From Adolescence to Adulthood

Podcast Special Series - From Adolescence to Adulthood

Tuesday Talks have taken a turn and we at Mental Health AE are doing something new with someone new. We are excited to introduce you to our podcast series: From Adolescence to Adulthood – Understanding the Challenges and Navigating the Journey. 

In this series we bring are joined by an expert in the field to give us valuable insights. Nokhez Usama is a neuropsychologist and is currently working as a behavioral therapist here in Dubai. She has joined the Mental Health AE team to bring insight and awareness to mental health matters. Together we have mapped out 3 part series, 2 episodes each, as well as expert guests; diving into the different themes in the journey of adolescence to adulthood.

Keep an eye out for our podcast updates and tune in.

Nokhez Usama

Nokhez Usama

Neuropsychologist and Behavioural Researcher

Nokhez is an aspiring clinical researcher with a focus on translational neuroscience and developmental psychopathology. She has completed her Bachelor's and Master's from Maastricht University, with a specialisation in Neuropsychology and is currently working as a Behavioural Therapist in Dubai, whilst dabbling in applied psychology intervention planning for organisations. She is strongly driven to explore cognitive and behavioural strategies for adolescents and young adults and believes in empowering the youth for a healthier and stronger tomorrow.

Ali Khawaja

Ali Khawaja

Co-Founder Mental Health AE

Ali serves as a faculty member in the Department of Management at the American University of Sharjah. He earned both his Bachelor of Science in MIS and Masters in Business Administration from the American University of Sharjah. Ali is the co-founder of Mental Health AE. He found his calling when he looked at the shocking statistics surrounding mental health globally and the lack of support available in the region.

Teenagehood is one of the most exciting times of an individual life. However, simultaneously it is also considered the most stressful period as an individual adjusts from childhood to adulthood. There’s a lot that happens during this transition: hormonal changes, physical changes, emotional needs change, and sudden realizations of what you want to do with your life and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

In this podcast, Ali & Nokhez talk about what adolescence is, what happens to the brain during this period, and how these neural changes affect the behavior and decision-making processes in adolescence. Beyond this, we bring to light this period’s importance and significance in everyone’s life.

Freddie Mercury had lyrically described the pressures of living in his song ‘Under Pressure and since the 70s we all feel that these lyrics tell a tale and we at Mental Health AE think that it perfectly sums up the pressures of being a teen.
In our first episode, Ali and Nokhez took a deep dive into the journey of adolescence by discussing the chemical rollercoaster, hormonal salad, and how these changes can affect behaviors. In the second episode on adolescence, we talk about the high school experience and how this shapes the next big phase in everyone’s life; university. additionally, we are joined by an expert teenager; Maha Usama. She is a recent high school graduate with an unconventional story. Together with Ali and Nokhez, we discuss the pressures of choice when a teenager: university choices, gap years, performance pressures, having the ‘right’ friends, being the best kid a parent could ask for and the list goes on. But that’s not it, we dig a bit deeper.

Guest –

The most underrated transition has to be the one from high school to university. Movies have romanticized this period as a time of increased independence, a big social boom, new relationships and friendships and an incredible career drive. But the reality is that most individuals are facing a lot of firsts, find themselves a bit lost and unable to properly explore their growth and independence.

The most underrated transition has to be the one from high school to university. Movies have romanticized this period as a time of increased independence, a big social boom, new relationships and friendships, and an incredible career drive. But the reality is that most individuals are facing a lot of firsts, find themselves a bit lost, and are unable to properly explore their growth and independence.

In the second part of the podcast series, Nokhez and Ali dive in deep about the difficulties of adjusting to the responsibilities of young adulthood and how we can try to adjust and manage the shifts in perspectives and needs. They discuss how the sudden changes may cumulate in the shape of successes and failures and how such changes trickle into our daily experiences in university, personal development, family and friends, and our relationship with ourselves. we talk about coping and tools and share our nuggets of wisdom and experiences. No one is alone.

And before you know it, you are close to graduating college, you are questioning your skills and field of choice, you realize that the GPA needs some work, and whilst you are experiencing the twangs of early existential crisis your friends are thinking of moving away and your parents are asking about your grades and suddenly, it becomes a bit too much and the time is ticking.

Though not openly discussed by many, these are very common experiences for college students. The evil mix of the imposter syndrome kicking in whilst your brain is high on every lived experience creates a perfect storm.

In the second part of this series, we are joined by Danielle Hyland, a clinical counselor at the American University of Sharjah. Together with Ali and Nokhez, Danielle discusses the common themes she has seen in college as the students progress through their courses. We deep dive into academic pivots, burnouts, job hunting, and skill development.

Guest – 

Stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive, Life goin’ nowhere, somebody help me

These are some relatable words that every young professional will feel at some given point. we at mental health AE want to change the nowhere to somewhere.

The jump from college to working life can be pretty drastic for some. For some, this is the time when life is bringing action to personal passions and for some, it can be a tricky period to dwell in.

In the third and last series of adolescence to adulthood, Ali and Nokhez talk about the importance of continuous education after college. We redefine the terms regarding self-education and discuss the importance of developing a rounded skills portfolio. moreover, we talk about the emotional pitfalls and rollercoasters that are common during this period.

And the show must go on. You’ve got your job(s), you are hustling. but there’s much to consider. For many young professionals, their first job helps them make groundbreaking realizations; good and bad. but what is important, is how you decide to engage and accommodate these realizations; what actions should you take and who can you speak to?

On the final episode on adolescence to adulthood (we at MHAE wish it was longer), Ali and Nokhez bring on Alaa Hamade, a Senior Instructor at American University Sharjah and an Associate Certified Coach (ACC) with the International Coach Federation (ICF) with hundreds of hours of experience in personal, career, and academic coaching. Together, they tackle questions regarding young professional development and dive into common mistakes, appropriate considerations, and the importance of balance during this phase of life.