Why Being a Young Adult Can Be So Hard

I feel honoured to work all my clients however over the past few years I have been particularly privileged to work with young adults facing the inevitable challenges of their first major ‘life transition’ –  something all of us experience throughout our lives.

The particular age group I’m referring to is 16 to 24 year olds, transitioning from their teens to early adulthood, one of the hugest transition eras because there is just so much going on. This stage of life presents a ‘seemingly sudden’ influx of pressures, changes, decisions and responsibilities and if the person is not well prepared or supported it can quickly overwhelm their mental and emotional capacities which in turn creates all sorts of issues, mainly to do with avoidance.

As my work with young people has progressed throughout the years, it’s made me reflect on my own struggles around that time and all I can say is I am so thankful we only have to go through it once! Here’s are just a few of the generic challenges this group have to work through…

  • Pressures associated with final years of school and what to do next
  • Increased independence coupled with increased responsibility
  • Changes in social and family dynamics due to changes in social opportunities and family demands
  • The risks and consequences related to driving and drinking and drugs
  • Shifts in identity as the self matures from teen to adult (which creates shifts in their primary relationships)
  • Employment challenges; interviews, rejections and the pressures of starting out
  • Self reliant financial pressures
  • Maturing intimate relationship challenges
  • Less structured exercise and healthy eating > decreased vitality and wellbeing
  • Plus, plus, plus! What a load.

I have huge respect and empathy for people in this phase of life, it is fast and furious with not much room for vulnerability. Especially for boys who (generally) find it difficult to understand and manage their feelings regardless.

I am so pleased for all my young clients who chose to seek help when it felt too big and then sat with me over the course of a few weeks/months and worked their way through the tough bits. Facing their truths and building strong foundations of self awareness, self respect, clarity and resilience to arm them for the many obstacles that inevitably lie ahead. And most of all I feel pleased that they learnt that ‘challenges’ are a normal part of life and that every single person has them highlighting the fact that they’re not ‘Robinson Crusoe’.

From a personal viewpoint, I have developed a newfound compassion for myself at that age as I too found it exhausting, confronting and at times, far too big for my young self.  But I made it through. Until the next transition was upon me – which is another story for another Wednesday.


Leave a Reply