Gen Z Woman 'Grieving' What She Thought Adult Life Would Be Like Is Offered Great Perspective & Advice

She's definitely not alone, and many felt the way forward is a lot simpler than we often try to make it.

gen z woman grieving what she thought adult life would be Halfpoint /

A Gen Z woman posted to Reddit about how bumpy her transition to adulthood has been and how it's making her long to be a kid again.

The responses she received show that she's certainly not alone and that there's still some hope and agency for those in the same boat. 

The Gen Z woman said she's grieving what she thought adult life would be and feels frightened of the future.

"[I'm] 24 [and] feeling depressed about just life in general," the young woman began her Reddit post.


It's become fashionable to immediately dunk on young people who express this — to call them lazy, entitled, and too soft for the real world after being coddled by their parents.

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But what she taps into is very real. Most of us who aren't boomers were sold the same bill of goods — get an education, work hard, and you'll have a good, stable life. But that only seemed to be true for boomers themselves. 

Now, Gen Z is entering adulthood in what seems more and more like an age of inexorable collapse, and this Redditor is definitely feeling it. 

The Gen Z woman said she feels alone and overwhelmed by the hopelessness she sees in the world.

"The world seems so soul-sucking and sad," she wrote. "I am comparing my life now to when I was a kid, and life was so simple, and it’s just sad to see the realities of the world." 

Now, she said all she sees is "debt, sickness, addiction, depression" and political leaders who are motivated by greed to maintain the status quo. "As a young adult who’s entering adulthood, life is just not as welcoming as I once saw it," she wrote. 


Like many people her age, she wondered if it was just her or if it had always been this way. "Have other generations been through something similar?"



The answer, of course, is yes: Both Gen X and millennials have consistently struggled to match or maintain the standard of living that boomers and those before them enjoyed.

Studies show that even the usual economic forces aren't likely to help. Economists say that even the coming generational wealth transfer of boomers' collective $50 trillion in riches will likely be a dud for Gen X and millennials due to the disastrous costs of healthcare — both their own and their parents.




But having your wealth decimated by the 2008 Great Recession, as Gen X did, or trying to launch your adulthood in that recession, as millennials did, is not quite on the level of what Gen Z is facing, from the saturated job markets to the lingering effects of runaway inflation and the collapse of the climate. 

"I had so many dreams as a kid, and now I see it will be impossible to achieve them because I will never make enough money to afford them," she wrote.

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But this Gen Z woman is not alone. Scores of people reached out to offer perspective and advice. 

There are no two ways about it — the path we're on economically, politically, and ecologically is a bleak one. But people online had lots to say to this young woman about how very NOT alone she is in these feelings and how to keep moving forward when you feel like shutting down.

"I am a couple of years older than you but totally get what you mean," one woman wrote. "What has been comforting, though, is that you never know what the future holds for you; you truly don’t." Her advice was the old-fashioned kind — one foot in front of the other, holding onto hope as you go. 



"I understand, the world seems broken from what I remember," one 40-year-old wrote. But she urged this young woman not to let it all immobilize her. "Everything I have done to elevate myself seemed impossible before I did it," they wrote.


Others, like a Ph.D. student on Twitter, offered more practical advice: set boundaries with phone usage and social media, which only magnify how bad things are, and make space for nature, for example. 

Crucially, she also urged this young woman to "make space to grieve" the life she thought she'd had but then to move forward focused on the basics that matter most, whatever they may be. 


That's ultimately where hope lies — the people we love and simple experiences of being human beings, not "consumers" and "creators" and "social media users," but human beings. The rest is just moving forward, one foot in front of the other, so that you put yourself in the way of something more.

May we all be lucky enough to find it. 

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John Sundholm is a news and entertainment writer who covers pop culture, social justice, and human interest topics.