Becoming an Adult is More Than Just Graduating College

Do you remember when you graduated college? It felt freeing. Awesome.

Like you just launched yourself into the world. And you did.

Ready to conquer it. Crush it. Make a mark and a lot of money too.

Finally becoming an adult after years of dang school and others telling you what to do.

And then…it didn’t quite feel that way.

You didn’t quite make the life you thought you would.

The job wasn’t all that it was dreamed to be.

Making decisions and changes became tough. Confusing. Overwhelming.

Your parents didn’t stop leaving you alone like you thought they would. Still nagging you to do this or that.

Relationships started to drift away or didn’t work out. The Disney-esque happily ever after ending didn’t quite happen.

What happened?

Or rather…what didn’t happen?

Our perceptions of adulthood are incomplete. We have some ideas. We have some guidance. Unfortunately those ideas and guidance come from those who didn’t know either.

Or had definitions of adulthood that didn’t fit you, nor the 21st century you were born into.

In my coaching work with clients, the topic of maturation into adulthood comes up often.

It doesn’t matter how old you are; you could be just fresh out of college or you could be many decades into life.

Clients will reach some point where they are still operating in a non-matured way and feel all the discomfort that comes with it.

So what does being a matured adult look like exactly?


Looking up maturation into adulthood, you find many ideas on the subject. Here’s one on Keegan’s Five Stages of Adulthood.

Common themes are independence, knowing oneself and ability to question oneself, dealing with our own beliefs, understanding and regulating our feelings, and to do it all on our own.

Then you meld that with cultural and societal norms that you exist within, which may modify those themes in specific ways.

We create awareness of and resolution of barriers and blocks that keep the client from maturing.

Development of independence of self and identity from that of your parents is a big project for most. And that relates to also their attachments and fears for the client as well. Recreating their relationship with their parents is often needed to be able to fully release the final barriers to full maturation.

What is your concept of adulthood? How does it fit in with the complexities of the 21st century? Where are you in your path to maturing to adulthood?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *