The hardest part about getting older is that you are now taking on the daunting task of "adulting." Adulting is when a young adult begins to move away from their parents' safety net and start to handle life's responsibilities independently. Some people master (or appear to master) this transition quite well, while others do not.
Some people fall somewhere in the middle, like me.
I recently completed one of my lifelong dreams of becoming a lawyer before the age of 25. My parents rooted for me and supported me every single step of the way. Now, I have been faced with the harsh reality of finding a job in the middle of a pandemic and a socio-economic climate preparing for an impending recession.
Despite my fairytale desire to put everything on pause, the world around me keeps moving forward. Bills are still due, rent needs to be paid, and student loans will not take care of themselves. Part of growing up is coming to the realization that you become responsible for your own needs and wants.
Of course, some individuals are privileged enough to continue to rely on mom and dad to cover their expenses while they figure everything out, but some are not afforded such a luxury. During my first year of law school, my dad suffered a stroke that changed his career trajectory. He had to take early retirement while my mother continued to work.
It was incredibly difficult to give my undivided attention to school, and overwhelmed me with fear and worry. Although I persevered and graduated on time, the journey was a long and stressful one. My dad being unable to work, and the household only having one stream of income fueled my desire to "make it."
The pressure is on me to take on shared and personal expenses. This is another aspect of adulting: dealing with the health realities of your aging parents. And let me say it plainly, it absolutely sucks. Putting yourself in a position to take care of yourself and your loved ones while also having room to play and have fun is paramount to any young adult.
Covid-19 has put our older family members in a frazzled state that discourages them from enjoying life's daily pleasures, given that they are a high-risk group. We are a generation that has centered self-care and mental health protection as non-negotiable things.
I am proud to be a millennial who understands the importance of still enjoying life while navigating the art of adulting. As I continue to adjust to the post-Covid world we are entering, I keep in mind that the transition from being a kid to a young adult has no manual and that each of us is on our specialized path.
We have to tackle life's hurdles with confidence and give ourselves the grace we deserve because nothing about this is easy.