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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