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Anxiety This forum is for seeking advice on anxiety and stress related issues.

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Turning 18 and feel like my youth/teen years are over? - January 2nd 2016, 06:53 PM

I will be 18 soon and when I think about it I feel like I am losing my youth. I mean I am still in highschool and I think about college issues a lot. I really enjoy being a teenager and I feel like that is coming to an end. Don't get me wrong, I'm ok with handling the responsibilities and all. Its more of the landmark. I get the feeling like I can't really identify with other teens anymore and it makes me feel like my youth is already over. I'm already thinking about stuff way far in the future. I wanna enjoy the present
I see people mention 18 year olds in 18-24 age range but at this age I really don't identify with people in their 20s
   
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Re: Turning 18 and feel like my youth/teen years are over? - January 3rd 2016, 11:31 AM

Hey there,

I think this is actually quite a common thing to go through. It's natural to realise that you are coming to the end of the 'teen' years and with this brings adulthood. It's both exciting and anxiety producing thinking about the future. There's more opportunities but also more responsibility. We may wonder how we cope with all of this and as you've said, we may feel like we don't identify with young adults, just yet.

You don't need to change anything or do anything different. If you've enjoyed being a teenager, that's great, but there's nothing wrong with continuing what you enjoyed into young adulthood. I'm in my 20s and have friends in their 20s and we are just as young at heart as we were when we were teenagers. You may feel like you can't identity with other teenagers, but that's ok. Everyone has different tastes, styles and opinions, and when you get to college, there is no set age range. It doesn't mean that your youth is over at all.

The key to enjoying the present, is to not focus on worrying about the future so much or dwelling too much on the past either. If you find that you can't go a day without worrying, try to set aside some time each day to worry, or write down your feelings. Limit this to be the only time you can worry and if you have worrying thoughts throughout the day, just tell yourself that you'll worry about it later.

It might be helpful to remember all the other transitions you have gone through in life too and this is just another transition (going from teenager to young adult). For example, starting school would've been an anxious time, or transitioning to another school. You got through those times and I'm sure you'll get through this too.

Lastly, the transition from teenage years to young adulthood doesn't happen over night. Even though you'll go from being 19 one day to 20 the next, the actual transition is a lot slower. There's no need to rush or feel rushed at all.

Take care


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Re: Turning 18 and feel like my youth/teen years are over? - January 9th 2016, 06:40 AM

So at 18, I can say my teen years aren't over and I can still think of myself as a teen?
   
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Re: Turning 18 and feel like my youth/teen years are over? - January 9th 2016, 08:04 AM

I mean socially I identify as a teenager. The responsibilities are ok with me
   
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Re: Turning 18 and feel like my youth/teen years are over? - January 9th 2016, 10:39 AM

If that's how you feel, then I see no problem with that. I still thought of myself as a teenager when I was 19, even though legally in the UK you become an 'adult' at 18. And when I turned 20, I felt like a teenager, but I thought of myself as a 'young person'. Really, these labels such as 'teenager' and 'young adult' are just social constructs. The actual overall development takes a long time, so don't feel like you have to adhere to one label or the other. Just be you


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Re: Turning 18 and feel like my youth/teen years are over? - January 9th 2016, 01:17 PM

As long as I don't be immature
   
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Re: Turning 18 and feel like my youth/teen years are over? - January 15th 2016, 02:12 AM

I think that how you view yourself will depend on what stage of your life you are at, as well as how much you have developed as a person.

I just turned 27 and sometimes I still see myself as a teenager. I certainly still identify with the 'young person' label. This is partly because I am at university, mixing with actual young people, but also because I still feel young emotionally and professionally.

Conversely, I know people my age who are married with three children, and I doubt they still see themselves as a 'young person' because they are known to some as 'mummy' or 'daddy' and these responsibilities and the associated parental tasks and activities mean that they are very much in the adult world, mixing with other adults.

Then there are the people who finished university at 21 and have now worked their way up to a fairly high position in a job. They too probably feel more like adults than young people.

So as you can hopefully see, it is not so much about what age you are, but what is going on in your life and your head that determines whether you are a child, teenager, young person, or adult. And sometimes we feel different things in different circumstances, depending on what we are doing and who we are with.

On a side note, I can totally identify with the feeling of dread that approaching 18 invokes. But it's really not that scary and you don't have to give anything up; you just have the opportunities to do things that you couldn't before.



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Re: Turning 18 and feel like my youth/teen years are over? - January 15th 2016, 03:48 AM

You can label yourself however you want but ages 18 and 19 are still considered teenage years. My 18th year was tough because I finished high school, got my first job, and went off to college. It does feel like you're transitioning out of your childhood and are being thrusted into adulthood, but it's not as scary as you think. You'll be happy with the new opportunities that come your way.


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Re: Turning 18 and feel like my youth/teen years are over? - January 24th 2016, 05:34 AM

I know how I feel. Sometimes I think of life ahead of me instead of the present like I think about things when I'll be 28 or even months away
   
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