Am I an Adult?

Like I said in yesterday’s post, I turned 25 this month, and it’s strange because I still feel like I’m in high school. It’s not like I’m clinging to youth or anything, in fact, I’m excited to turn 30 in the near future. I’ve found that every six months or so I become a little less of an asshole, so I’m hoping by 30 I’ll be a real hip woman in charge of her own destiny, getting her clothes tailored, not eating as much processed foods, the whole thing.


But for now, I can’t tell- am I an adult? Let’s look at the evidence:

ADULT: I have aged out of eligibility to be on The Real World because apparently 25 is too old to catch syphilis in a hot tub while you experiment with your sexuality. What if I’m a late bloomer, huh, MTV?

NON-ADULT: Still too young to be a Real Housewife. Not a girl, not yet a woman.

ADULT: I pay rent with my own money for a townhouse with a garbage disposal, yes, garbage disposal. 

NON-ADULT: I recently cashed in an animal crackers jug full of change at a Coin Star so I would have drinking money.

ADULT: I told a co-worker how old I turned on my birthday and he said, “25! You can get married now!” Isn’t that wild? I mean, at this point, if I had a kid in a high school bathroom stall no one would give me a reality show. They might call DCF because what am I doing having a baby in a high school bathroom stall? but 25 is a completely appropriate age to get married and have a child. In the Mid-West.

NON-ADULT: No matter how old I am when I have kids, always exclaiming “this is children raising children!” is a very charming thing I plan to do.

ADULT: Another thing about kids- I’m at least mature enough to know at what time a toddler should be in bed and not at the West Hollywood Halloween Carnival among half a million people. That would be all of the times. When I went this year it was after 11pm and I was very surprised at the toddler to screaming drunk people ratio.

NON-ADULT: At 8pm on a Sunday I locked my keys in my car and waited until 1am to ask AAA to get them because I was late for karaoke. Somebody, quick! Give me a baby to raise! I might accidentally lock them in the back seat, but I promise I’ll fish them out after last call!

ADULT: I got my oil changed all by myself this week!

NON-ADULT: I didn’t get my oil changed all by myself until I was 25 year old.

Welp, I am no closer to an answer, but at least I have enough self awareness to limit the amount of times I say the phrase “quarter-life crisis.” That counts for something, right?

181 thoughts on “Am I an Adult?

  1. 25 is actually OLD to get married in the midwest. Both of my brothers married at 25 (1988 and 1994) and were among the last of their friends to do so. Since I moved east, I took advantage of the East Coast loophole and waited until I found my sweetheart, marrying at 42 (2007). Our wedding featured a wine-pairing dinner instead of a keg-stand.

  2. While in a grumpy pms mood last night with zero programming on TV to entertain me (while slumped on the coach in froggie pjs,) I thought I would comfort myself by watching My So Called Life, until I realized how OLD I am and that watching Angela Chase and Jordan Catalano could potentially push me off a cliff of despair. You are a baby my baby. Enjoy it all.

  3. I feel the same way. Not a girl, not yet a woman. Totally Crossroads. I think everyone just stays youthful inside as their bodies continue to grow and betray them. Getting your oil changed is scary! Nice work!

  4. I turned 25 a few months ago, and for some reason this seemed like the turning point age for me. Now I’ll catch myself doing really childish things and thing, “I’m 25, damnit! What’s wrong with me?” Whereas doing the same thing at 24 was apparently appropriate.

    I also tend to be shocked when people ask if I’m married or have kids. It’s a question I will open laugh at, and say noooooooooo way. But then I’ll remember that this is a legit question.

  5. I hate getting my oil changed – I always fear they’re going to walk in and be like, “Oh, there’s a million dollars worth of stuff to fix we’ll get on that, ok?” And I’ll be like, “Yes sir – because adults know what they’re doing and I totally and completely trust you!” >.<

    Also ditto everything else you were talking about on this list! I turned 25 just a couple weeks ago and have all the same feelings!!

    Also, I often forget whether I'm 23, 24, or 25 when people ask. That makes me feel like an adult… haha

  6. 21 years old and still haven’t gotten my oil changed by myself. When I go back home I like to have my dad “test” my car which usually means he gets the oil changed, adds wiper fluid, and pumps some air into the tires. God bless parents who acknowledge their adulthood.

