The Anxiety of Adulting

woman experiencing anxietyWe often treat life events like starting college or a new job as reasons to celebrate. But the truth is, these achievements can require massive mental, emotional, lifestyle, and relationship changes which can inspire some anxiety about adulting. In some ways, we’re prepared for this, but still, these changes disrupt and challenge our set routines.

These major life events comprise a critical development stage in which young people begin adulting.’ They may be discovering who they are while exploring personal and professional development. Doing so means trying new things and being open to trial and error. This unpredictability makes anxiety about adulting an understandable reality. Whether you’re headed off to the University of Michigan in the fall, or you’ve recently graduated from Michigan State and are looking to begin your life here in Holly, Highland, or Hartland Township, it makes sense that you may have mixed feelings about the change. 

If you’re nervous about stepping out on your own, you’re not alone. And you’re not without support. In anxiety therapy at New Perspective Counseling, we help individuals learn to cope with positive and negative changes. We help clients understand how anxiety impacts their minds and bodies. We give them tools that enable them to feel at ease and empower them to regain control of their lives.

What is Adulting?

In short, adulting is directly related to gaining more independence. Choosing a college and a major. Leaving home. Applying for jobs and going for interviews. Buying a home in Holly, Highland, or Hartland Township. Forming new personal and professional connections. Taking on responsibilities like paying bills or filing taxes. These are just some aspects of adulthood. Adulting is a verb used to describe the execution of such tasks and behaviors commonly associated with ‘grown-up life.’

anxious young womanWhy Do Some People Have Anxiety About Adulting?

Many people feel anxious about adulting because of the uncertainties and unpredictability associated with their new responsibilities. However, this anxiety can be more severe for individuals with an anxiety disorder. The future may begin seeming less hopeful. Previously set goals may seem less achievable. If anxieties about adulting make you feel this way, consider seeking anxiety therapy and speaking to a mental health professional. Professionals specializing in anxiety therapy and other forms of individual therapy recognize many reasons—some of which are listed below—why young adults experience anxiety in this stage of life.

They’re Dealing With Unrealistic Expectations of Adulthood

Many young people may feel like society expects too much from them. Like they should know how to adult fresh out of high school; to already have a position lined up in their chosen career path after college. But when they can’t effectively adjust to their new responsibilities or overcome obstacles by their first year in college, it’s said they’re experiencing a ‘failure to launch into adulthood. Such unrealistic expectations can come from society, family, friends, and within.

They’re Afraid of Failing

High, unrealistic expectations can ultimately cultivate a fear of failing. This fear can stop people before they even start. A student who fears giving the wrong answer if called upon by a professor may avoid attending class. People consumed by the fear of failure may not apply for jobs to avoid rejection. An anxiety therapist can help young adults understand that while avoidance can be a short-term solution for escaping stress and discomfort, it can also be a long-term guarantee for suffering. Avoidant behaviors can perpetuate a cycle of low energy, poor motivation, and negative thoughts that can ultimately fester into depression and an existential crisis.

Use Your Summer to Combat Anxiety About Adulting

This summer, find a healthy way to balance relaxation with fun and prepare for higher education and the workforce. You can be productive with your time and cope with post-graduation anxiety and depression by:

young man wearing white hoodie

  • Staying connected. It’s normal for friendships to shift. Contact with friends may decrease as you go your separate ways in adulthood. Still, try making a point of texting and calling your friends back home in Holly, Highland, or Hartland Township.. Doing so gives you the chance to catch up and do health check-ins. You’ll be able to brainstorm plans for your future career with those who know your skills and share your triumphs and challenges in high school and college. Staying connected can help you combat loneliness and keep your familiar support system intact even as you forge new friendships.
  • Identifying and maintaining new interests. Your interests don’t have to stop just because high school clubs and college organizations do. Take time during the summer to try new things and involve yourself in community groups. Be on the lookout for opportunities and activities that promote professional development.
  • Creating a plan of action. Enjoy an organized summer by mapping out your moves. Write down your goals. Come up with a list of academic and professional references and spend time searching and applying for jobs. Likewise, draft a realistic budget and feasible action steps for searching for an apartment or your ideal dwelling space. When making plans, keep your greater purpose in mind. Doing so can help you create meaning in your life.
  • Enlisting the professional help of an anxiety therapist. Anxiety therapy can help you process your anxieties about adulting and plan for a positive future.

Anxiety Therapy Can Help You Overcome Anxiety About Adulting

Professional therapists at New Perspective Counseling understand that anxiety about adulting impacts everyone differently. For this reason, we implement treatment methods tailored to clients’ individual needs and goals. We provide a safe, supportive, judgment-free space conducive to your healing goals. Our anxiety therapists can help uncover the issues contributing to your anxiety and provide personalized guidance and support. We’ll help you learn and practice deep breathing, mindfulness, meditation, and other self-care strategies. These tools can empower you to adult your way instead of society’s and will benefit you even once you leave home in Holly, Highland, or Hartland Township. You’ll be able to feel more at ease adulting in ways that benefit your lifestyle, health, and peace. With more confidence, you’ll be able to silence your inner critic. You’ll be able to focus less on hypothetical failures and more on how fulfilling adulting can be. Reach out to us to start a healing journey of growth and confidence-building that will help you effectively cope with challenges at any point across your adult life.


Lebowitz ER. Family Impairment Associated With Childhood Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2017 Mar;56(3):187-188. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2017.01.002. PMID: 28219483; PMCID: PMC5504878.

Niederjohn, D. (2019, March). Overcoming avoidance and fear of post-graduation plans. Psychology Teacher Network. https://w