When do you become an adult?

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I was listening to my local radio morning show (Dave Ryan if you are interested) and they had a most fascinating discussion. I determined that it would be a great idea to steal and thought I'd bring it into the thread.

As most of us would understand, becoming an adult is not necessarily an age thing but more specific events and experiences that shape you into the man/woman that you are (or will become).

The morning show had one serious entry and one not so serious entry:

Serious entry stated that when you are completely financially independent (so no borrowing money from mom and dad). You can have roommates and whatnot but your life is paid for by you.

Less serious entry was when you get a headboard for your bed. You decided that you needed a headboard for your bed and you went out and purchased one (so no, kids who had a headboard growing up do not count since your parents bought it).

Is it a silly "rite of passage" that puts you in adulthood or is it a serious "Has to be done" type thing? When you move out? When you hit 21? Buying a car? When you realize that waking up covered in vomit and barely remembering last night is not something you want to keep doing? When do you think you become an adult (serious answer or less-serious fun answer is acceptable)?

Well, no, there's no "rite pf passage", and there's no "has to be done" thing. I also think the proces is gradual, but you're an adult when you can be accountable for your life. That doesn't mean you have to be independent or live on your own, sometimes that's not possible, but you need to do your part anywhere. It also comes down to some paradigm shifts in your thought process, such as realizing and understanding that life isn't a party, but

A bit cynically, you know you're an adult when you look back and start wishing the worst of your worries were what used to be the worst possible thing a decade ago.

Nobody ever becomes an adult, ever. Just very tall children.

I see it more as a realise type of thing and then acting according to being an adult which is a gradual effect.

Responsibility in thought and deed is the key hallmark of an adult, there's no specific event or status that determines it, and it is entirely possible to lose adult status by that standard. I've known financially independent college graduates that were less capable of being responsible than some 10-12 year old children I know.

When the frontal lobe of your brain is fully formed (it varies, age 20-30).

Hopefully never, i wish to remain a child that can pay his own bills and function (somewhat) normal with in a society.

To me being an adult is when you assume responsibility for pointless shit like how nice your yard looks, your wardrobe, what your boss thinks of you basically you "Keeping up with the Jones" make you an adult as does working a job you despise to make money so you can buy things to impress others.

This is no to say you need to neglect actual responsibility that you truly have if you have people who depend on you you need to keep them well and you actions should not harm people other than yourself, but as far as needing acceptance from the world that you are do good that is what ages you, the rat race.

The moment you realise that you knew nothing 'back then', and infer from that realisation that you still know nothing.

When you stop having to rely on other people and are responsible enough to have people rely on you.

Legally, this September. I plan on buying a gun and using it to shoot holes in my absenty ballot. I plan on buying a porn mag and some tabaco, and using some of the pages out of the mag to roll and smoke the tabaco. Then, I'm going to use a slot machine (gambling) to chose which tatoo I get.

OT:
I kind of liked the Headboard responce. It's not necessarily serious, but it brings up a good point. It marks the point where you feel it's neccessary to buy a completely pointless decoration that most people in your house aren't going to see.

When you stop doing the kind of stupid things that aren't all that stupid.

triggrhappy94:

OT:
I kind of liked the Headboard responce. It's not necessarily serious, but it brings up a good point. It marks the point where you feel it's neccessary to buy a completely pointless decoration that most people in your house aren't going to see.

That's kind of what I was thinking. I'm at the point in my life where I can't spend really any money on anything but I'm looking into purchasing a place of my own (been renting for years). I'm genuinely excited to be able to start the "home" stuff...

With that, I loved:

DANEgerous:
Hopefully never, i wish to remain a child that can pay his own bills and function (somewhat) normal with in a society.

To me being an adult is when you assume responsibility for pointless shit like how nice your yard looks, your wardrobe, what your boss thinks of you basically you "Keeping up with the Jones" make you an adult as does working a job you despise to make money so you can buy things to impress others.

This is no to say you need to neglect actual responsibility that you truly have if you have people who depend on you you need to keep them well and you actions should not harm people other than yourself, but as far as needing acceptance from the world that you are do good that is what ages you, the rat race.

I can be excited about the "boring adult life" while still being able to do the fun "child" stuff. I still intend to play Magic the Gathering. I still intend to play my video games. I still intend to play sports. I can do the boring stuff while keeping the fun stuff!

I didn't become an "adult" until my first child was born and I stopped acting like a moron.

Age had sod all to do with it considering I was in my mid 20's then.

Joining the army should have "matured" me but we all still acted like bloody kids on our time off.

Vegosiux:
Well, no, there's no "rite pf passage", and there's no "has to be done" thing. I also think the proces is gradual, but you're an adult when you can be accountable for your life. That doesn't mean you have to be independent or live on your own, sometimes that's not possible, but you need to do your part anywhere. It also comes down to some paradigm shifts in your thought process, such as realizing and understanding that life isn't a party, but

A bit cynically, you know you're an adult when you look back and start wishing the worst of your worries were what used to be the worst possible thing a decade ago.

