More than ever, young adults are struggling with career and life decisions that can sometimes seem overwhelming. Some return home to live with their parents, or find themselves in unsatisfying jobs, or lack a sense of direction in their lives. They suffer from what Dr. Mel Levine calls "work-life unreadiness," which prevents them from making the transition to full adulthood and which can cause considerable anguish. In Ready or Not, Here Life Comes, Dr. Levine examines why many young people seem to stall before beginning their adult lives and shows how they can get back on track.
There is much that young adults can do to improve their work-life readiness. Colleges can help too. In addition, parents and schools can better prepare children for a successful launch into adulthood, says Dr. Levine, by giving young people the skills they will need to thrive in the adult world. He suggests ways for schools to focus less on college prep (which generally amounts to "college admissions prep") and, instead, teach "life prep." At the same time, Dr. Levine recommends that parents balance their inclination to support their children with decisions that will offer them greater independence.
Insightful, wise, and compassionate, Ready or Not, Here Life Comes is a book that can help adolescents and young adults -- with an assist from parents and educators -- get a head start on a productive and successful adult life.
Mel Levine, M.D., is professor of pediatrics at the University of North Carolina Medical School and director of its Clinical Center for the Study of Development and Learning. He is the founder and cochairman of All Kinds of Minds, a nonprofit institute for the understanding of differences in learning, and the author of two previous national best-selling books, A Mind at a Time and The Myth of Laziness. He and his wife, Bambi, live on Sanctuary Farm in North Carolina.