Updated: Dec 2, 2020
Here lies an awkward undertaking: being 20 years old. Bridging the gap between adolescence and adulthood creates some censorship, because trust me it is blurry and that's even when I am wearing my glasses (I wear glasses most of time as I am blind asf, just so you know). Cue the aid of the Oxford English Dictionary! The OED defines an adult as 'a person who is fully grown or developed'. As a verb, 'to adult', is defined as behaving 'in a way characteristic of a responsible adult, especially by accomplishing mundane and necessary tasks.' And biologically speaking, what deems the dawn of an adult is 'an organism that has reached sexual maturity. In human context, the term adult additionally has meanings associated with social and legal concepts.' So being an adult encounters a multitude of realms, unfortunately but also fortunately. With independence comes responsibility which can translate to having freedom but also having fucking taxes! So here lies my recount of what I have so far experienced with 'adulting' accompanied by some highly unreliable and invalid empirical evidence so take it with a grain of salt and bon appétit!
Fun fact intermission (without google's help because I actually read this in a book, sorry to flex): It took approximately 70 years for the first publication of the OED to come to life. Amongst its creation, one of the primary contributors actually was a surgeon who served in some war (trust me to not know what war) that was admitted to the Broadmoor Psychiatric Hospital for killing someone and whilst going insane in the asylum he assisted in the creation of a dictionary and also gave himself a penectomy. You can look up what that surgery entails yourself, maybe you don't want to, I warn you but also urge you to do so. Read The Surgeon of Crowthorne by Simon Winchester, it's bananas. Anyway, on with adulting!
Last year was my first year away from home. And yeah, what a year is all I can say! One thing that I can assure you is that distance definitely makes the heart grow fonder. As soon as you are not amidst the company of your fam, surprisingly you miss them a bit. WhO wOulD HaVE thOUghT? Please believe me when it wasn't just the free cost of living, having all washing done for you and food cooked for you that I oh so terribly missed - although that did utterly slap - it was the constant nurturing comfort of living at home that I learned to appreciate in its absence. When you're suddenly dropped in the middle of life and expected to fend for yourself - after only observing others do it your whole life - it sparks quite the shock to the system.
The transition from adolescence to adulthood represents a major developmental challenge for everyone. Individuals are vulnerable in this area as an abundance of new challenges and opportunities are presented to you. The adolescence period is often defined as ending in an individual when one chooses their own adult behaviour and identity. Old research suggested that this change would occur between 10-19 years. But more recent research suggests that this change could take place any time up until the age of 24. That would make more sense as our brains are not even classed as being fully developed until we are 25. The interconnectivity between thoughtful planning and emotional judgement is strongest in fully developed adults. That is due immensely to our prefrontal cortex being developed which is an essential being in ones' judgement and decision making. Ultimately this speaks for the increase in responsibility correlating with the increase in age.
Now I will proceed to present you with some staggering stats related to this adulting ordeal. These results were gathered via Instagram polls of this blog's Instagram (will link down below, sorry not sorry for the plug). All participants were around 20 years old (not vague at all) and followed the blog's Insta. Participation was consensual and the experiment was approved by the Ella Gibson Ethics Board (nothing like some wholesome shit talk). Identities of participants will remain anonymous.
When participants were asked if they felt like an adult; 86% answered 'no' and the remaining 14% answered 'yes'. When participants were asked if they thought there is a certain age where one becomes an adult (not legally or biologically speaking); 72% answered 'no' and the remaining 28% answered 'yes'. Unfortunately, the quantity of responses that make up this data is inaccessible because Instagram flipping prohibits that info from me after 24 hours. Therefore, this most definitely reinforces the validity of these results woop woop. So bear in mind that these are grand generalisations. Finally, participants were asked to share what they thought was the most adult thing that they have had to do so far in their life. Below are some of the responses:
- "Meal planning."
- "Being the most emotionally mature in the household."
- "Moved out and fended for myself."
- "Took myself to the dentist/doctor."
- "Organised a surgery seems more adult-y now."
What this data suggests is that most people do not feel like an adult, most people do not think that there is a certain age where one becomes an adult and the common dominator of the most adult things that people have had to do in their lives so far is self-preservation. So really adulthood is just this concept of self-preservation relative to each individual. Responsibility for your actions and assets naturally accumulates as you get older. But those responsibilities are going to accumulate at different times for everyone. We all come into this life each with a completely unique environment. We will each experience a unique set of responsibilities that derive from our families, our countries and everything else that makes us who we are. And that solely means that the dawn of adulthood for each person will be an independent discovery.
It has been scary, but the intense preliminary boil of adulthood has settled to a simmer. Slowly but surely (sometimes not so slowly, sometimes it feels like a damn thunderbolt striking my buttocks), I am being introduced the challenges of being a young adult. Most recently, it was coordinating my jury service request, so be prepared if you're planning to appear in court sometime early next year because I will be there ready to object and do all of those other overly dramatic things that one does in a courtroom. Honestly though, I am having a blast. Sometimes within the coordination of these new challenges, things do get stressful. But as long as I am properly recovering in a healthy manner, I can kind of get my hands back on the rails again. This time is exciting and sorry to break it to you; once it is over, you won't be experiencing it first hand again. Whether it be awkward, whether there are failures, whether there are successes, there is no right way to adulting. You just have to do it and see what works for you. Everyone always starts out not knowing what the fuck they're know, so embrace it and day-by-day you will begin to know more than you did yesterday. And that's me currently on adulting. Tēnā koutou katoa.
If you have any further questions based on this blog post or anything else in regards to this blog, be sure to get in contact with me through this website or through the blog's instagram linked below.
~ Link for previous blog post: https://www.madein2000.com/post/36-caffeine
~ Link to 'Born In 2000' instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ellawasbornin2000/
~ Link to 'Born In 2000' opinion form: https://www.madein2000.com/we-want-you-r-opinion
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This blog will encompass the life of a 20-year-old kiwi chica. Composed of stories, advice, life lessons, worldly observations and whatever else Ella's life brings to surface. For all of this and more, read my new found blog 'Born In 2000': established on the 28th of October, 2019. Where Ella Gibson explores her life that exceeds all limitations. Publications should be expected once a week. Also, be sure to take this present moment now and rock it!