Adulthood - the thing we waited for with anticipation, right? But, once we hit that milestone, it's suddenly a daunting prospect. Whether they're good or bad, here are 17 signs you’ve reached the overwhelming and liberating stages of adulthood…
1. When presents decrease in size and quantity but increase in quality
As a child, the concept of ‘the more the merrier’ really did ring true for most of us. In fact, for many children, Christmas day revolves around the sheer quantity of physical, material gifts under the tree to play with. But as we age, we begin to value the quality of gifts over quantity – a clear sign of adulthood.
2. No longer being able to rely on your parents to do everyday ‘adult’ tasks
Whether it be doing your own bedding, packing your suitcase without parental supervision or booking your own doctor’s appointments, this new-found responsibility and sense of independence is awful.
3. When you have to scroll far back on drop-down menus to find your year of birth
Oh the good old days when your year of birth was in plain sight when filling out your D.O.B on an online form. It suddenly dawns on you, whilst scrolling back to 1990-something, that children born in the noughties are now old enough to be filling out these online forms too.
4. Summer holidays become a thing of the past
Once university is over and you’re faced with the reality of getting a job, you begin to realise your several-month-long summer holidays are now a distant memory.
5. When cheap wine is no longer the only option
You lived your teen years actively searching for bottles of wine with the highest percentages and lowest price tags. But with age, you grow a new-found appreciation of wine tasting and distaste for the £5 bottles of wine which tasted like god-knows-what.
6. When your parents’ home is no longer home
Students are continually ferrying to and from two homes between holidays and term-time. But once you’ve hit adulthood and have secured your own accommodation in the real world, your parents’ home can no longer be considered ‘home’.
7. IKEA is your idea of heaven
Once you hit adulthood and have flown the nest, the dream of owning your own home preoccupies you when walking through Ikea. You start planning your future house, husband/wife, kids and pets as soon as you walk through the door.
8. Teenagers infuriate you
When the generation that you so willingly and proudly self-identified as is now just an annoyance, you’re indisputably an adult.
9. You have to acquire mundane household items that you formerly took for granted
Whether it be an iron, nail clippers or a washing line, you suddenly have to splash out on these everyday items for yourself. There’s nothing quite like spending your first pay cheque on a shredder or toaster.
10. When you realise that you’ve hit the age you saw as ‘old’
Back in the day we looked up at elders around us and viewed them as mature adults. Now you are that very age and feel far from the ‘mature adult’ you expected to be.
11. Other people are getting engaged and having babies
As scary as it may be, once people reach adulthood, starting a family is often considered to be next milestone in life. Suddenly, as you scroll through Facebook, you are inundated with updates of your engaged/married/pregnant peers. And you're just over here like...
12. When you realise that your school days really were some of the best years of your life
We spent our entire childhood and teenage years hearing this exact phrase over and over again with disbelief. And now we look back at the fond memories of primary school and wish life was as simple as times tables, rounders and sandpits.
13. When you have to pay tax
Tax didn’t even cross your mind in your under-paid Saturday job. But when you’re suddenly faced with adulthood and the prospect of a ‘real’ job, tax suddenly creeps up on you like never before.
14. When you’re no longer sat at the kids' table at weddings
You’ve moved up in the world - it’s a promotion within the social family hierarchy. You’re now considered an ‘adult’ and expected to discuss politics, work and prospective boyfriends with your uncle rather than playing on your Nintendo DS with the kids.
15. You’re no longer invited on the family holidays
Once their offspring fly the nest, many parents don’t think twice before heading off on a child-free romantic getaway. Oh the joys of parents paying for your yearly family trips to exotic vacation destinations. But that was a thing of a past; now you’re expected to fork out money from your own pocket to tag along on the family holiday – if you’re invited to join in the first place!
16. You can’t go to student nights out
You’re either denied entry because of your expired student card or you look around the club to see that everyone else is 5 years younger than you and your friends.
17. You go to bed early
As a child, we’d resent early bed times. And as teens, many of us will admit to staying up into the early hours of the morning when on a night out or when watching Netflix. Now the impending doom of work the following day is a reality we are very much aware of. We value our precious shut-eye and our early nights are necessary to compensate our shockingly early starts.
Find me on Twitter @ImogenLancaster
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