I'm An Adult, But The Traditional Notion Of Adulting Is Making Me Sick

I'm An Adult, But The Traditional Notion Of Adulting Is Making Me Sick

Being an adult means choosing the life you want over the life you're expected to have.
11
views

I think I'm finally an adult, and that terrifies me.

It's funny, because up until now, I've always wanted to be an adult. It's pretty much what we all strive for through our adolescent years, longing for the freedom and strength that come with being in charge of your own person. What we don't realize while yelling at our parents "I can't wait to grow up and be my own boss" is the amount of responsibility that comes along with it.

According to Urban Dictionary, adulting is the act of doing "grown up things and holding responsibilities such as a 9-5 job, a mortgage/rent, a car payment, or anything else that makes one think of grown ups." It seems that there is one correct way to be an adult, and all of us recent college graduates are expected to conform to it.

When I was younger, my view of an adult was a little different. Adults had cars. Adults had money. Adults knew right from wrong and made important decisions; they made the best decisions. Adults had jobs. Adults could wear what they like, sleep when they like, and do what they like without asking their moms. They could reach things on the high shelves in the kitchen. Adults had knowledge, and you could trust them.

As I started to grow up, my views on what an adult was changed. I learned that everyone makes mistakes, regardless of what age you are. Each adult's view on what is right and wrong varies. I learned that adults still call their moms, too, because moms are a special kind of adult that can make you feel better when nothing else can. The older I grew, the older the age of true "adulthood" became. Most importantly, I learned that there is not a guidebook that tells you how to successfully adult; that decisions are not black and white, but very multifaceted and difficult to make, and not all adults have your best interests at heart.

During my time in college, I began to think of adults differently. Adults were predictable. Their lives were efficient; their personalities practical. They sat at a desk and worked 9-5 jobs, got married and had kids. They paid mortgages and constantly complained about taxes. Adults frowned, a lot, and adults didn't have time for fun.

I'm not the 9-5 type of person. Working at a desk day in and day out makes me feel claustrophobic and staying in the same environment around the same people too long makes me feel trapped. I love to travel and my personality is spontaneous and unpredictable.

I'm about as far from the above definition of adult as can be.

I'm also 21 years old and have a college degree from a highly accredited University. Before I graduated, I received three full-time job offers; in July, I will move to Asheville to begin my first job in the "real world." I have an apartment, a car, and I pay my own phone bill. I know what I want from life, and I have a plan laid out on how to achieve it. I'm proud of the person I am today, and incredibly lucky to have people look up to me.

I'm pretty sure I'm an adult.

I'm living a life that I've chosen. No one is dictating where I go from here or how to proceed in the future. I make my choices, and I learn from each situation life places me in.

Adulting doesn't mean working a 9-5 and being serious all the time. The essence of adulting lies in embracing the freedom of making your own decisions and pursuing a path in life that allows you to achieve your goals. It is the freedom to be who you are and to love the life you live.

If that means taking a few months off and traveling the world, so be it. Start your own business, volunteer at a nonprofit, live at home with your parents, or don't. If 9-5 is what you want, then go for it. Adulting is anything and everything that you want it to mean, as long as you recognize these are your decisions. Adulting means taking responsibility for the consequences of your actions, and humbly taking pride in your achievements.

Adulting is realizing that these are all your choices to make.

Being an adult means that in this game of life, it's finally your turn to play, and from now on, it always will be.

It means you have the power to be who you want, how you want, when you want. Your life is in your control.

I guess being an adult isn't so bad after all.


Cover Image Credit: midlevelu.com

Popular Right Now

I'm The Girl Without A 'Friend Group'

And here's why I'm OK with it

843239
views

Little things remind me all the time.

For example, I'll be sitting in the lounge with the people on my floor, just talking about how everyone's days went. Someone will turn to someone else and ask something along the lines of, "When are we going to so-and-so's place tonight?" Sometimes it'll even be, "Are you ready to go to so-and-so's place now? Okay, we'll see you later, Taylor!"

It's little things like that, little things that remind me I don't have a "friend group." And it's been like that forever. I don't have the same people to keep me company 24 hours of the day, the same people to do absolutely everything with, and the same people to cling to like glue. I don't have a whole cast of characters to entertain me and care for me and support me. Sometimes, especially when it feels obvious to me, not having a "friend group" makes me feel like a waste of space. If I don't have more friends than I can count, what's the point in trying to make friends at all?

