21-24 years

Discover tips, tools, and support for this age

This period is different from earlier ones, since your young adult may no longer be under your direct supervision. As they enter adulthood, though, they may still look to you for help and guidance. Continue to support them and encourage their increasing independence! 

Scroll down to learn more about your young adult at this stage, explore resources available to them, and find free events for young adults. 


Development continues into adulthood! Learn about your young adult's growth and what to look out for during this exciting time.

Around 21–24 years old, many young adults:

  • Social

    • See themselves as an adult and no longer a child
    • Feel more and more independent
  • Communication

    • Are comfortable seeking advice from adults
  • Learning

    • Take risks that are less influenced by peers and more by what works for them
    • Continue to have new experiences—like, work, and relationships—that shape understanding
  • Health

    • Have 6 to 10 ounces of grains daily, including whole 1 ounce equals ½ cup oatmeal, ½ cup of rice, 5 whole wheat crackers, 1 slice of whole wheat bread, or ½ cup cooked pasta).
    • Have 2 ½ to 4 cups of vegetables daily (such as 1 cup baby carrots, 1 cup broccoli, ½ avocado, and 1 cup sliced peppers). Fresh, frozen canned or dried all count.
    • Have 1 ½ to 2 ½ cups of fruits daily (such as 1 medium apple, 1 banana, and ½ cup berries). Fresh, frozen canned or dried all count.
    • Have 5 to 7 ounces of protein foods daily (1 ounce equals 1 egg, ¼ cup of beans or lentils, 1 tablespoon peanut butter, or ¼ cup tofu). Protein foods include beans, lentils, tofu, nuts, nut butters, poultry, fish, eggs and meat.
    • Have 3 cups of dairy or suitable substitute daily. This includes whole cow’s milk, whole plain yogurt, or unsweetened fortified soy beverage.
    • Drink water at or between meals for thirst.

As your young adults transition into adulthood, talk to them about risks and pressures they may face, including:

  • Act Early

    • Unaddressed mental health conditions
    • Criminal justice involvement
    • Abusive or unhealthy relationships
    • Substance misuse
    • Unsafe sex


Find the support your family needs to thrive


NYC Human Resources Administration (HRA)

A free City ID card

IDNYC can often be used as an official ID for all New Yorkers age 10 and over.

NYC Ladders for Leaders

NYC Department of Youth & Community Development (DYCD)

Internships for high school and college students

High school and college students can participate in paid summer internships at top New York City companies, non-profits, and government agencies.

CUNY Start

The City University of New York (CUNY)

Academic support for CUNY students

CUNY students can get help meeting CUNY's proficiency standards and preparing for college-level courses.