7 Tips for Embracing Change as a Young Adult

Carolina Jacobs

Feb 23, 2023

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Change is inevitable — for some, it might even instill looming fear and discomfort. Young people especially have difficulty embracing change with each transitive experience toward adulthood. 

However, despite how unsettling it might feel, there are boundless learning opportunities as you pivot and adjust to new and uncertain situations. 

Rather than try to resist and escape the unavoidable, these seven tips will prove helpful for embracing change as a young adult.

1. Expect Less

For those who feel their expectations are never met, it might be time to shift your mindset and lower your standards — unreasonable expectations and demands often result in disappointment and loss. 

Learning to be flexible and open to different outcomes is essential in embracing change. In fact, studies have shown that managing your expectations decreases the blow when things don’t work out as intended. 

Of course, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stay positive and hopeful — but you’d be wise to cushion yourself from potential upset.

2. Accept Uncertainty

People of all ages and backgrounds have a fear of the unknown. Young people are particularly uncertain about their futures and might wonder what career they should pursue, where they’ll live, whether they’ll ever get married, and so forth. 

Rather than hide away from the world than find out what lies ahead, you should confront your fears head-on and learn to accept the uncertainty. You could even start looking at the future as an adventure in the making. 

3. Rethink What You Know

Intelligence will get you far in life, but embracing change requires you to admit you don’t know everything.

Smart people are usually set in their ways with a strong distaste for having their intelligence tested or their minds changed. However, they must reassess their opinions and behaviors if they hope to embrace change. 

Embracing change might also mean unlearning certain things you’ve come to accept already. This isn’t an easy task, but it can help you gain newer perspectives and insights about the world.

4. Practice Self-Care

Change is stressful, so young people must show themselves grace and adopt a self-care routine. When routines change, support systems falter, and life just feels hard, stress and anxiety can wear you down.

Studies show that 88% of college students feel moderately or severely stressed, with 34% feeling extremely depressed. Of course, this isn’t surprising, considering the never-ending stream of changes college students endure. 

An improved lifestyle that comprises better nutrition and exercise, a like-minded community of friends, and hobbies you enjoy are essential components of a successful self-care practice.  

You might also try journaling — a technique that allows you to process your thoughts and feelings on paper to gain a new perspective on what bothers you in life. 

5. Reflect

Thriving amidst significant life changes demands self-reflection, pausing to evaluate your current state of emotions and whatever’s happening around you.

Reflection paves the way for greater clarity, decision-making, heightened awareness, gratitude, creativity, and a sense of purpose.

Young people often ask “why” when facing changes — why something has to happen a certain way, why they haven’t achieved their goals yet, why they feel so afraid. However, reflection can help empower you to live more intentionally and foster growth.

6. Set New Goals

Studies show that people who write their goals down have a 1.2 to 1.4 higher chance of achievement than those who don’t. Since change raises questions about what happens next, young people should regularly set new goals for themselves in response. 

Embracing change means pivoting toward a new horizon. You might begin to think about the future in broader terms while also honing in on the things you want out of life. You might also start to wonder about all the possibilities once you’ve overcome the challenges associated with change.

There’s no point in moving forward in life if you don’t embrace the challenges you face in the process. 

7. Learn From Experiences

Learning from experiences — good and bad — are essential to embracing change as a young adult. When you accept that things don’t stay the same, you can begin finding meaning in whatever happens. 

Change is a powerful teacher, but we can only learn from it if we permit ourselves. Seeking new experiences, even if they scare you, is an opportunity to discover and acquire better control over your emotional response to unfamiliar situations. 

Maybe you’ll succeed or potentially fail. Regardless, there’s always something to gain — like greater happiness. Studies indicate a link between diverse experiences and positive emotions, such as excitability, relaxation, and joy.

Change Is a Good Thing

Life is bound to rattle you at times, but young people shouldn’t fear change — you might even feel braver, wiser and calmer once you embrace it as an inevitable part of life. By mastering the art of accepting change, you’ll gain the realization that you’re too powerful to break.

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