The Young Person’s Art of Adaptability

third year ally maddox

 photo by daniyal tahir

photo by daniyal tahir

Last January, I had an abrupt change in friend group as I began to find people I could be myself around, rather than those whose friendships just made sense with my lifestyle at the time. While just a year before, in high school this likely would have been a much bigger (drama-filled) shift, instead it became nothing more than an adjustment.

  • 18, second year student at uga

I went from being a completely social, third year college student, obviously dedicated to various groups, activities, and grades, to cutting myself off completely to spend a semester studying for the MCAT. I became very comfortable with myself and my abilities, but the second I took the test everything fell back into place and we all moved on.

  • 21, fourth year student at uga

I moved to colorado from pennsylvania for college which is 24 hours from home for me. I feel like that should have been a bigger deal than it is.

  • 19, second year at uc boulder

I woke up one morning a few months ago and realized I had spent no more than three nights in the same bed for at least three weeks. The stress of being young and moving, traveling, crashing at friends, etc. seemed to be lost, and I just went about my life from there.

  • 20, third year student at uga

Joining a frat (I know I’m sick) really changed around my friend group and the people I cared about. Because it was a new and different time commitment, I had to pick and choose who I spent my time with. This really helped me to find true friends that I actually wanted to preserve relationships with and also made me have to really focus in on things I was interested in and cut out all the bs.

  • 20, third year student at colgate college


After graduation it becomes more difficult to maintain the college relationships - people move away for work, get married, start a family, etc. It's a tough adjustment and in that situation you can either feel sorry that things aren't the same or you can adapt. Priorities change and that's okay - but you have to shift to a focus of being both intentional and understanding that life changes.

  • 29, uga graduate


I had to start commuting to school this year. While it was definitely hard, it just seemed like another peace of life that was going to make me more hardworking and dedicated. Looking back that’s exactly what it’s done.

  • 20, third year student at university of pittsburgh

So a few months ago I made the decision to go vegan. While after years of being a vegetarian, I feel like it doesn’t sound like a huge deal, but it really was to me at the time. Yet, my life hasn’t changed nearly as drastically as I thought it was. At the end of the day

Last January, I had an abrupt change in friend group as I began to find people I could be myself around, rather than those whose friendships just made sense with my lifestyle at the time.

  • 18, second year student at uga


I moved to Colorado from Pennsylvania for college which is 24 hours from home for me. I feel like that should have been a bigger deal than it is.

  • 19, second year at uc boulder


Joining a frat (I know I’m sick) really changed around my friend group and the people I cared about. This really helped me to find true friends that I actually wanted to preserve relationships with and also made me have to really focus in on things I was interested in and cut out all the bs.

  • 20, third year student at colgate college


I went from being a completely social, third year college student to cutting myself off completely to spend a semester studying for the MCAT. I became very comfortable with myself and my abilities, but the second I took the test everything fell back into place and we all moved on.

  • 21, fourth year student at uga


After graduation it becomes more difficult to maintain the college relationships - people move away for work, get married, start a family, etc. It's a tough adjustment and you can either feel sorry that things aren't the same or you can adapt.

  • 29, uga graduate

I had to start commuting to school this year. While it was definitely hard, it just seemed like another peace of life that was going to make me more hardworking and dedicated.

  • 20, third year student at university of pittsburgh


It’s not as easy to praise the versatile lifestyle of a 20-something as much as it is to expect it. If you had to pick out one true staple of young adulthood, the kind that people agree with universally, the presence of change would be a pretty good way to sum it up. Except the thing about our version of adaptability isn’t that we necessarily want to be go-with-the-flow, but rather that we have no other option.