A bit of what he said. There isn't something you have to do to become an adult, there are a series of small things that gradually make you one. Perhaps the closest thing to "rite of passage" is when you find yourself do something and realise "Hey, children don't do that shit. That must mean I'm an adult."

That happened to me a couple of years ago, I was looking at the gas and electricity bills and discussed them with my flatmate when it suddenly hit me - children don't pay bills! Fuck, and those weren't the first bills, either - we had lived there for close to half a year already. Then I took a sip from my beer because adults could have a beer just for the sake of the beer and that's what we were doing.

I don't think anyone is completely an adult until they have a child. And even then, its debatable.

Disclaimer: I do not have a child, nor do I intend on having one anytime soon. Just something I've kind of thought for years.

As soon as you see a penis drawn (be it graffiti, condensation on a bus, in snow etc) and don't smile you are an adult, thus, I will never be considered adult.

Queen Michael:
When you stop doing the kind of stupid things that aren't all that stupid.

And start doing the really stupid things.

OT: Before we can properly answer that we must first define what it means to be an adult.

I guess it depends on how you define adult. There is a biological definiton of the end of puberty, being able to reproduce and being physically mature. However, most people don't buy that definition, and I certainly don't either.

There's the being able to take care of yourself, so financial independence would be the obvious hallmark. This is probably the one I agree with most because this is the one I'm closest to achieving. (College senior)

There's the idea that you are an adult when other people view you as an adult. Of course this varies, but the headboard crack would fit here. A person who wants to be perceived as an adult will act in accordance to that ideal, both in the positive sense of becoming independent but also in the negative sense of "keeping up with the Jones'".

However, I think there is also the definition of you are an adult when you don't think of yourself first. I don't think this happens for most people until they have a child of their own or a dependent of some sort. Suddenly, the world is not about you anymore; it's about taking care of another person who utterly cannot take care of themselves. Of course, mind you, there are those rare individuals who achieve this without having children -- those people who dedicate their lives to charity or something along those lives.

Of course, this is all coming out of the mouth of a child since I am nowhere near becoming a true adult yet in any sense of the word excluding the biological sense.

triggrhappy94:
I kind of liked the Headboard responce. It's not necessarily serious, but it brings up a good point. It marks the point where you feel it's neccessary to buy a completely pointless decoration that most people in your house aren't going to see.

Um, not necessarily.

My spouse and I went out to buy a headboard so we'd have something to attach our hand-cuffs and other bondage equipment to, and so that in certain positions, I would have something solid to grab on to.

So headboards DO serve a function. They are sexual accessories.

Edit: Not that the headboard isn't stylish and pretty. It is, and it matches the room decor (and my beautifully framed limited edition Xenogears poster) wonderfully.

Bassik:
Nobody ever becomes an adult, ever. Just very tall children.

Pretty much this. Your priorities in life may change over time, but part of you will probably still be the same kid you've always been no matter how old you are. LEGO fo' life, yo.

Captcha: men in suits... Ominous.

Just_A_Glitch:
I don't think anyone is completely an adult until they have a child.

Disclaimer: I do not have a child, nor do I intend on having one anytime soon. Just something I've kind of thought for years.

Hmmm... what about people who choose never to have children? And I'm sure we're all aware of some totally useless parents.

OT: I don't think there's a particular moment or rite of passage, but I can definitely agree with DoPo's point about those weird moments of realisation. I get them all the time (I'm still only 20 and a student, so I'm sure I've got a way to go yet in some regards), some of the most striking being things like when I completely organised a holiday, flights etc and paid for it with my own money without even thinking of mentioning it to my parents or having to ask for their permission or advice, renting a place to live for the first time, that sort of thing.

I guess the theme for me is doing things independent of your parents or some other older mentor figure. That doesn't necessarily mean total independence, since that's not always possible (my parents still give me money sometimes), but rather the state of mental readiness and ability to do important or "grown up" things yourself. Maybe also the desire to be independent is a part of it. I don't mean the standard teenage desire to get away from your parents, but the genuine wish and drive to provide for yourself rather than accepting the idea of relying on others for everything.

When you look at actual kids and start a comment sentence with "Back in my day..." or "I remember when..." you're an adult...

Ex. *Overhears kids playing Pokemon Black*
"Hey! there's like over 600 Pokemon in this one!""
*turns to friends*
"Man, I remember when there was only 151 Pokemon..."
...and then it hit me...

Eamar:

Just_A_Glitch:
I don't think anyone is completely an adult until they have a child.

Disclaimer: I do not have a child, nor do I intend on having one anytime soon. Just something I've kind of thought for years.

Hmmm... what about people who choose never to have children? And I'm sure we're all aware of some totally useless parents.

The useless parent argument is why I added the "its debatable" line a minute or so after posting, though with the length of your post, you had probably already quoted me.

