What Does It Really Mean To Be An Adult?
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Politics and Activism

What Does It Really Mean To Be An Adult?

More than just age

What Does It Really Mean To Be An Adult?

I’m not quite sure if I’m an adult. To be honest, I don’t know what I would have to do to even consider myself an adult. I mean, I kind of do adult things. I’m mature, I have a job, I’m financially responsible (mostly), and I know how to take care of myself. But for some reason, I never refer to myself as an adult. For example, not too long ago, one of my managers recommended that I apply for a department manager position. I jokingly replied, “I don’t really think I’m cut out for that. After all, I’m just a kid”. I may have been making a joke, but there was definitely some truth behind the statement.

There are a few reasons why I don’t think of myself as an adult. For starters, I’m still a student. Now obviously, college is a lot different than middle school and high school, but it’s still school none the less. It also doesn’t help that I could still pass for a teenager. I definitely dress appropriately for my age, but that can only do so much. Even beyond teenage years, I also enjoy a majority of the same things I did when I was a child. I still play the same games, watch the same cartoons, and even eat the same kinds of food (although, I do eat more vegetables now).

Another part of why I don’t consider myself an adult is the way that I interact with other adults. I still communicate with other adults the way I always have with my parents and teachers, and while this could be considered just being really respectful, I do think it’s worth noting. To continue off of my previously used work example, my manager replied, “you’re just as much of an adult as I am; you have a job and responsibilities,” to which I replied, “yeah, but you’re a real adult. You’ve got kids and everything. I’m just a student with a part-time job”. As I alluded to before, I don’t really act childish or immature. But for some reason or another, I can never just say that I’m an adult.

One could argue that being an adult isn’t so much a facet of one’s personality, rather, it’s a mindset. If you have responsibilities (bills, kids, etc.), are mature and can take care of yourself and others, you’re most likely an adult. If I can do all of these things and still not consider myself an adult, then it’s likely that I never will (mostly because I’ll always be a kid at heart). And I guess so long as I at least know how to act like an adult, it doesn’t really matter whether or not I think of myself as one. If I know that I’m capable of taking care of myself, as well as my family in the future, then I’m perfectly fine with being a kid.

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