Getting Through Emerging Adulthood

Growing up is tough. We all want to know how to properly “adult” and do things correctly so we can be as successful as possible. All of our peers seem to be doing better or outrunning us in the rat race of succeeding in the adult world. How do we keep up and stay sane at the same time? Experts call the stages of growing into adulthood a series of “emerging adulthood” experiences. They understand that growing from a young teenager into a young adult feels like an incredibly exciting yet confusing time. Adults who are the ages of eighteen to thirty are considered to be going through the most important period of constant transition as they grow out from the dependency of adolescence to balancing all the responsibilities that comes with reality.

Whether your goal is to become the next fortune 500 CEO, an entrepreneur, an artist, a counselor, or a viral blogger, knowing the tricks to staying heathy and mentally motivated is key. Let’s cover features of emerging adulthood for anyone who’s still figuring out how to be the perfect adult.

Understanding your personality and passions are part of emerging adulthood.

From Teenager to Professional

The experiences of emerging adulthood are broken down into a series of five stages. This is the way experts map out each person’s mental and physical development as they grow up from a young teenager into an adult who is venturing out into the world. No matter who you are, you’re going to experience constant change, obstacles, and new experiences as you grow into adulthood. There’s no reason to believe that the way things are today will be the same tomorrow, in the month or the next year.

For teenagers, they are living through the first stage of emerging adulthood called the age of identify exploration. As the name suggests this stage is where teens explore their passions, new relationships, and learn more about themselves. They begin to gain a sense of what their initial strengths and weaknesses are and how they react well to criticism around them. They begin developing their personalities as well and expand their abilities to practice critical thinking from school. Some teenagers can easily become overwhelmed and feel like they need to resort to addictive substances like drugs or alcohol to deal with stress. This is highly common and a huge issue, especially within the United States. Mental health in learning teenagers is critical as they likely will bring their habits with them into college and young adulthood afterwards.

As teens start going into college and graduate into the career world, they embark on the next stage of emerging adulthood. This stage is calledthe age of instability and is marked by thousands of new twist and turns on their path to accomplish their dreams. Change can feel like a constant and there is no “final destination” during the age of instability as individuals test out new career paths, new cities to live in, new romantic relationships, and new ways of living. They may not see the friends that they once lived close by from in college anymore and must expand outside their social comfort zone. In the US especially, the rate of moving has become extremely high as young adults are traveling for college, new jobs, romantic relationships, or to “make it” in a certain industry.

Past the instability stage marks a stage of some consistency for growing young adults. This stage is called a self-focused age as young people begin to settle down more and seek residency in an environment that feels right for their needs at the time. This stage brings real “adulting” behaviors as the once teens being managing their own finances, taxes, schedules and long term goals. They still may feel like a young teenager trapped in the workplace and society of older adults who seem to understand so much more than them. Taking care of one’s mental health at this stage is more crucial than ever and is extremely tied to one’s physical wellbeing.

After life beings to follow a more common pattern, young adults then begin the emerging adulthood phase called the “in between.” This name is made for a reason as some adults either feel like life is still chaotic and boring in routine at the same time. Someone may not feel like an “official” adult yet, but they certainly are not a young child anymore either. I personally feel like I’m at this stage since I’m surrounded by older adults or have friends already starting families, but I still feel like a college student who’s figuring out their own way of life. This feeling comes up the most when a young adult feels like they have a strong grasp over their parts of their life while still needing lots of guidance in another. We all need years of learning to break into our careers as well, so working in a corporate environment or with others who are highly experienced can further emphasize this grey area.  Lots of mistakes are made in this period and risks are encouraged to be taken for the learning experience!

The final stage of emerging adulthood includes the age of possibilities. It is during this period of time that people take responsibility to chase after what they want and keep their hope at an all-time high. This is one of the most exciting periods and can change the trajectory of where life can lead to. Obstacles will come every person’s way and it’s their job to overcome them by growing their perspective and ability to understand different ideas. Young adults learn to grow through their flaws and develop into an improved version of themselves. Find a mentor in your personal life, career’s industry, or within your area of hobby to find ways to keep growing. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and be patient with yourself along the process.

Strive For Consistent Growth

Even if you’re already a grown adult who is reaching their mid-twenties or early thirties, there’s no reason to stop learning and experiencing new things. Taking a new class or learning a new language isn’t only for teenagers who are still going to school. Make your mind as open as possible to keep growing so you can continue to challenge yourself as you grow accustomed to your job, family life, or surroundings. The key is that the more comfortable we are the less potential we have to keep surprising ourselves with new potential. Say yes to new opportunities and don’t turn down different opinions or experiences because they feel too unfamiliar. You’ll be surprised the next time you get out of your comfort zone and try!

At the same time, be sure to maintain a healthy balance between your work life, your physical health, and your mental health so you have the strength and motivation to keep going. If you or anyone you know is feeling too burnt out by the hustle of life, they should ask for professional help and seek mental support. Your health is all you have at the end of the day so be sure to take care of it!

