We always talk about the boring parts of growing up like having to pay bills and having more responsibility. While it’s okay that we acknowledge that, we often forget to talk about the fun parts of #adulting.
I’ll admit it, I kind of like being a grown-up. There are several amazing things that we can do as adults that we couldn’t as kids like have a glass of wine at dinner, build our own social circles, and find ourselves.
We Can Drink Now!
I was a bit of a goody-two-shoes in high school. A lot of my friends went to parties with alcohol, but I always stayed home because I was the kind of girl who didn’t like breaking any rules (my craziest was the one time my friends and I invited boys to go to the movies with us) and didn’t start drinking until I was a sophomore in college and transferred to a state school from my local community college.
As adults, we can buy alcohol that doesn't taste like garbage.
The majority of us drink when we’re in college, but we often resort to the cheapest liquor, wine, and beer that we can find at the gas station because we’re all broke (and probably still underage). As adults, we can buy alcohol that doesn't taste like garbage at the liquor store or order a $12 glass of imported Italian wine when we go out to dinner.
And can we talk about how cocktails at bars and restaurants taste so much better than cheap beer? I’ll take a frose or a Moscow mule over a can of Busch Lite any day.
We Have the Freedom To Build Our Own Circles
When we’re kids, our social circles tend to be made up of our friends at school and our family members. Unfortunately, not all childhood friends and family members are created equal. Being an adult gives us the freedom to cut toxic friends or family members out of our lives.
Though many of us have wonderful childhood friends, there’s always that friend who is only around because of a convenience like having mutual friends in common, but she’s kind of toxic. You have to deal with her throughout high school and college because there aren’t many places to go, but you have the freedom to cut that friend out as an adult. Sure, you might still see them at large group outings, but the freedom to not see someone toxic every day is liberating.
The freedom to not see someone toxic every day is liberating.
The same goes for family members. If you come from a large extended family, then it’s likely that you’re not going to be super close to everyone. There are likely some family members that you just shouldn’t communicate with outside of large family gatherings like Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Easter, and setting those boundaries can be great for your mental health.
Our Identity Is Our Own
Though it feels like we spend our entire lives trying to find ourselves, we don’t truly establish our own identity until we’re adults. Whether we go to college or straight to a career, leaving home for the first time gives us the freedom to truly discover who we are. As a kid, I loved my parents but wanted to live a different life than they did. Though I wanted to get married and have kids like they did, I wanted to leave the comfort of the Chicago suburbs, move across the country (or the world — I wanted to move to the UK when I was in high school), and have an ultra-glamorous career that I wouldn’t find in my hometown.
It took me leaving home to go to college to realize that I had been right where I wanted to be all along. I realized how much I loved Chicago and that I wanted to raise my kids just like I had been raised. I look forward to the day when I can take my future kids to Broadway in Chicago shows, baseball games, and hockey games like I did as a kid.
Realizing that we’re both similar to and different from our parents is an important part of growing up.
Another thing I learned as I grew older was how important my Catholic religion was to me. I didn’t realize how much it meant to me until I was an adult, and I think I had to grow up to realize that. It also took going to college for me to realize that my political views are a little different from my parents’, and that’s okay. Realizing that we’re both similar to and different from our parents is an important part of growing up.
Building my own career has also helped me create my own identity and learn about who I really am. Many twenty-somethings have found a sense of identity in establishing their careers, which is something that we definitely couldn’t have done as kids!
Though paying bills and having more responsibilities sucks sometimes, they don’t outweigh the benefits and freedoms of growing up that we often ignore. Instead of complaining about growing up, we should focus on the positive and enjoy our lives.
Readers make our world go round. Make your voice heard in the official Evie reader survey.