According to new research, millennials don’t consider themselves to be true adults until age 30. For whatever reason, people in this demographic don’t think they are adults for another 12 years passed the generally accepted legal adult age of 18.
Enter the term “adulting”.
“Adulting” is essentially defined as the ability to do grown-up things like go to work, pay bills, buying a car, being responsible and doing things that adults do. In recent years it’s become quite popular to not really be an adult but still do some adult things. For example, you may have a job and go to work, but you come home to eat fruit snacks in footed pajamas while you watch cartoons.
But here’s the thing: full-time “adulting” really isn’t as bad or scary as people think it is. If there’s anything a 20-something needs to know about adulting, it’s these 5 truths:
1. Life isn’t Neverland
There’s only one person who never grew up and it’s Peter Pan. Not you. While Wendy Darling and her brothers were able to go off and have an adventure and not grow up for a little while, spoiler alert even they flew home with the Lost Boys and grew up. We all have to grow up someday. Our childhood builds the foundation for our lives, but we aren’t supposed to forever be a child. We are all destined to grow up and become adults and live adult lives. There’s no use putting it off. One day we’ll all raise our own children and life will come full circle.
2. Being independent is awesome
There’s nothing better than living on your own and doing something entirely for yourself. But true independence means having absolutely zero dependence on your parents. Your parents have raised you and helped you build your life to this point, but now it’s your time to do your own thing. At 18 you’re an adult and can live on your own, but you don’t have to do it alone: it’s OK to live with roommates. It’s OK to not have the grandest job or live in the greatest place. What does matter is being able to live within your means and learn how to live as an adult along the way. Don’t be afraid to take the leap, because it’s going to happen sooner or later.
3. It’s about taking risks
Live within your means but know it’s OK to take a risk. The beautiful thing about adulting is that you can take risks because you have your entire life ahead of you. There’s risk in deciding to pursue an education. There’s risk in asking out that beautiful person sitting next to you and falling in love. There’s risk in getting down on one knee or saying “I do.” These risks is really what being an adult is all about. You’ll never grow as a person if you don’t push yourself, so don’t be afraid to go out on a ledge and take a risk.
4. Yes, it’s a pain
Being an adult comes with a lot of fun and freedom, but it also comes with pain and disappointment. You have bills to pay, a job to go to and the occasional heartbreak to suffer through. A life worth living will have struggles and trials and questions about the future. There will be days when you think it’s too hard and you will want to give up, but don’t. The sun will rise again in the morning and a whole new day with new possibilities will be yours for the taking.
5. But it’s an adventure
While “adulting” may seem like living with an ever diminishing bank account and having little to no love life, there’s adventure in knowing that everything could change in an instant. Being an adult allows you to go out and accomplish your dreams. Sure, as kid you always dreamed of traveling to some exotic destination but as an adult, you can make it happen.
Don’t fear “adulting”. Don’t be afraid to take a little risk, truly discover the joy of independence, live within your means and always remember that life as an adult is an adventure, and it only gets better.
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