Hey - you're an adult now! Congratulations! You moved out on your own, out from under mom and dad's tyrannical rule, and now you can stay up all night, sleep all day, eat ice cream for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, leave the dishes in the sink, and throw your clothes all over the place without reprisal. Woohoo!! Party on!
After about a month of that, about the same time the ants and cockroaches start crawling all over your counters, your feet are sticking to the floor, and you have no clean clothes to wear, you may start to wonder if this Adulting thing is all it's cracked up to be. Maybe Mom and Dad aren't quite as dumb as they look for forcing you to do all those lousy chores all the time... hmmm...
I recently interviewed some of my adult children who have moved out about their adventures in Adulting. I asked them each four questions:
1. Is being an adult harder or easier than you thought it would be?
2. What do you like and dislike about it?
3. What advice do you have for others who are new to adulting?
4. Anything else you’d like to add?
Here's what they had to say about it:
Michael (age 28)
Being an Adult is way more fun than being a kid, but this is only because I refuse to live any other way. The biggest difference between being a kid and an adult is the delegation of responsibilities. We can choose to look at these responsibilities however we want, be it positive or negative. I look at them with a sense of opportunity: now I can call the shots. This gives me a sense of empowerment and I thoroughly enjoy calling my own shots.
My advice to young people is to be diligent in filling their heads with positive information. It is important to avoid the news, cut way back on social media politics and educate themselves on things that matter: math, science, history, English and any areas of internal interest. It is extremely important to listen to our inner voice and challenge ourselves to follow it. We all have paths we can choose to follow or ignore and this is where I believe the root of happiness and sorrow comes from.
Christina (age 27)
1. Is being an adult harder or easier than you thought it would be? It's so much harder than I thought it would be. I'm not sure why.... Maybe because I didn't have more of a natural progression like most of my friends where they moved out in college and then moved out for real on their own after college. For me, I moved out and was instantly the head of a household essentially. It was never about just worrying about myself. And unfortunately, a lot of new things happened all at once. I bought a car for the first time, moved to an apartment, bought a house, shopped and cooked entirely for myself for the first time, tried to figure out finances, moved across the country, became basically entirely in charge of my entire career and the income for 6 people, and had to attempt to make friends in a new place all within less than one year. It's not normal to have to do all those things in such a short amount of time so it really hit me hard. 2. What do you like and dislike about it? I love the freedom and many many opportunities to grow in ways that weren't possible otherwise. I dislike the insane amount of stress I sometimes experience that just didn't happen before having all these responsibilities. 3. What advice do you have for others who are new to adulting? Don't beat yourself up if you're having a really hard time. I did too. Don't lie to yourself and tell yourself everyone is doing this right and you're the only one struggling. Reach out to your friends and family for support. Don't worry if it feels traumatic, even. Making so many huge life changes at once can shock you so give yourself a break. 4. Anything else you’d like to add? While being an adult is very challenging, it's filled with so many incredible opportunities to grow and serve others that I'm very grateful for. I am learning to enjoy the challenges and look for the growth in everything. I also like to always give myself 100% of a pass the first time I do any new thing and not expect myself to nail it on the first try.
Katherine (age 25)