Emerging Adulthood

I’M GRADUATING COLLEGE! Wait, what? I’m graduating college? Oh no, I’m graduating college… what now?! 

Well actually, I will be graduating college very soon, next May to be specific. Is it wrong to say I'm scared? I’m scared to go from “emerging adult” to full blown “adulting”!

“Emerging Adulthood” is a term used to describe a period of development spanning from about ages 18 to 29, experienced by most people in their twenties in Westernized cultures and perhaps in other parts of the world as well. It was initially defined by Jeffrey Jensen Arnett, PhD from Clark University in 2000.”(Arnett, 2014) Symptoms include, but are not limited to; leaving home, finishing education, finding employment, getting married, starting a family, redefining relationships with parents, shaping a career path, developing religious beliefs, and having hopes for the future. 

When I was younger I thought “Adulting” was easy. But, as I am becoming an adult (slowly but surely), I look around and see that “adulting” really is just taking one unknown step of faith after another. Adults can’t predict the future (I thought they did!).  Adults don’t have magical abilities that produce three meals a day for the rest of their lives, they have to “fend for themselves”. Adults do not just go on fancy vacations, they work hard to save and make ends meet. 

Adults, Christian adults, need to understand how helpless they are and how helpful our father in heaven is. Without God, adulting is hard! With God, adulting successfully is actually possible!

When I was younger, I thought adults had it all. As an emerging adult, I now know that all adults really need is God. “If God Is All You Have, You Have All You Need.” (see John 14:8)

So yes, I’m graduating college. Soon, I will be an Adult, a full blown, independently living Adult. Trying my best to love God & love others. Taking one faithful step at a time, trusting God will lay out the path in front me. 

Joshua 1:9 “Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (even as you emerge into adulthood). :)

Pray for the “Emerging Adults” in your life today!

Arnett, J.J. (2014). Emerging Adulthood: The Winding Road from the Late Teens Through the Twenties, Second Edition. Oxford University Press.


Charlene - October 14th, 2021 at 3:58pm

Excellent insights! Yes - we adults are only ever "successful" through God's grace and mercy! Great job, Bethany - you're going to do AMAZING things as you move into a new phase of life!

Caryn - October 14th, 2021 at 6:17pm

Great word, Bethany! I pray that other emerging and seasoned adults read and find encouragement in these truths!




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