Apparently THIS Is The Age Most People Feel Like Adults…(Do You Feel Like a Grownup Yet?)

Certain birthdays mark important occasions in the journey to adulthood, like the first time you get behind the wheel as a licensed driver, without your mom in the passenger seat, and finally walking straight up to the bar to order your first (legal) beer. But when do you really feel like you’re all grown up?

0802 woman smiling adult sm

Man, I feel like a woman (is what I imagine her to be saying).

Per the rules and regulations in the US, once you reach 21 you’ve pretty much hit all the pinnacles of adulthood (except boring ones, like renting a car or getting an AARP card), but it’s really not all that surprising that most people don’t actually feel like an adult at 21. I mean, I turned 21 my junior year of college. I didn’t have classes until noon for part of that year, and I started most days by watching four hours straight of Dawson’s Creek reruns. Maturity fail.

And it’s not just American college kids feeling less than grown up. According to a survey conducted in Australia among people born in Melbourne suburbs in 1990, only 38% felt like real adults. Nearly half didn’t know if they felt grown up or not, and 13% firmly claimed to not feel adult yet. Among those surveyed, 72% still lived with their parents. Instead of 21, 30 is presumed to be the new marker of maturity.

I didn’t feel like an adult at 21, but having now passed the 30 mark about six months ago….eh, jury’s still out. I do feel like an adult in lots of ways: I pay my own bills, travel on my own and have finally mastered that skill of getting all the dishes for a dinner party finished at the right times (something I previously thought only moms knew how to do). But a lot of the decisions I’ve made in the past year have made me feel like I’m reverting to childhood, like moving in with my parents and being temporarily unemployed.

And if I’m being honest, it kind of makes me feel like a kid as all my friends get married and I’m still on my own. But when I really think about it, I don’t know why that makes me any less adult. So I still go out and flirt with random strangers. I also make all my big life decisions on my own and figure out how to solve problems without needing a partner to lean on. How grown up is that? You guys, I think I just mentally moved into adulthood. You can’t see it, but I’m patting myself on the back right now.

When did you start feeling like an official adult? A certain age, first job, marriage, babies? Or are you still not quite there? Do you think being in a relationship affects how grownup you feel?

Hey adults (or kids at heart), listen up:

Turning 30: On Your Thirtieth Birthday, You Suddenly Become An Old Person, Right? Wrong.

30 Things Every Woman Should Know About Sex by Age 30

30 Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know by the Time She’s 30

Photo: Thinkstock

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