  7. I’m 20 and a half and I kind of understand how you feel. In some ways I’m an adult (paying bills, grocery shopping, working at a job whenever I don’t have classes), but I still do some very non-adult things (go all fangirl over things like the new Carrie movie and the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special, sleep in on weekends, drink too much soda). It’s a threshold we all slowly cross. Or maybe not a threshold, but a corridor we walk down, and as we pass different doors that represent different years, we become (hopefully) fully-functioning adults and members of society.
    By the way, some people define the end of youth (as in “the youth of today” or “he’s quite the precocious youth”) as the 25th birthday, so you’re definitely at the tipping point. Good luck in the future.

  8. When you’re an only child, and a girl, you learn all of the things from your father that he would have focused on a son. That includes changing your tire, changing your oil, and fixing a head-light!
    But I’m a “legal adult” and I still feel like a child…

  9. This is great! I’m a month or so away from turning 24 and I am picking up what you’re laying down. I recently graduated from college (Wooo! Adult) and then moved back in with my parents (book non-adult).

  10. I’m turning 25 in August & I’m absolutely terrified of running out of time before I do anything substantial(or what I feel is “substantial”), so I give you props for going with the flow instead of having this new “Quarter Life Crisis” theory/epidemic. Plus you have a lot of stuff on your writing roster/resume- I’m jealous! =) Great post

  11. Hahaha I have a similar situation. I am a teenager but I can’t seem to get it through my head, I still think of myself as a kid and most people do too, but then again I act as if I am able to take care of myself. Any advice or opinions you could give me?

  12. It gets worse as you get older. I’m double your age and STILL think I’m a twentysoemthing! While one night I might broil salmon and have saffron rice, the next I’m just as likely to have nutella on oreos. Go figure!

  13. I am also 25, I consider this very very young. I still regularly stumble home at 8am knowing I’ve added another great night to a very fun set of memories. Enjoy these last years of your 20s whilst you still can I say…. Now where did I put that bottle of prosecco…?

  14. You are as young as you feel. I know that sounds lame as heck, but it’s so true. Hopefully, when you hit your 40’s,50’s, and beyond, you’ll still feel youthful. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with feeling this way! You’re not in denial about it. Plus, you’re being a responsible adult as well. Omg, when u lose your sense of youthfulness and those things associated with being youthful, well, I don’t wanna offend any mature people, but I’m sure you know where I’m going with it. Life is too short, live it to the fullest!!! Be u. 🙂

  15. Adult = Fully capable of taking care of yourself in a way that isn’t detrimental to the rest of society and hopefully keeps one out of jail, hospitals and asylums. 😉

  16. So, if Ima 50, I can mess around in a hot tub and not worry about getting syphilis? Why did no one tell me before now??

  17. I am 25, will be 26 in two months, still watch Spongebob Squarepants AND Penguin of Madagascar in the morning. And people keep asking me when will I getting married. And in my mind is like : “Heck, I still watching Spongebob and now it’s time to married?! Hmm maybe I will watch Spongebob TOGETHER with my children later. Sounds great…”.

    I think I am not yet an adult. :p

  18. It is really about being responsible. I turn Fifty next month. But I can’t wait for my son to open his Christmas presents next week. I want to play Batman Arkham origins. Be responsible, not Mundane that’s the secret.

  19. Girl… I’m 33 and loving life. Doing more now then I did at 25. Feel younger and more alive then ever before. It’s all about how you react to life. Don’t just exist. Live! Happy 25th. Live it up! Enjoy! Go crazy. Don’t go crazy. Whatever floats your boat. I remember my 25th. Dead end town, dead end job, on the verge of a divorce. I took control and the hell if I’m ever looking back. Bring on the age. I’ll kick its ass. Lol.

  20. I’m 26 and was actually constantly worried about “not being a proper adult” between the ages of 22-25. Now I don’t care, as long as I don’t use sentences like, “Don’t you remember back in the day when _____ was so much better/cooler/more delicious/quieter?”.

  21. ok
    I asked my students this vacation to write their 5 word memoir. They are quite good. Because of FERPA I can’t share them. Mine is (and has been my entire life) Refuses to act her age.

    At 25 I could write what you wrote. At 45…is it sadly or with celebration, ditto. OK I never locked my kids in the car on my way to kareoke. close…

    Yea could have gotten married at 21, 26…didn’t. oh well….life goes on. Immaturity does not stop a creative career, parenting, following your passion.

    loved your post

  22. I enjoyed your blog and laughed at how nicely put it is..I;m not yet 25 but face the same dillema, even though i pay for things with my own earned money and have experianced the sexual expiriments, and say I’m ready to evolve into a woman, i still feel the urge to party and and view my options and when i get to a rough financial situation i feel the need to call my mother and say “can you lend me some money, which you’ll never get back?” but i don’t I limit my self from all those wonderful beers or cocktails out there and just watch movies till my next pay period, maybe that is a sign of maturity..I hope…

    Thanks for sharing….