Emerging adulthood can be an exciting period for growth.

Living With An Addictive Personality

We all think we might have a slightly addictive personality, but odds are not all of us understand what the real boundaries are when it comes to real issues it brings. Addictive behavior is shown on every facet of our digital world today. From online advertisements, music videos, political arguments to weekly YouTube hauls and “mukbangs” that showcase binge behavior, it’s hard to know what is considered “normal” and not these days. Glamourizing the use of drugs or alcohol to this mix with subliminal messages is also playing a huge role in the new extremes in addictive behavior that we are seeing in young adults today. The statistics are showing that more than ever are abusing addictive substances and activities than the past generation, and points to the dependency that we unknowingly have on our digital content every day.

No matter what your age is, gender, or background, anyone can become addicted to using drugs or alcohol for the mental benefits it provides. People who have an addictive personality tend to become easily dependent on substance that provide short term pleasure, relief, and an escape to the troubles occurring during their reality. Teenagers and adults who are going through stressful environments are even more prone to abusing drugs and take on symptoms of an addict after using intense substance long enough. Every addict looks and acts differently when they are developing a dependency on a new substance or behavior, so it’s hard to recognize as an outsider unless they do so themselves. Let’s walk through the top signs of an addictive personality and how they can be better understood.

Addictive personalities can be drawn to many different activities.

Addictive personalities can be drawn to many different activities.

Signs of Addictive Behavior

  • The psychology of addictive personalities may be hard to understand, since they rely not just on our actual experience but on how we interpret them in our minds.Addictive behavior may be related to your genes, but it might not be either. Studies have shown that even twins who were born to addicted parents but then adopted by non-addicted families found that genes were responsible for about half the chance becoming addicted during their lifetime. If your environment and family encourages the use of drugs or alcohol, you may have an increased chance to become addicted yourself after enough exposure. If your parents or close relatives are abusing substances near you on a consistent basis, you could start picking up their traits and behavior after a certain amount of time. Make sure that you talk to a counselor if you feel unsafe or unwelcome at home if this is the case. The same goes for having close friends who are abusing drugs, as spending enough time around them can lead you down the road to addiction to fit in with them. No one wants to realize that they’ve developed a dependence on drugs from another person’s influence.
  • People who crave excitement, spontaneity and often goes through “phases” in life are the most likely to develop addictive personalities. They may love taking their car and driving fast, taking risks in their daily lives and career, having sexual outings with different people, and doing various activities without considering the consequences to feel pleasure overall. Dopamine is the main chemical in the brain that makes you feel pleasure, so once a person gets a taste for it they often seek it out as much as possible to get away from their daily stress. If you add addictive drugs and alcohol into the mix, the person who seeks pleasure will be more prone to using them on them on a regular basis so they can get their fill and immediately feel better in the short term. In fact, some people with addictive personalities have said to experts that trying new drugs or alcohol drinks helped them feel the best they’ve ever felt.  As their addiction increases, their bodies develop a strong tolerance and need to consume larger quantities to recreate that amazing feeling.
  • People who have additive personalities have an inability to quit the bad habits that they started. In their mind, finding an exciting hobby, person, or hobby in their life leads to an “all or nothing” mantra. They want to go all in on what was invited into their daily routine and will have a hard to stop and reflect on if it’s really a good influence on them. In younger adults or children, recognizing this trait can be difficult as different personalities and outliers exist. There’s not one set persona or behavior that allows a parent to diagnose as an addictive personality. Yet, as they grow into adults and face issues with their addiction,experts say that just acknowledging the trait for not being able to quit substances or negative activities alone is the first step to getting the treatment needed for a healthy and productive life.
  • Many people who abuse substances and negative behaviors may experience high stress and a poor sense of self confidence. In many cases, this stress may be independently created when someone chooses to worry and feed into the insecurities that developed since childhood. It may also be caused by external factors like their boss at work, a friend from their night out, or their parents who are exerting extreme pressure to do well. People who struggle with mood disorders like anxiety or bipolar disorder are also more likely to have higher stress levels due to the imbalances of hormones that could be happening in their mind. Coupled with a low sense of worth, individuals can turn to self-medicating themselves with drugs or alcohol to feel better temporarily. They may find that these substances provide more emotional comfort and pleasure than even talking to another peer about their problems.

Drugs and alcohol are frequent vices for addictive personalities.

Assessing Your Personality

It never hurts to learn more about yourself and your thought patterns. Many people learn that they have an addictive personality later on in life that could’ve helped them better understand their emotions, actions, and priorities earlier on. If you or someone you know is dealing with drugs or alcohol to cope, make sure they understand what the boundaries of an issue is. Make sure you stay educated on addiction symptoms and learn as much as you can about addictive personalities before it’s too late.

Find out if you have an addictive personality.

Find out if you have an addictive personality.