I can tell you that there is a point. As a matter of fact, just because I don't have a close-knit clique doesn't mean I don't have any friends. The friends I have come from all different walks of life, some are from my town back home and some are from across the country. I've known some of my friends for years, and others I've only known for a few months. It doesn't really matter where they come from, though. What matters is that the friends I have all entertain me, care for me, and support me. Just because I'm not in that "friend group" with all of them together doesn't mean that we can't be friends to each other.

Still, I hate avoiding sticking myself in a box, and I'm not afraid to seek out friendships. I've noticed that a lot of the people I see who consider themselves to be in a "friend group" don't really venture outside the pack very often. I've never had a pack to venture outside of, so I don't mind reaching out to new people whenever.

I'm not going to lie, when I hear people talking about all the fun they're going to have with their "friend group" over the weekend, part of me wishes I could be included in something like that. I do sometimes want to have the personality type that allows me to mesh perfectly into a clique. I couldn't tell you what it is about me, but there is some part of me that just happens to function better one-on-one with people.

I hated it all my life up until very recently, and that's because I've finally learned that not having a "friend group" is never going to be the same as not having friends.

SEE ALSO: To The Girls Who Float Between Friend Groups

Cover Image Credit: wordpress.com

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

Saying You "Don't Take Political Stances" IS A Political Stance

All you're doing by saying this is revealing your privilege to not care politically, and here's why that's a problem.

bethkrat
bethkrat
695
views

I'm sure all of us know at least one person who refuses to engage in political discussions - sure, you can make the argument that there is a time and a place to bring up the political happenings of our world today, but you can't possibly ignore it all the time. You bring up the last ridiculous tweet our president sent or you try to discuss your feelings on the new reproductive regulation bills that are rising throughout the states, and they find any excuse to dip out as quickly as possible. They say I don't talk about politics, or I'm apolitical. Well everyone, I'm here to tell you why that's complete bullsh*t.

Many people don't have the luxury and privilege of ignoring the political climate and sitting complacent while terrible things happen in our country. So many issues remain a constant battle for so many, be it the systematic racism that persists in nearly every aspect of our society, the fact that Flint still doesn't have clean water, the thousands of children that have been killed due to gun violence, those drowning in debt from unreasonable medical bills, kids fighting for their rights as citizens while their families are deported and separated from them... you get the point. So many people have to fight every single day because they don't have any other choice. If you have the ability to say that you just don't want to have anything to do with politics, it's because you aren't affected by any failing systems. You have a privilege and it is important to recognize it.

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, "history will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people."

We recognize that bad people exist in this world, and we recognize that they bring forth the systems that fail so many people every single day, but what is even more important to recognize are the silent majority - the people who, by engaging in neutrality, enable and purvey the side of the oppressors by doing nothing for their brothers and sisters on the front lines.

Maybe we think being neutral and not causing conflict is supposed to be about peacekeeping and in some way benefits the political discussion if we don't try to argue. But if we don't call out those who purvey failing systems, even if it's our best friend who says something homophobic, even if it's our representatives who support bills like the abortion ban in Alabama, even if it's our president who denies the fact that climate change is killing our planet faster than we can hope to reverse it, do we not, in essence, by all accounts of technicality side with those pushing the issues forward? If we let our best friend get away with saying something homophobic, will he ever start to change his ways, or will he ever be forced to realize that what he's said isn't something that we can just brush aside? If we let our representatives get away with ratifying abortion bans, how far will the laws go until women have no safe and reasonable control over their own bodily decisions? If we let our president continue to deny climate change, will we not lose our ability to live on this planet by choosing to do nothing?

We cannot pander to people who think that being neutral in times of injustice is a reasonable stance to take. We cannot have sympathy for people who decide they don't want to care about the political climate we're in today. Your attempts at avoiding conflict only make the conflict worse - your silence in this aspect is deafening. You've given ammunition for the oppressors who take your silence and apathy and continue to carry forth their oppression. If you want to be a good person, you need to suck it up and take a stand, or else nothing is going to change. We need to raise the voices of those who struggle to be heard by giving them the support they need to succeed against the opposition.

With all this in mind, just remember for the next time someone tells you that they're apolitical: you know exactly which side they're on.

bethkrat
bethkrat

Related Content

Facebook Comments