Adulting and the Meaning

“Adulting” is a fairly new term that has been introduced to our vocabulary from social media to describe an adult who is older that college-age. This term is used on conjuction with a person or people who are making choices that seem mature and “adult-like” based on ideas of what an adult would do in that situation. This term has started to baffle me since the slightest action that takes thought seems to evoke a need for people to use this word as a compliment.

As a person who got married on the younger side (is 24 young??) this term has been used for me by friends regarding life choices I have made. It has been made regarding me getting married in the first place, getting my yoga certification, and buying a house as well as other things. I have used the term to also describe my friends’ big life decisions or when remarking on someone I know making a mature choice.

But what is this word? Is it real? Should we put stock into this word? And why do we use it? Is it a term that people under 30 are using because they are so backlogged with student debt that it is hard for them to fathom making a choice like marriage or buying a house because of the financial burden? Have we become a society so dependent on our parents or elders helping us make decisions that we don’t take ourselves seriously? Are we so adverse to making leaps and acting like an adult that when we make those decisions it feels foreign enough to create a word for it?

How this word came about will always be a mystery, but I want to live my life post-college by consistently adulting and making good decisions that seem mature. I want to be respected for my choices and not have people act surprised when I act like an adult. Instead of remarking that someone did a good job “adulting,” I want to encourage them for making a well thought out decision. Let’s begin to make being an adult more commonplace and less of a novelty.

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