Finding yourself on the outside of the Young Adults category

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The 18-25 bracket can feel incredibly broad… until you’re suddenly on the outside. No longer eligible for cheaper train fares and gym membership, becoming a ‘real adult’ can have an effect not just on your wallet but on your career too.

With this generation feeling more pressure than ever to hit career milestones, whether it’s the colleague remarking they’ll now never win the young authors award, despite not having touched their novel since Uni, or the workmate panicking about having kids, who’s been single for years, realizing you’re no longer one of the young ones can start a panic to ‘do it all now’.

The rise of social media has had an unprecedented effect on these feelings, with Ben Upton, an MA student, telling The Independent, “Everyone plays down their efforts but plays up their achievements… Since we all try to present ourselves as remarkable, the benchmark has risen to an unobtainable standard. It’s impossible to be truly remarkable in our generation.”

The drive to be remarkable however isn’t getting any smaller, with young high-achievers idolized within the media and the largest growing industry, technology, dominated by young professionals. Not even being close to the 30 under 30 list, then can cause anxiety in a generation already plagued with the mental illness.

This worry of being left behind, does however have its positives. In fact according to a study conducted by PayScale, our drive to see ourselves in a better position by our thirties, results in an average salary growth of 60%.

It’s important to remind ourselves that although there are those who thrive whilst still dealing with acne and teenage crushes, entrepreneurs like Mark Zuckerberg aren’t as common as they may first appear. In fact, Roya Wolverson tells us, “High-growth start-ups are almost twice as likely to be launched by people over 55 as by people 20-34”.

(To check out some of the people doing just that check out this article “5 people whose successes started later in life”)

So in those years, where a night out still sounds fun, but so does a dinner party, try to worry less about what it is you’re missing out on and think more about what it is you’re doing now.

“The whole idea is not to figure out what you should do that will matter, but to make each thing you do reflect the values you want. Because we don’t know what is going to matter in the future.”- Gloria Steinem