Becoming an adult is an incredible rite of passage. But when is that exactly? It even varies legally from state to state. In some states the “adult” drinking age is 18, and in others it is 21. You can serve your country at 18, so just when are you really an adult? The other day I was having a discussion about this with a friend. I remember as a child thinking I would feel like I was an adult at a certain age. That age came and went, and I thought about another life event that would certainly qualify. Nope.
Things have definitely changed since I was growing up. There are books on “adulting”- a lot of them- that didn’t exist before. Some are written by those who have passed this rite of passage long ago, and some who are just exiting the “younger” gates themselves. I loved looking at those. One author described herself as being in the no child left behind generation with helicopter parents- which left her with no independent living skills at all. She reached 18, didn’t know what to do, went to college, got her first job, and learned there were so many things that she didn’t know how to do. Although not much older than that now, she wrote her book to help others learn from her mistakes. She writes about finally learning how to wash clothes because she ran out of money buying new ones all the time. Grocery shopping was another thing she got a crash course in, as well as saving money, investing, and more. Her book is a fun read about becoming an adult. She frankly admits that she is still young and that reading her book in ten years will show her even more that she needed to learn, but for now, this is what she knows and can share to help others.
There are other books that do read like a manual for becoming an adult. I know these- and more- were written for people of a certain age, yet I see the need for them in all age groups at this time in our history. This particular book covers the nitty gritty about:
- How to find a job and be wildly successful at work
- How to buy items you need as an adult (apartment, car, insurance)
- How to set goals, prioritize, and get work done
- How to communicate professionally and effectively
- Saving and invest wisely
- Navigating personal and professional relationships
- How to avoid the common mistakes of being out on your own and more!
Part of this phenomena may be due to the fact that there used to be classes in school that covered many of these topics. Home Economics taught life skills from sewing, cooking to basic family finances. There were also basic business classes that covered those things as well, and covered writing checks, investments and so on. These have been some of the classes that were cut decades ago, and we are seeing the effects of this loss. It takes time for us to notice this across the board. Whenever we take away something we must look at what that loss may create. Adulting has so many components to it. It is the process of being self- sufficient. We have to learn those processes somewhere. Adulting. What an interesting word for becoming.
How about you? Do you remember when you were young and dreaming about a when you would be an adult? What age did you think that would be? When did you actuallyfeel like you were an adult? There always seems to be a disqualifier in there somewhere. Being young at heart is a great thing- and so is maturity!
This Adulting thing? You’ve got it!
*Just so you know, the two books that I found most entertaining and helpful were:
Adulting 101- What They Don’t Tell You, by Erin A. Clark
Adulting 101: Wisdom for Life, by Josh Burnett and Pete Hardesty