  23. I turned 39 this month, have told myself that I’ve already been through 3 mid life crises, and I still feel like a child and am shocked when I see a little grey in my beard. Actually I’m waiting until my beard completely greys before I have to accept that I am an adult. Although my mom tells me she hasn’t even accepted it yet, so… I don’t have kids so that’s my excuse, but my mom…

  24. Hahaha totally understand. I’m 27 and married, but still feel too young to have kids (I mean, is anyone ever old enough??). I make my husband do some of the scary grown up things with me or for me. I still get carded for rated R movies! Sigh. One day we’ll feel grown up… And then we’ll miss these days.

  25. This is amusing for me to read from the Caucasus (that sounds condescending, but hear me out). I’ve been living in Tbilisi, Georgia for a year now, and at 27 and happily single, I’m a circus freak (or, more accurately, a “bad girl” who lives away from her parents before getting married). Many women my age have ten year-old children, and their devotion to family is celebrated. My apparent disinterest in creating a family (or inability to land a man) means I’m immature, or have psychological problems.

    In short, I feel very disconnected from the American idea of the quarter-life crisis after leaving the country. It’s a very local phenomenon, and we should be so grateful to have these options. I am thankful for not being pushed or pressured into a marriage at a younger age… Even if it will be harder to me to “land a man” now with a few extra wrinkles. 😉

    (And I’m certainly not implying that you are not grateful, just sharing a perspective from the East!)

    • No! That’s actually a really fascinating perspective! Trust me, there’s nothing that annoys me more than the upper middle class, educated white kids of my generation who complain about how they can’t get a job out of college and think that our struggle is unique. American kids are the worst, me included. I just figure, at least I’m one of the few who are aware of it.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  26. I married at twenty five to a woman twenty five. We are now sixty eight and still act like we are twenty five. Live long and prosper, you are only young once except in the brain where you can stay young a long time.

  27. HALARIOUS! LOVE YOUR BLOG! Have to follow this…….sadly enough- at 25 I was a complete idiot. Not to mention that I am/was/ STILL AM ADHD so that didn’t help either. I was like a little skitzophrenic spasmodic rat terrier trying to go in all directions at once.
    Yes it is NICE to know that age is just a number because at 48- unfortunately for the world my heart is still that of a 22 year old. I never made it to 25. I will forever be 22! THATS my gift to the world……lucky them huh?

  28. CoinStar is the best! 🙂

    I managed to avoid oil changes at 25 because I didn’t even learn to drive til I was 30. Getting older is annoying but you can be immature and fun at any age. I’m 56 (shriek) and still having a blast. (Not having kids helps.)

  29. When I turned 25, my youngest sister screamed, “OMG, YOU’RE A QUARTER OF A CENTURY!” I’m even older now but still don’t feel grown up at all so I can def. relate to your post, thanks! 🙂

  30. LMAO!! I totally relate! It wasn’t until my 30th passed that I thought I should stop riding the fence of adult/non-adult… I used to love getting ID when I bought liquor (legal age here is 19) but now, I find it kind if insulting…. I don’t look like an adult??? Sure I want to look youthful but I don’t want to look like a teenager anymore. That is my measuring stick I guess. Hopefully as the years pass I will gracefully stay on the adult section of life 🙂
    Cheers and thanks for this!!!

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  32. Before you know it you’ll be Photoshopping the lines out of your face on your profile pictures and avoiding mirrors to hold onto the delusion that this is what you really look like.
    Too funny. Thanks for the laugh.

  33. Non-Adult: I am 26 and I constantly give my friends-with-kids a million reasons why its ok to bring your child with you to the bar to hang out with me: its before 7pm, its a non-smoking bar, they sell food so its kind of a restaurant with a bar attached, etc.

  34. I’m a few years closer to 30 and holding desperately to the hope that I will most definitely be less of an asshole by then. Also, “children raising children” might perfectly describe my entire parenting experience.

  35. Is it sad that I went through a mid-life crisis at the age of 22? Ha! Because I did and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I felt like after the 21st birthday there’s nothing left to celebrate but this post has shown me my future when I turn 25. I’m pretty sure if I had these feelings at 22, 25 will be a whole new ball game. On a side note the only adult thing I’ve ever done is pay a few phone bills on time (some not on time) and graduate from collage. 2 points!!

