A now cliche saying is that “adulting is hard.” This quip is featured all over social media, in memes, and throughout daily conversations between young adults. We’re working hard in school, hustling at our jobs, trying to save money, and balancing relationships of all kinds. It’s exhausting. If you feel like you’re falling behind, it can be a bit terrifying as well. Many people have an idea in their head about the “right” times to be reaching milestones such as landing your dream job, moving out on your own, or falling in love. And while there is no actual correct time for these things, it’s hard to shake the idea that we’re failing when a new year passes and we’re still in relatively the same place.
Something I’ve learned though, is that to look at life as one huge obstacle is to set yourself up for a lot of stress. Life is made up of little steps that lead towards something bigger. In order to keep our sanity, we must take things in smaller doses. Don’t lump all of your aspirations into one giant monster. You’ll go crazy from the immense pressure that can cause. Instead, take a step back, and focus on gradual betterment.
Don’t focus on how much money you need overall for a new car or apartment. Think instead about saving a certain amount from your paycheck every two weeks. These small installments will add up over time. Don’t fester on the idea that you need to have a career you’re passionate about if you don’t know what that is yet. Instead, go about pursuing things that interest you, and seeing where they lead you. Careers are built, not instantaneous. Don’t think about having to find your one true love right away if you haven’t. Think instead about building meaningful relationships and meeting new people. The right person will come along at the right time.
The key is to not create unnecessary stress around things that take time. Of course, dream big and have goals, but don’t get caught up in worrying about reaching them all overnight. This isn’t a race, and you are not competing against your peers. You should simply be on a mission to better yourself at your own pace. So relax! With steady hard work, a clear mind, and a positive attitude, you will achieve anything you set out to do. Adulting may be hard, but you can handle it; just take it all one step at a time.