When Am I an “Adult”?
Written by Maci Sepp. Media by Jack Dawdy.
As the spring semester draws to a close and many of us students are preparing for graduation or the coming semester, there’s question as to whether or not we are prepared for what comes next. Questions are constantly crawling through my mind, usually along the lines
of, “Have I been equipped with the proper education or necessary work ethic to survive the adult world?”, “Do I have the social skills and maturity level to blend in with the grown ups?”, and of course, “How will I ever figure out taxes?” It seems that the line between childhood and adulthood becomes more skewed as we grow closer and closer to it. Not to mention, the transition can be scary and intimidating, especially for those of us who haven’t mapped out our entire lives. There’s no Peter Pan to whisk us away to Neverland until we’re ready to conquer the next step. Though we tend to label adulthood based on age or academic level, how do we really know? Here’s a part of my criteria of what I believe it truly takes to be a full-fledged adult.
You dress yourself.
This doesn’t mean you can tell whether your shirt is inside out or right side out (I give you more credit than that). Dressing yourself means you’ve established your style and mastered a signature look. No matter if it’s button-downs or sweatpants, you know what you like and feel most comfortable in and you work it. By adulthood, you also know not to wear beach clothes when there’s a blizzard outside, or flip flops when walking through rain puddles. Basically, you understand the concept of weather and have some form of common sense. (Men) (Women)
You know how to make at least one decent meal on your own.
Honestly, if you can throw together a gourmet peanut butter and jelly sandwich, I give you props. Making food has never quite been my forté (only consuming it), so reaching this point has set me back a step or two. At some point in your adult life, you are going to be alone at least once, and you are going to have to figure out how to feed yourself. Learning how to take what’s in the refrigerator or the cupboard and mashing it into something edible is an art that we must all take into account before we sign our adult contracts.
You acknowledge the little kid deep inside your heart.
I’m not saying you should go to the nearest playground and swing on monkey bars to relive the “glory days.” That’s just weird. Plus, you end up scaring the six-year-olds and creeping out their parents. Now as for coloring books, I say go right ahead. This phenomenon has swept across the nation, and I couldn’t be happier. Taking time to feel youthful by doing activities that make you relaxed and release your stress is healthy and advantageous. Doing little things that remind you of your childhood is necessary to fulfilling your adult life.
So, maybe what you constitute as an adult is different from what your parents and roommate believe, but that’s the beauty of growing up and we all grow at a different and unique pace. Coming of age does not just happen. We develop into our adult selves over time, and sometimes it takes a few tries before we finally get it right. Growing up is an individual process that can be shared with others, so I plan to experience every second of the journey surrounded by people who want the same.