You're getting ready to graduate. You can't find a job. You feel like you're doomed to live with your parents forever. Welcome to the "thrisis" club.
With over 85% of college grads moving back home with their parents due to financial constraints, being an "adult" and living on you own has become less of a reality and more of a fantasy for millions of 20-somethings across the country. Sure, it's easy to feel like you're alone when some of your friends are scoring cushy jobs, getting engaged, and throwing money down on homes and apartments, but don't feel bad – you're really not alone.
In a recent CNN.com article, the topic of delayed adulthood is hashed out, and "thrisis" is described as the severe anxiety one feels when you reach the big 3-0 and realize you're no closer to your dreams then you were when you graduated from college. Reality check: It's not just happening to older people – it's happening everywhere, and when you compile that with the fact that unemployment for recent college grads is currently hovering at 20%, the likelihood that you too will soon feel anxious, stressed out, angry, and resentful…well, let's just say you're in good company.
So what can you do to keep your sanity? Here's some tips on how to manage your own early onset "thrisis":
1. Don't compare your situation to anyone else's
Sometimes it's easy to feel like you're being left behind when you see great things happening to your friends. But remember, every situation is unique and no one is judging you (and hey, if they are then maybe they're not such great friends, right?). Be happy for them, but realize your time is coming. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger, and you're learning valuble life lessons they're not. Humility, resourcefulness, courage, and optimism are just as valuable (if not moreso) then a steady job and a roof over your head. Be grateful that you have family that supports you and don't think of it as step back — this is your chance to work on your survival skills. Think about it: What if your friends all got laid off and were forced to deal with the same situation? Could THEY handle it and successfully weather the many highs and lows you're experiencing?
2. Don't let anyone else set your measure of self-worth
The biggest mistake you can make is assuming you hold no value because you don't have a job or a ton of money in the bank. YOU ARE MORE THAN A TITLE OR BANK STATEMENT! Recognize your own skills and talents and celebrate them every day. You may have to move home, but that doesn't mean you can't use what you know to freelance, volunteer, or work on your own personal pet projects. If you don't see value in yourself chances are, nobody else will either.
3. Do live your life to the fullest
"Thrisis" shold not equal an unending holding pattern. Yes, you may be on a budget, but that doesn't mean you should hide in your room every day and avoid interacting with the people that love you most. Go have drinks with your friends, catch a movie, or maybe even plan a vacation if you have a little money stashed away. You can't put your life on hold just because you're not where you want to be. The more you socialize and get out there, the more you may come to realize that millions of people are in the same exact position you are, and while you may feel isolated now, life isn't going to stop even if you feel like yours has ground to halt.
The overall lesson you can take away from this is that you can't predict the future but you can make the most of the present. Focus on what you can change and improve now and don't worry about what you THINK you may be missing out on. You may not know what's going to happen tomorrow, but you can make the most of today.