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  37. Ok, so I just ran across this an my face hit the floor, because I just posted a similar thought! (See below) I’m 30, married 2 years in February, and I still have doubts! You’re perfectly fine! 😊 Officially following you in… 3, 2, NOW!

    Truth Moment: I’m Starting to Doubt…

  38. I hear ya; I hear ya on ALL of the above friend! Funny thing about the last line: I was just at a bookstore earlier with a friend, and we both thought the term “quarter-life crisis” needs reviving in popular culture. If we aren’t living with our parents and working part-time, we’re living with roommates and working four jobs. Where do I stand? Well, the best word for it is “wannabe escape artist”.

  39. I feel the same way about getting my oil changed. Actually, when I moved out on my own, I waited so long to do it that my car broke down because the oil got so low. When that happened, I had to go to the gas station, buy oil, and put it in BY MYSELF. Well, my mom helped me, but I learned how to do it so I’m basically an automobile pro now. Because of my non-adult tendencies, I ended up learning a SUPER adult skill. 🙂

  40. Twenty five is too young to be an adult. Really, I am still wondering the same thing and I’m quite a lot older. But I was thinking I might be an adult yesterday because my husband and I are having Christmas at our own house this year…though that might just make me a very slow grower up, and therefore not an adult at all!

  41. Good luck on becoming hip by 30! Actually you seem to be pretty hip and put together at the moment, and in my experience, there are way more changes from 20 to 25 than there are from 25 to 30. Great post!

  42. Is it so bad to feel so young when you should feel the exact age? I’m 25 as of recently and the number sounds like: “Yeah. You should have it figured out. You’re a grown up now”. But no. I still have the world to see, places to be, people to meet and books to read. 🙂


  43. Girl you are a hoot and a holler! I’m almost 40 myself and enjoy getting older. This enjoyment did not occur till I was 35 though. lol… matter. What I want to say to you is continue to enjoy every moment of your life and see the humor all around.

  44. I totally understand that feeling! I sometimes just sit there and stare at a onesie with rainbow ponys all over and wonder if it is too immature for a 24 yrs old to wear lol forever young at heart?

  45. Hilarious post! As a 26 year old (yikes!- did 30 just inch closer?), I still feel like I’m not quite the grown up adult. It’s like your revisiting your teenage years-now people just say you should know better if you do stupid things.

  46. I was 49 last week. I went to see some bands last night, I would have gone out skating today if it hadn’t been raining. Do the things you enjoy, you will never feel as old as you are (except sometimes in the morning when you ache.) I should say I am also married with three children, which I guess is kind of adult. Live life.

  47. I can relate to you a lot of this one , being around the same age. Let me share something with you : I think it all comes down to western culture, here where have contradictory restrictions on age , for example in the UK you are old enough to have sex , yet it’s a shock if a 16 old girl gets pregnant . If we take a plane to the East side of the world girls are being arrange to marry at the age of 12 … Madness of course. What my point is that the environment you live in gives you contradictory signals in regards to you being viewed as an adult or still very young. It’s hilarious

  48. Dude, I’m not looking forward to turning 30 next year. I didn’t even want to turn 29 last month! I’ve been going through this “crisis” since I was 17; for some reason, I had a real problem with aging.

  49. Not going to lie, I can’t relate to about half of what you wrote. The other half, though, definitely. I don’t feel like an adult. I still play video games on my scant downtime. Sometimes I even give up sleep to do that just so I can fit them in with other, more “mature” hobbies like playing music, reading, etc.

  50. I’m 17 and freaked out that I will soon be an “adult.” Well, I’m not too freaked out. I mean, the only difference will be that now I can smoke and vote… I guess. And maybe, I’ll go live somewhere else with a bunch of people my age. This place will be summer camp.

  51. I just turned 24, and still not acting like adult. hahahah For some reason, I wonder why should I acting like one if it doesn’t bring me any benefits. I’m pretty happy for being ‘not-really-adult’ cos I can do pretty much anything I want, and not bound to something like in married that you are restricted to do something you like. For example, I like watching anime, and collecting stuff from them is my hobby. when you ge maried with someone not really having the same intrest or hobbies like yours, isn’t it hard. I have a friend who is now 33 and single. Why? not one girl he likes or girls the parents introduced to him are in the same state of mind with him. huhuhu

  52. Im 24, and 25 is my scary age, because I had given myself a deadline, that most of my shit has be together or at least going in the right direction, or to have any direction at all, and I am not even close to having a clue. But the comment from awax1217 makes me feel like I can be forever young

  53. I’ve been actually thinking the same, and I turned 20 this year. I am hoping by year 2014, I would be able to discern what I really am! And I would love to hear from you about how your perception has changed throughout the year!

