Transitioning to Adulthood


My first couple weeks of working and living in Portland have been nothing I expected, but everything I’ve wanted. However, I’ve learned quickly that there are many lessons you should know to maneuver the adulthood sphere that we were never taught in school.

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Source: INKCINCT Cartoons

The first obstacle I’ve run into is adjusting to a different time frame. Employers aren’t as flexible as your professors were with taking time off.

In addition, your job is likely going to take up your day from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., which leaves you little room to do what you really want to. Time management is a critical issue you should be prepared for, in a way that you didn’t need to be in school. The stakes are higher; too many days off or late arrivals could lead you to lose your job.

Consequently, it becomes imperative to be conscientious of how you spend your free time. Old habits, like Netflix binging and partying every night, don’t work as well in the real world as they did in college. You might dread the notion of growing older, but feeling good each morning when you wake up at 7 a.m. takes priority. Stay in tune with your body and what you really need to center yourself.

Reading, meditating, even cleaning can prove to be your best relaxants after a hectic week. It’s important to remain hyper aware of your stress levels and needs so that you don’t burn yourself out. Unfortunately, in the adult world, you don’t get to take as many mental health days off, so it’s critical to implement these practices into your routine.

As intimidating as that sounds, I’ve found that maneuvering the adult world isn’t as scary as we might anticipate. We’ve been privileged by our extensive education to be prepared with the skills to tackle all different types of challenges and opportunities. They’re just disguised as job applications instead of homework assignments.

By applying your organizational and critical thinking skills, you can prepare yourself for the obstacles ahead.

Claire Johnson

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2 Responses to Transitioning to Adulthood

  1. Megan Moran says:

    Claire,
    I truly connect to this post. Like I’ve mentioned in class before, I am having the HARDEST time adjusting to adulthood. Do I like my job? Yes. Do I like that I’m getting paid? Yes. Am I so thankful for this opportunity? Hell yes! However, finding “me” has become extremely difficult, so I can agree with you on so many levels. It’s funny, since I’ve left Eugene, I have found to enjoy my “me” time more than I ever thought possible. My “me” time consists of going to the gym for a hour every other day and trying to de-stress. And you’re right, taking a mental break while in adulthood can be difficult when so much is at stake. It’s all about adjusting and making the time to do it so you don’t compromise your career. Great post!

  2. pdxsx says:

    What a great post, Claire! You really address some important areas of “me” time and finding the right balance to do everything. The PDXSX program is truly am “experience” from interning to checking out the city and transitioning into your professional life. So glad you are finding your path!

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