As for those without kids, they can certainly be mature and well-rounded people, no doubt. But the way I've always viewed adulthood has been "children and spouse". Just how I was raised. There isn't anything wrong about not having or wanting children (my mind isn't made up on it yet either).

When you stop caring about being an adult of course. Or alternatively when you start wishing you were a child.

Just_A_Glitch:

Eamar:

Just_A_Glitch:
I don't think anyone is completely an adult until they have a child.

Disclaimer: I do not have a child, nor do I intend on having one anytime soon. Just something I've kind of thought for years.

Hmmm... what about people who choose never to have children? And I'm sure we're all aware of some totally useless parents.

The useless parent argument is why I added the "its debatable" line a minute or so after posting, though with the length of your post, you had probably already quoted me.

As for those without kids, they can certainly be mature and well-rounded people, no doubt. But the way I've always viewed adulthood has been "children and spouse". Just how I was raised. There isn't anything wrong about not having or wanting children (my mind isn't made up on it yet either).

Yeah my bad, I'd already quoted you.

I guess it's a fair enough standard to have if that's what you value. Personally I don't plan on ever having kids (but that's a whole different topic)... I quite like the idea of being able to claim perpetual childhood :P

Eamar:

Just_A_Glitch:

Eamar:

Hmmm... what about people who choose never to have children? And I'm sure we're all aware of some totally useless parents.

The useless parent argument is why I added the "its debatable" line a minute or so after posting, though with the length of your post, you had probably already quoted me.

As for those without kids, they can certainly be mature and well-rounded people, no doubt. But the way I've always viewed adulthood has been "children and spouse". Just how I was raised. There isn't anything wrong about not having or wanting children (my mind isn't made up on it yet either).

Yeah my bad, I'd already quoted you.

I guess it's a fair enough standard to have if that's what you value. Personally I don't plan on ever having kids (but that's a whole different topic)... I quite like the idea of being able to claim perpetual childhood :P

I just think having children and being able to adjust to their needs shows maturity that you can't really obtain in any other way.

But a lot of the time, I'm following that same plan you are. Eternal childhood is where its at! XD

Bassik:
Nobody ever becomes an adult, ever. Just very tall children.

I have a similar notion on the matter: Eventually you get old and wise enough that other people start to think you know what you're doing. Congratulations, you're an adult now. One day, you'll realize all the so-called 'adults' don't really know what they're doing any more than you do.

It's a kind of epiphany where the distinction between adult and not adult stops meaning much of anything aside from the legal definitions.

image

It's a gradual process.
No one ever becomes "fully adult". You don't reach a point where you're suddenly accepted as adult. You just wake up one day and it dawns on you that you have started doing all the things that you used to think only adults do. Like doing taxes and paying bills.
You keep on developing from there, but not at the same pace as in your teenage years.

Bara_no_Hime:

triggrhappy94:
I kind of liked the Headboard responce. It's not necessarily serious, but it brings up a good point. It marks the point where you feel it's neccessary to buy a completely pointless decoration that most people in your house aren't going to see.

Um, not necessarily.

My spouse and I went out to buy a headboard so we'd have something to attach our hand-cuffs and other bondage equipment to, and so that in certain positions, I would have something solid to grab on to.

So headboards DO serve a function. They are sexual accessories.

Edit: Not that the headboard isn't stylish and pretty. It is, and it matches the room decor (and my beautifully framed limited edition Xenogears poster) wonderfully.

I was actually thinking about mentioning how you could use them as kinky sexual accessories and how that was an adult thing to do, but I wasn't really sure how to phrase it.

him over there:

When you stop caring about being an adult of course. Or alternatively when you start wishing you were a child.

We have a winner (to me anyway, sounds right). This to me seams to be a very good answer, not the first part, the bold one. Yes, that second sentence. 'Tis a wise statement.

I think though that "adult" means very different things to a lot of people, so it is somewhat impossible to get an objective answer. Although I would say not being dependant on your parents / family any-more is something that most can agree on as an important criterion for adulthood.

From what I've learned in my life, it's when you stop depending on others, and other can depend on you.

Or something. Maybe not. Who the hell knows. I'm still young, I'll probably have another "theory" about it in a year or so.

the moment when you stop running from your problems because it doesn't seem like the easiest way anymore. also when you start to realize how much better some things were when you were younger but still don't want to go back

Anyone here in their 20's? Remember how at 18 you hated almost everything about high school/secondary school you? Now in your 20's you realise college you was a giant douche? You are an adult when all those realisations combine to make you realise you will always be shit and need to be better and deal with that with "I will improve" as opposed to "Fuck that! Where's my sweat pants and nachos?"

When you learn being a kid despite your age is better than growing up.

triggrhappy94:
I was actually thinking about mentioning how you could use them as kinky sexual accessories and how that was an adult thing to do, but I wasn't really sure how to phrase it.

That's their best use.

Just make sure you get some rubber tabs to put on the back so the headboard doesn't sound like someone just punched a wall every time the bed shifts. If you forget to do that, it can be rather embarrassing...

Thank the gods for 24 hour Walmarts.

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