Becoming an adult can be quite tough, even when you are a full blown adult. That’s because there are no rules set down in stone regarding what adults should or shouldn’t do. Not to mention the fact that the definition of an adult differs from person to person, place to place, country to country and even religion to religion. Having said that, there are certain commonalities that you can find across all different platforms as to what constitutes as being an adult.
How to Be an Adult
Let go of childish impulses and reactions
Skulking, holding grudges, whining, being disorganized, irresponsible, incompetent, careless… There is pretty much an endless list of feelings and reactions that adults should stay away from. Try to be a mature, thoughtful and considerate person.
Know you can control your life
Of course, there will always be certain things out of your reach forever, but that doesn’t nullify the fact that for the larger portion of your life, whatever happens to you is your own doing. You have to make peace with the fact that shit will happen to you. And when it does, you have to remember to hold your head high and keep moving forward.
Learn to cook
Speaking of skills that will always come in handy, the quickest thing to do on your journey of learning how to be an adult is to learn how to cook. It doesn’t matter if you’re a girl, boy, trans, non-binary or an alien. Cooking is a skill that every person on the planet should learn because neither your mom nor your regular pizza delivery guy is going to always be there to provide you with meals when you’re hungry.
Learn basic household skills
When you’re living alone in an apartment and your flush stops working in the middle of the night, you have nobody but yourself to rely on. You need to learn basic repair skills that will save your skin when the time comes. And believe me, the time always comes when you least expect it.
Don’t blame others for your actions
Let me illustrate this with an example. You cannot blame your friend for drinking and driving, and injuring you in a car crash if you yourself willingly got into a car, knowing that the driver was drunk. It is your decision to drive with him, because of which you have to bear its consequences.
Stop being so defensive
You’re not perfect. You have your flaws and your knowledge will always be lacking in some department or the other. So the next time someone points out something you did wrong, instead of feeling offended, be thankful that you get an opportunity to learn and grow. Attacking the other person, giving them the silent treatment or emotionally hurting them because they called you out is something that children do. This brings me to my next point…
Be open to feedback and constructive criticism
Sure, the line between constructive criticism and constantly pointing out one's flaws is very thin and very subjective. It’ll take time, but you will learn to differentiate between the two. And when you do and are totally okay with constructive criticism, you’ll know you have mastered the secret of how to be an adult.
These goals should be both personal and professional. Even spiritual or humanitarian goals, if you like. Living life aimlessly is for hobos. And since you’re not one, you have to actively strive and work hard to achieve your goals
Take charge of your drinking and sex life
You’re not a teenager any more. You’re on your way to be a respectable adult, and adults live their lives in moderation. Extremes are best left to the uber-wealthy or to those who live their lives aimlessly. Since you’re neither, put the break on your reckless behavior. Not to mention that from now on since you’re gonna be surrounded by adults, such decisions of yours will negatively impact their opinions of you.
Take care of your body
Eat healthy food, go to a gym, and get out of your house more. If you’re not going to take care of yourself now, it’ll show in your later years when you’re plagued with one medical problem after another. Not to mention the emotional toll it’ll take on you.
Don’t let others dictate your mood
See, the thing is, you can’t please everybody all the time. It’s impossible. You have to let go of the need to please others, especially when their not being happy with you affects you greatly. You have to accept that fact that there will always be people in your life who will never like you, no matter how likeable you are. This doesn’t reflect poorly on you but on them, because they fail to see the goodness in you. Instead, be content with those in your life who accept you for who you are and happy with having you in their lives. They are the ones you should keep closest to yourself.
Like I said – the journey of learning how to be an adult can be quite ambiguous because different people have different definitions of being an adult. If, however, you even manage to do half the things listed above, then congratulations – you’re a real adult!