When we compare ourselves to the generation of our parents, who started having full-time jobs in their late teens or early twenties, got married, and started having kids around the same time, it’s easy to feel a crisis coming on. After all, most of us still struggle for financial stability even after our twenties are gone. Some of us have had to return to our family home and live like teenagers once again. It's discouraging and, quite frankly, depressing.
Still, we’re not entirely to blame for this situation. Our parents and grandparents might frown on our choice to continue to wear band tees through our late twenties, the truth is that they might be a little jealous they didn't have the chance to do so. The shift that has made adolescence last until we turn 25 is not a consequence of our idleness, but rather the drastic turn in the world economy. In this competitive job market, we need more skills than ever before in order to find our place in the workforce. There are several reasons why you should be happy that you're living through this now.
1. Your brain can develop cognitional advantages
During our teenage years, our brain goes through a period of high plasticity in which it's more sensitive to environmental influences. As we slowly reach adulthood, this plasticity decreases and our brain becomes less flexible. Although it sounds like this process is strictly biological, there's a reason to believe it is actually determined by our experiences and environments. If we seize our so-called "emerging adulthood" by surrounding ourselves with stimulating experiences, there's a big chance that we are actually developing our brains and intelligence to their fullest.
2. You can focus on learning new skills
The brain's plasticity during our adolescence also enhances the ability to learn new skills. When our brain structure turns static, the same happens with our chances of acquiring new tools, such as playing an instrument or learning a foreign language. Seize the day and learn all you can. There'll come a time when your body just won't be able to assimilate things and take advantage of them as much as it does now.
3. You can focus more on your education
Gone are those days when we could make a living out of manufacturing jobs. The world economy is slowly tilting towards jobs that are knowledge oriented, mostly because of the imminent automation. Being an overgrown teen gives you the opportunity to study a wider range of subjects than your parents ever had the chance to do. This can give you the privilege of broadening your knowledge and understanding the world better. It's something that we all need.
4. You can enjoy a dynamic and passionate sex life
While you're not being overwhelmed by all the responsibilities that come with adulthood, you can focus on enjoying yourself and experimenting a sex life with several partners. This can also have a positive impact on your emotional growth, and you'll be more prepared to live a settled life when the right person comes.
5. You don't have to settle for routine
Adult life is based on repetitiveness and routine. Now is the time to make each day of your life an adventure or new experience. If you wish to live abroad for a while, seize the current opportunity. As no one is depending on you economically, you have the chance of making your wildest fantasies come true. You can travel and you can take risks in your career. All of this will increase your sense of responsibility.
6. You can reinvent yourself over and over again
You have the opportunity to explore the world and let your life run on your own free will. This is the time to decide the road you'll take. If you feel that during your past years you have taken a wrong turn, this is the moment for you to stir the wheel without causing a catastrophe. Furthermore, even if you're not liking the road you're on now, you can change your path once again. Doing so will only lead to the best road you could ever aspire to, and then, you'll realize you had the opportunity to establish your way of life without jumping blindly into the world of responsibility.
You might also be interested in checking out the 25 signs that prove you are on the right track by 25 and if self-imposed singlehood can change your outlook on relationships.
Images by Kat Irlin (@kat_in_ny)
The NY Times