The usage of the word “adulting” has increased tremendously on social media recently. It’s defined as “to do grown up things and hold responsibilities such as a 9-5 job, a mortgage/rent, a car payment, or anything else that makes one think of grown ups” on Urban Dictionary. Millenials are living at home longer, delaying marriage and having children, while also being burdened by education debt – “adulting” is deemed the actions that indicate members of this generation are finally beginning to “grow up” and act independently. While there’s nothing wrong with independence, I think often this idea of “adulting” is flawed – it’s nothing more than a challenge from manufacturers and your culture to buy products!
People hate being told “you can’t afford this” and “adulting” is a challenge to young people to spend money or go into debt to prove that they can, in fact, afford a product. However Financing is often so easy to get, and advertising so pervasive and influential, that I propose one true indication of “adulting” is your ability to NOT spend money unnecessarily.
A true adult isn’t swayed by peer pressure, advertising, or cyclical fashions – want to be an adult? Own a reliable car, maintain it well (both mechanical maintenance like oil changes, and cosmetic ones like interior and exterior cleaning), and then live your life! The same ideas can be applied to your clothes and other possessions. A car’s purpose is to get you to places where life happens! If you drive something dirty, not well maintained, impractically small or large, or so expensive/unaffordable that you worry about it being stolen or damaged, then your car is holding you back from living the life you want. A true adult wouldn’t own something so impractical or injurious to their freedom.
True adulting means being able to make important decisions, motivate yourself, contribute to society, and attain independence – financial independence often being a key component of pursuing your dreams and transitioning to a more mature stage of life.