July 2015: Growing Up

Adulting

Adulting (v): 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.

Adulting has become my new favourite made up word of late. “Why?!” I hear you intently asking. Just go with me.

Well readers, this is because I feel like I am becoming more of an adult recently, but that I am still confined to the realms of being a “young adult”. I still get scared when mums tell their kids to “say sorry for bumping into that nice lady” rather than “nice girl”, however I have started complaining about the state of the economy and the noise my brother makes when he wakes me up coming home from a night out on a weekday (A WEEKDAY!). A young adult is different to a fully-fledged real life has-a-house-and-kids kinda adult, and this is for many reasons.

We 20-something year olds are part of “generation rent” and generally can’t afford a house as we have £20-30k student debt as well as a £1-2k overdraft and loans from various friends and family that have sustained us for the last few years. This means anything we do earn in the next decade is tinged with the fact that a lot of that money isn’t really ours, so we can’t spend it on cars and babies and cementing our new driveways or whatever real adults do.

A few of us are married with kids, but not a vast majority, and a lot of us are travelling and “finding ourselves” in Asia/Africa/South America/Australia, which essentially means we are allowing ourselves to continue being young people with no responsibility for anyone but themselves, whilst still probably holding down a temporary job/voluntary position.

There are other differences between the adult and the young adult, but these differences are not to detract from the process of becoming an adult that a young adult is going through. It’s a bit like getting taller, one day you will be the height that you will stay for the rest of your life, but it takes you a few years to get there, and there are trials and tribulations (growing pains, puberty, and fashion disasters) along the way.

One day I will (hopefully) have a house and some kids and a life partner who has been legally bound to me, but I don’t yet. However, I still do other adult things like have a 9-5 job, drive an old but relatively sensible car and am moving in with my boyfriend into my family home (see what I mean – adultING but not ADULT). So, I am growing up, but not completely.

I get a hangover when I have had more than two glasses of wine, but I still get up for work in the morning. I go for brunch now because I am awake before 12pm, and I go swimming in the mornings before work (well, I have once, but I only joined the gym this week so shut up).

I look after friends kids without supervision, I get called a lady and not a girl, I drink about 10 black coffees a day as a standard minimum, and I am in a long term relationship with my boyfriend who I foresee a long and happy future with *touch wood*. I pack suncream, waterproofs, woolly jumpers, shorts, sandals, wellies and thermal underwear all for the same holiday “in case the weather changes”.

However, I bought my car with a loan from my gran, I still really like ice gems, I still go to student nights out, I can’t bring myself to buy a sensible nude t-shirt bra from M&S, and I still find the word willy funny. I am not “next” when it comes to having kids, unless you’re holding off for the next 5-10 years, and I don’t have the urge to tuck half-used handkerchiefs into my cardigan sleeves to use again later.

Oh, and I also get definitions of words like “adulting” from urban dictionary, so I am definitely still in the growing pains/puberty stages of becoming a real life, fully fledged adult.

LAUREN METALLE

Life ponderer. History & Politics student. Always amidst an existential crisis. Lives for garlic bread and napping.

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