to measure our success. How often do you catch yourself
making these snap judgments? Do you even notice that you are doing it?
Often times our thoughts lie behind our awareness, so it is important to
develop awareness around exactly what we are telling ourselves.

2. Check your blind spots

No matter how much we experience or learn, our worldview will
always be limited. We may think that we know what “everyone” is doing
when “everyone’ is getting married, and where “everyone” is in their careers,
but our worldview is limited. Next time you hear yourself saying “I know,
but…” stop yourself and consider what is in your blind spot that you are

3. Make nice with emotions

Emotions are neither good nor bad, they just are. Even those pesky
emotions like anxiety, disgust, and shame. They certainly feel
uncomfortable, and they are necessary components to human existence.
Research in Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy has found that mindfully sitting
with emotions has positive eRects on mental health. Rather than shoving
emotions away or ruminating on them, invite them in. This is the first step
in developing a willingness to feel discomfort. Think of it as the door to this
thing therapists call “distress tolerance.”

4. Set goals not outcomes

Oftentimes goals get misconstrued with very precise outcomes we
hope for ourselves. The inability to predict the future and guarantee
outcomes is a basic function of being human. Focusing on outcomes
eliminates countless possibilities for your goals. Ask yourself if your
thoughts and actions are conducive to your goals, rather than reaching
for an outcome we don’t have control over

5. Validate yourself

Extend yourself some grace, because I mean hey, there is no
user-manual for figuring this stuff out. Validating yourself doesn't mean
you are satisfied with where you are, it simply means you are honoring your
unique journey and the trials and triumphs that come with it.
We are all flying our own planes to adult-land. Next time you feel like
you are treading the runway, take a look at your surroundings. You might
just realize that you have actually taken-oR.

Intern, Juliet McGee

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