Having tackled a far-reaching parenting crisis with her New York Times bestselling How to Raise an Adult, Lythcott-Haims is back with an equally powerful and persuasive book for the adult children of those hovering parents—and for everyone who struggles to be a grown-up in these challenging times.
What does it mean to be a “grownup”? And how do we define success? For generations, the milestones were easy to pinpoint: college graduation, if possible, a steady nine-to-five, home ownership; marriage; and children not long after. For those entering adulthood today, expectations and hopes are sometimes as rigid and high-pressure as they ever were, but the realities and the options have changed. Many choose to pursue careers and passions that diverge from desk jobs, joining the escalating gig economy; many live at home with family to save money in the face of staggering student debt; and others begin struggling with how or whether raise their own children in a time of steep economic inequality and climate change. When it comes to essential, basic skills such as dating and building friendships, or learning to channel one’s energy into being an informed and responsible citizen, well, it’s harder than ever to focus and figure things out.
Into this swirl of anxiety and inexperience steps Julie Lythcott-Haims. A former Stanford dean of freshman and undergraduate advising and author of the perennial bestseller How to Raise an Adult, Lythcott-Haims has encountered hundreds of twentysomethings who feel they’re just playing the part of “adult,” while struggling in silence with stress and general unease. In How to Be an Adult, she offers inspiration and practical strategies for how to face pervasive insecurities—from the terror of being in charge or of meeting new people to quandaries about how to achieve financial independence, cope with traumas, or discover what gives us joy.
In elevating the stories of dozens of millennials who have successfully found their adult voices and while using her own compassionate and convincing voice, Lythcott-Haims shows how picking up practical ways to tackle life’s most intimidating challenges and become one’s own unique, adult self is not only possible, but fun and infinitely rewarding.