I started my graduate assistantship two years ago.
731 days ago (leap year surprise!), I bought myself another two years of fake adulting before the real world.
Sometimes I forget how many different paths of life are available. I have three degrees, moved to a new state with my boyfriend, and just adopted a dog (!!!). I have no ring. I have no children. And right now, I have no job.
Some people my age have rings. Or they’re married. Or they have children. Or they still live in our hometown. Or they’re still in school. Or they never went to school.
Our generation really likes to milk the whole “adulting” phase (example, example two, and example three, for your enjoyment). Although we borderline mock it, I think we are so obsessed with the concept of “adulting” due to the great pressure we have from others on proving that we can be independent and make it in the real world. From some set of expectations that everyone agrees on but no one knows who set them, we believe the following:
In order to become an adult, you must:
Find “the one”
Earn the title of “adult”
This can be cool. This is traditional. (Trust me, I’m a sucker for tradition). But welcome to 2017, folks, where we can have a million ways to earn the same result: happiness.
A lot of these experiences (getting married, having children, okay maybe not paying bills but you get the point) are so sensationalized that we forget the real reason we should do them isn’t for others, but for ourselves.
I don’t care how you adult. I don’t care if you never adult. I don’t care how you measure it. I just want you to be happy.
“Adulting” isn’t a thing. It’s not adulting. It’s just living.
…. but sometimes you need to feel that “adulting” experience, to use as motivation, to remember that you’re doing this life thing. On your own. And you’re doing it well.
And therefore, I present to you, people on the other side of the screen:
Ways to know you’re “adulting” besides getting married
keeping something alive (plants gardens animals children– anything)
wearing sunscreen, especially without being told
making a meal from memory
figuring something out instead of calling mom (or google)
clean your whole house for no reason
you make long term investments, and that doesn’t scare you (like getting a dog)
you make a large investment not by force, but by choice
buying extra toilet paper before the emergency happens
using napkins instead of paper towels, because some weird etiquette told you to
pouring your milk/juice/soda into a glass, even when you’re home alone
finding creative side hustles/ways to make money instead of calling your parents for help
when you go out for happy hour and don’t wake up hungover the next morning
paying for your parent’s dinner
going to someone else’s life event (wedding, shower, etc) and truly embracing the moment– not just enjoying the food or drinks or cute photo ops
making healthy food/fitness choices, not out of pressure, but respect for yourself
missing your first major family event (funeral, wedding, holiday, etc) and accepting it
calling an old friend just to catch up, and have a great conversation like no time has passed
making a decision and realizing that you don’t have to justify it to anyone
accepting that you cherish the past, look forward to the future, but are content in the present
What about you? In what ways do you measure knowing you’re adulting besides getting married? Tweet me! @AmandaRaeKoslow