Skip to content Skip to footer

Young adults: new responsibilities, new problems


Young adults: Anna asks how Citizens Advice can help with problems facing so many in the transition from education to work and life
Anna Tickle is a Research and Campaigns volunteer at Citizens Advice Epsom and Ewell. (3 minutes)  

Young adults know entering adulthood can be a scary time. Whether you’re leaving high school, college, or university, the unknown of the adult world can be daunting.

What can Citizens Advice do to help? Here at CAEE, we have been questioning what we can do to support young adults as they make their transition into adulthood.

Could more access to our kind of service make a difference?

Leaving structured education, gaining new independence, taking on new responsibility: all can be quite challenging. Problems can show up across someone’s whole experience.

Unemployment and career uncertainty

Many people know very little about employment. They may have had part-time jobs while studying but starting a career is very different. Questions, questions:

  • What do people even mean by ‘a career’?
  • Where do I start looking for a first job?
  • How do I apply?
  • How do I know what would suit me? The world of work is complicated and changing all the time.

All this can all be especially challenging after leaving the familiar structure of education.

Financial pressures/managing expenses

Let’s be honest, people of all ages can find financial matters hard. An example of a financial burden many young people face, but may not fully understand, is the student loan system. And then everyday budgeting. If you don’t grasp the basics, you can run into trouble, especially in a cost crisis. It’s only too easy to build up debts, take on unrealistic expenses or fall victim to a scam. 


Most people know the country has a housing crisis and too often it’s young people feeling the worst effects. Just when they want an independent start to adult life many can’t even afford to leave the childhood home. With rents at an all-time high, young people may struggle to find and keep affordable housing and not fully understand their rights. The result can be frustration on all sides, insecure and/or unsuitable accommodation.


Learning about yourself means building relationships with different people in different situations. Most work well but some can lead to issues including with romantic partnerships, casual friendships and family dynamics.

Mental health

Young adulthood can be a period of heightened stress and vulnerability. There’s an increased risk of mental health problems which can be exacerbated by academic, career, or personal pressures.

At the same time, many face overwhelming questions such as ‘What do you want to do with your life?’ and ‘What’s the next step?’ Wherever you are in life or how old, these existential questions can leave you lost and confused. Many young adults struggle with mental health and the pressure of figuring out the next step only makes things tougher.

The rise in mental health issues among young adults is alarming: 1 in 5 now have a problem. Intervention by easing the transition into adulthood must be part of the way forward. People need support they can trust to deal with the fresh challenges they face.

Mental health charity MIND says the number seeking mental health support was growing before the pandemic. A further rise since shows the impact of traumatic events – pandemic, cost-of-living crisis – on the young.

They propose investment in ‘a network of early support hubs for 11–25-year-olds’. Places where you can get help when you first need it, rather than being left to reach crisis point, would avoid more intensive, expensive support later. ‘Only by addressing the root causes of poor mental health among young people can we address the rising number of people struggling.’ More about MIND. 

Young Citizens Advice?

What can Citizens Advice do to help? Could our kind of service make a difference?

Tish, one of our trainee assessors, thinks so. She has proposed a new sub-service, specifically aimed at supporting young people in education or work or looking. It could involve teaching practical life skills and providing information on how to access mental health support. Also we recently pointed out that the problems younger age groups raise with us are similar to older groups. In fact CAEE colleagues are already active in local schools and colleges.  

Hub or sub?

Perhaps Citizens Advice should get involved in supporting the MIND campaign. Or set up its own young adult/student unit. This could include, working with schools and colleges to teach young people how to manage money, inform them on their rights, and connect them with services where they can find further, specialised help.

We offer support on many of these topics already but many teens and young adults don’t know about it or feel like it’s an option for them. Moreover, tailoring this support and making it as accessible is crucial. Things can be tough for young people at the moment and here at CAEE we want to help!

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on the Citizens Advice Epsom & Ewell website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" then you are consenting to this.