What Does it Mean to be an Adult?

I am 26 years old. So I’m an adult, right?
I have a college degree. So I’m an adult, right?
I did my taxes by myself for the first time this year. So I’m an adult, right?
I’m in debt. So I’m an adult, right?
About 50% of my friends and associates are married with kids. So I’m an adult, right?


I live at home with my parents…
I don’t have a career…
I’m never been on a first date
I still watch Sesame Street weekday mornings
I may or may not fangirl over pop groups like Fifth Harmony

So at the end of the day am I an adult or not? What does being an adult really even mean? According to Webster it means:

Adult  adjective ə-ˈdəlt, ˈa-ˌdəlt
1. fully grown and developed
2. mature and sensible : not childish

I find the word adult to be highly subjective. It can be interpreted as simply a physical state of being or a mental one.

When you think about it, many people have physically developed by age 16, but we all know a 16 year old is for from an adult. Therefore being an adult can’t just be about someones physical development. To me I find the meaning rooted in mental state but much more complex. An adult is not only mature in terms of personality but also in behavior. When I think of an adult I think of someone who is completely independent. This person can support themselves financially, they have at least a somewhat clear career path, and they can engage in mature social relationships. Basically, an adult is someone who has their (excuse my french) shit together.

So am I an adult….

Honestly, I don’t think I’m there yet.  I feel like I’m in the purgatory stage of life.

What about you all? What is your definition of adulthood?



One thought on “What Does it Mean to be an Adult?

  1. LaTonya says:

    I’m 20 and a lot of the people I graduated with, almost 2 years ago, have babies and are married or planning their wedding. I absolutely think it’s a huge rush, but I realized…all those people have jobs, they’re living the dream (not living with their parents), and do things that they don’t have to tell their parents. They’re not legal to drink, yet they handle responsibility better than real adults. Then there’s me. I have a boyfriend. We’ve been together for over 3 years and we are middle schoolers compared to “normal” 20 year olds. Everything about us is dependent. We have no car, my boyfriend doesn’t even have his license, we’re virgins to just about anything you can think of, and we have no clue what’s going to happen in the next few years. I actually find myself looking at my old fellow classmates with envy. Just like you, I think an adult has to be independent in every way possible. You can watch cartoons and fangirl, but if you have to rely on others for more than one important aspect of your life, such as bills or where you live, you’re not an adult.

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