10 Signs You're Really a Grown-Up
Once you’ve hit your mid-20s, you start to understand the meaning of “you’re only as old as you feel.” It seems as though you’ve only just graduated college, yet you’ve been out of school for three years or more. When you scan through your LinkedIn connections, you see that dozens of your classmates have been promoted to be associates, senior editors, and a few vice presidents. Some have scored funding for their startups, and others have started their own funds. Your mailbox has more wedding invitations and utility bills than you thought possible. Welcome to adulthood. It creeps up ever so slowly, and then wham! You’re a grown-up. We’ve put together a list of telltale signs that, once recognized, confirm you’re not a kid anymore.
While they may be great sounding boards, your parents no longer have all the answers. They can’t really advise you on whether or not to take that job at an e-commerce startup or digital marketing agency, because they probably don’t fully understand what those careers entail.
Bonus: Your parents can be two of your best friends. You start to really appreciate your mom and dad as individuals, not just your parents. Looking at their accomplishments, outlook on life, and quirky characteristics can be your greatest sense of inspiration.
What was once a few-hour or maybe full-day annoyance has morphed into a sometimes multi-day interruption. You prefer savoring an oaky Chardonnay as opposed to chugging mixed drinks featuring flavored vodka. A long conversation-filled dinner with friends is much more attractive than a “pregame” and night out.
Bonus: You get to enjoy more daylight, quality friendships, and wonderful memories (no more brown-outs, thank you very much)!
Gone are the days of the presumed family summer holiday. If you’re lucky, your parents may decide to break from their empty nesting and invite you (and your siblings) on a family traveling affair. Other times, you might just get an email or two from your globe-trotting parents detailing their fabulous experiences abroad.
Bonus: You are so incredibly grateful for a holiday away and appreciate all the effort that goes into planning and executing an amazing trip (for multiple people).
Handmade cards are always a thoughtful touch, but now you fully understand the craze of holiday shopping as you’re suddenly expected to arrive to Christmas morning with presents for each parent and your siblings. Not to mention Christmas gifts or bonuses for your house cleaner or mail carrier. Dozens of Christmas party invitations are exciting to receive, but each event translates to another bottle of wine or hostess gift you have to buy.
Bonus: You can have two sets of holiday decorations… one at your parents’ home and one at your own! And we like to think giving is even more fulfilling than receiving.
A man of the moment can transition to the father of your best friend’s children in the blink of an eye. Hence, you start judging your friends’ potential partners based on their career ambition and how they would be as holiday companions, as opposed to their looks or “cool” factor.
Bonus: If your friend picks a solid mate, your circle of close friends grows not because of plus-ones but because of great new people coming into the fold.
When you overhear the conversation between two teens at the nail salon or in line at Starbucks, you barely recognize half of the terms they are using. References are made to social apps that you never knew existed, and you notice older grown-ups oftentimes are more fun to talk to than the younger crowd.
Bonus: You gain an exaggerated appreciation for eloquent speak and correct use of grammar.
If you have nieces, nephews, or much younger siblings, you’ll notice a look of terrified awe wash over their faces when you describe your childhood as a screen-free zone.
Bonus: You got to experience life before iPads replaced coloring books and Wikki Stix at the restaurant table.
Those extra vacation pounds take a little longer to come off, and you have to hit the gym on a regular basis to keep those long hours at your desk from turning into a little extra meat on your frame.
Bonus: You become more conscious of what you put in your body and enjoy the endorphins that kick in after a sweat session more than you ever have before.
It’s the year you no longer qualify as a dependent on your parents’ health insurance coverage, and that means venturing into the world of healthcare all on your own. Suddenly the current state of the Affordable Care Act captivates your attention, and you’re acutely aware of how much of your salary is segregated into medical costs.
Bonus: You get to celebrate another right of passage.
Before any fun can be had or task accomplished, you have to make sure your home (and work) spaces are clean, organized, and visually appealing. Suddenly the days when your parents got absurdly mad at you for having a messy room no longer seem so absurd.
Bonus: Clutter-free workspaces and clean living quarters give you a blissful peace of mind and inspire a stronger sense of creativity and drive.