There comes a time in everybody’s life when they realize that they are more adult than child, and there are very specific instances that may trigger this epiphany. The following are defining moments that make you realize you’re an adult – or on your way, at least – and may trigger moments of severe panic or despair. But just remember, it had to happen eventually.
There is something very mature about writing a check for something – whether it be for rent, electricity bills, or paying your friend back for last night’s bender (OK, that one might be slightly less mature). Bonus points still if you then go on to write it in the ledger, and balance your checkbook.
If you do your own taxes, you are both mature enough to have a job that necessitates paying taxes (as baby-sitting or mowing your neighbors lawn usually don’t warrant this) and to recognize the need to pay your dues to the government. Plus, you are taking the initiative to do it yourself, rather than pawn it off on a service – that often costs money – or your parents.
If you took the time to do your own taxes, there is still only a minimal chance that you understood anything you were doing. But the year that you get it done without calling Mom and Dad for help is the year that it truly counts as an adult success.
You actually have a place where you can receive mail, that’s addressed to you, and have been there long enough to make it worthwhile to take the time to get your license changed.
Doing your civic duty and voting is one of the most adult things you can do, and it feels pretty good too. Plus, you don’t have the right to complain about your politicians if you don’t bother to vote.
You can still list your mom as your emergency contact, but as soon as anybody lists you – Boom! Adult. You might even have to help them fill out their hospital forms and make important decisions about which clothes to bring them from home.
You can only be considered a dependent on somebody else’s insurance for so long – depending on how your country deals with health insurance – but as soon as you have to start dealing with it yourself, you’ll realize why everyone talks about it all the time. Plus, just wait until your insurance starts coming out of your paycheck, that’s a fun day for everybody.
You no longer have 5 roommates that leave their dirty dishes in the sink, hair in the toilet, and use pizza boxes as a coffee table for the living room. You’ll also find out the joys of being able to lounge around your own place without pants.
If you know what a mortgage is, you’re already ahead of the game. And if you have one, then you’re far and beyond the rest of us.
This usually means that you have credit that is good enough to buy a car, and have gone through the drawn-out process of test-driving, examining, and deciding on your new car. Bonus points if it’s brand new, and not already used with 200,000 kilometers on it.
Yes, sweatpants are far more comfortable to travel in than almost everything else (most of us refrain from pajama bottoms, but it’s tough), but they aren’t the most professional look. You may be traveling on business, in which case you’ll be wearing – gasp! – a suit, but even going for jeans give you a leg up on your former shlobby self.
Electricity, internet, cell phones, cable, car insurance…these can add up. But when you start getting your bills addressed to you, and not one of your former five roommates, then you’re in the big leagues.
Seriously, what exactly is credit? Can somebody explain this in simple terms, because I still can’t quite figure it out.
This means you’re planning for the future – and even earning enough money with each paycheck to actually put stuff in it. Though it’s a pain, you’ll thank yourself when you’re 80 and able to afford the best dentures money can buy.
A sad fact of adulthood, but the day you get called in for jury duty is the day that you have to participate in society on the most boring level possible. Because chances that you get an exciting murder case are slim – you’ll most likely be spending the next week hearing arguments about speeding tickets and mail theft.