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Learn the key ideas of the book by Julie Lythcott-Haims

Your Turn

Consciously becoming an adult

Becoming an adult is something that all of us must face, at some point Doing it with awareness, however, allows you to live a full and peaceful life, during which you learn to take care of yourself and deal with the adversity that you will inevitably encounter along the way. Being an adult, in fact, does not only mean paying bills or managing your income, but, first and foremost, it means being the only one with the power to decide what to do with your life. This may sound beautiful and scary at the same time, but in Your Turn: How to Be an Adult, Julie Lythcott-Haims plots a course for young people to follow, full of examples and testimonials to help guide them as they enter adulthood.

Your Turn
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People approaching adulthood must decide what they want to do when they grow up, where they want to live, and how to achieve their goals

When you are about to become an adult, it feels as if this phase of life is purely made up of worry, bills to pay, and binding choices. These things are all part of becoming an adult, but they aren’t the only things that are involved. In fact, before all else, being an adult means taking care of yourself, and giving yourself the freedom to assume responsibility for your actions. Adulthood is a stage in life during which you are completely independent, lasting from after childhood to old age, when a person will most likely need someone to take care of them again, just like when they were little.

There is no one-size-fits-all path, and each person has the right - and the duty - to choose the path that suits them best. The leading paradigm up until the twentieth century that identified adulthood as being composed of four steps - finding a job, moving out of the family home, getting married, and having children - is no longer the single reference point. This, in fact, is only one way that you can choose to live your life, and it is neither the best nor the worst, but simply one of many, in a universe of infinite possibilities.

Becoming an adult is more of a process than a list of items that need to be ticked off. There are no predefined phases to overcome, so much as a long process of trial and error, in which you have to adjust your approach from time to time. Adults learn to manage the unknown with ease, and play it by ear, even if they have a set idea of where they want to go. 

To have as fulfilling an adult life as possible, you must first understand what you want to do - as well as who you want to be - when you grow up. Albeit impossible to choose not to have a job, because being economically independent is part of that series of essentials, necessary to be able to take care of yourself, it is possible - and highly recommended – that you find a job that reflects your interests or talents. Furthermore, you need to surround yourself with a small group of people who truly know you, who love and support you, through thick and thin, and whom you love and support in the same way.


The key ideas of "Your Turn"

People approaching adulthood must decide what they want to do when they grow up, where they want to live, and how to achieve their goals
Learning to fend for yourself is the first step in entering adulthood
There is no ideal time to become an adult: procrastinating and succumbing to inaction is dangerous because it undermines our future peace of mind
Taking care of yourself lies at the core of being an adult
Perfection does not exist: becoming an adult also means finding your way in the world
Having a good character is essential because human beings are a social species, and we need others more than we might have thought when we were younger
Suffering helps us to become the best version of ourselves
To become an adult that is more aware, you have to find your "why" in life, and practice acts of kindness and gratitude
Take-home message

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