There comes a moment in your life when it suddenly hits you…”Wow! I’m an adult!” However, many 18-29 'adults' are not feeling like...'adults.' According to a national survey of more than 1,000 people ages 18-29:
Almost 60% say "adulthood will be more enjoyable than my life is now."
More than half (56%) say they often feel anxious; 33% often feel depressed; 65% say "this time of my life is full of uncertainty."
Yet 82% say "it still seems like anything is possible."
The survey (commissioned by Clark University in Worcester, Mass.) is part of an ongoing study of a relatively new life stage dubbed "emerging adulthood."
A research professor in psychology at Clark University coined the term as a phase of human development for the period of late teens through the 20s. It began with Gen X (born in the mid-'60s through early 1980s) and has rippled through to the next generation, the Millennials.
The main contributing social forces are later ages for career, marriage and parenthood.
"None of those are going to go away in our lifetime."
Among survey findings:
• 52% have daily or almost daily contact with parents via text, e-mail, phone or in person.
• 34% say "my parents are more involved in my life than I really want them to be."
• 38% get little or no financial support from parents, but 16% do "frequently," 16% regularly; and 31% occasionally.
Neither Slacker nor Steve say they feel that much like adults on a daily basis, but Slacker references the first time he got hungry in his first apartment and there was no food, which gave him a bit of an adult wake-up call. Steve tells of his first apartment when he went to take a shower and there was no shower curtain, giving him that moment of "Oh, I have to take care of this stuff myself now...so I can either buy beer for tonight and be dirty or buy a shower curtain, stay in, and be clean."
I am only 19, so I really haven't had that "Whoa, I'm a grown up" moment just yet, but I've definitely had those instances where I can tell it's getting close. Most notably when I first left for college and my parents left my dorm, not to be seen again until Thanksgiving break. Being on my own for the first time definitely gave me that pang of the reality of independence and adulthood.
What caused you to really start feeling like an adult?