  54. I’m 33 and sometimes I still feel like that nerdy kid in high school, and still find myself doing stuff that makes me question how mature I am. Being an adult is totally overated! You only live once so enjoy it.

  55. 25 – 32 is an ideal age to get married. You are responsible, usually out of university at this time, have a paying job, and are more mature and grown, and put together, knowing more of what you want than you did in your early 20’s.

  56. But it’s still young enough to have children. Much older than your mid 30’s is dangerous for having a child: many complications can arise from this.
    But getting older is scary at times. I still feel like I am 16, though I am 26.

  57. you are funny!! I like that! i was married at 21 and raising two step kids. Also was in the Navy at 21. That will make you grow up! Those 2 things. But now I am 34 on Jan.7 and I feel just like you..I think I am acting 18 again but recently went to jail. SO time to grow up again..

  58. At 22 almost 23, I can totally relate. It already looks like I’ll be the last person in my age group to get married–heck my little sister will probably get married before me. I pay rent, but watch Disney movies. I like the independence, but crave the comforts of being back home. What’s a girl to do!

  59. I’m 21 and often forget and refer to myself as a “kid” or think of myself in my teens (18/19) I think the idea of children raising children is cool though? My mum had my older brother at the age of 21 and me when she was 23, we’ve grown up with our parents and made mistakes together along the way. I definitely have a better relationship with my parents than those I know with a big age gap!

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  63. I’m just turning 30 and have decided to totally change my life and move abroad so it’s never too late to do something new which is what life is about. You can do things to make yourself happy regardless of age as long as you have people around you who support you in whatever decisions you decide to make.

  64. My boyfriend proposed three days before I turned 25. He is 32. We both have “adult jobs” and own the home we live in… California. We are getting married on Halloween and plan on having babies immediately after. I’d love to say were adults however, Im typing this while still in last nights Donald Duck pi’s and I have an adult Mickey Mouse onesie hanging in my closet complete with Mickey ears on the hood. I bust that little number out when I need to slip into something “more comfortable”. It’s worth mentioning my mother has a matching one and we often have sleepovers that require them to be worn. I’m not sure what the future husband is doing but I can hear karate noises coming from the other room…

  65. Haha I think the older we get the more we realize that adults don’t have things any more figured out than the rest of us. They just have more experience pretending like they do.

  66. I cried when I turned 25 because when I was 18-25 seemed so grown up. I knew people that owned houses, were airline pilots and traveled to Hong Kong for work related things when they were 25 . I imagined it to be so great, so together, so sophisticated. But now at almost 43-25 seems pretty great and young and wonderful. the closer you get to death the less mature you feel.

  67. Hello, I’m new over here and I found your post… let me say that I feel just like you. I’m turning 23 this month too, and I’m not sure how to feel, it’s weird I feel like I’m 18 or something like that.
    And then my mother said to me that the age was in the heart and maybe it’s true or maybe it’s not but I don’t want to feel old so soon.
    So enjoy those wonderful 25! and don’t worry, I see the real problem of the age at 40 hahaha.
    Have a good day Dara 🙂

  68. I feel your pain, girl! I’m 25 for a few more days and the thought of having to pay for my own insurance makes me think I should be more “adult-like” but I’m not :/ Such a dilemma! Thanks for posting this 🙂

  69. From another 25-year-old, this is a pretty good place to be. People start treating you like a real adult (like those car rental places), but you still don’t have to have it all straight yet. It’s when you turn 50 and realize you still don’t know what you’re doing that you’re going to have a real problem. Because then, One A.M. car rescues might be weird and uncomfortable.

  70. Loved this – Thank you! Also turned 25 recently and wasn’t at all expecting the wave of confusion about my past, my future and my place in the world that came smacking down on me a couple of weeks before the date in question. Being in the middle has the potential to be both insanely confusing, or uniquely brilliant. I figure the next year is my ‘Limbo’ in more than one sense of the term. Let’s dance! x

  71. This post is great . In my opinion ,it’s your experience that makes you adult not your age and bitter experiences add maturity to age , so don’t worry and enjoy your life because it has nothing to do with age . By the way I got married when I was 22 and now my daughter is 21. Be happy and enjoy your life .

  72. I’m not entirely convinced we will ever feel like real grown ups. My grandma still snickers at dirty jokes and eats ice cream for dinner on occasion. Who even knows what this elusive creature known as a “grown up” even looks like these days?

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