Stop Waiting To Feel Like An Adult And Just Start Acting Like One

By Jessica Marie Baumgartner
·  5 min read

“Adulting is soooo haaaaard.” Please roll your eyes if you’ve heard this recently.

Growing up and being an adult isn’t easy, but how we enjoy life is based on the effort we put into everything we do. No one is born knowing how to ride a bike or play Mario Kart.

Being an adult is no different. There is no magical adult switch that activates our mighty grown-up powers. It’s about the choices we make and a conscious decision to act our age that propels us forward. 

Choosing Self-Sufficiency

Just as we pick our job, our college, and our circle of friends, being an adult means accepting that we’re not kids anymore and taking the steps needed to explore being a grown-up. This can be small changes over time or big ones. 

Something as simple as choosing a demure shade of lipstick. Or committing to eating out less to save some money. Checking out an art house film, volunteering at a crisis nursery, or listening to classical music are all things that can offer new perspectives. 

There is no magical adult switch that activates our mighty grown-up powers.

It doesn’t mean you have to wear turtlenecks every day, looking down your nose at all the young adults who haven’t figured things out yet. In fact, the opposite makes adulthood more enjoyable. Remembering your inner child and being childish aren’t the same concept. 

If you’re ready to just pull off the band-aid and dive in, then planning, budgeting, and exercising patience are needed to make that career switch, take an “adults only” vacation, buy a new car, buy a house, or get married. These are significant moves that will make a huge difference in your life and require a measured, long-term approach. 

Facing Responsibility

Part of being ready for adulthood is being willing to undertake the responsibilities of adulthood. Once you start growing into your new grown-up life, being in control means you have more freedom, but obligations and responsibilities loom from every corner. It’s the balance. You can do whatever you want, just don’t look for someone to blame if you eat chocolate for dinner and get a stomachache. You have to figure out how to maturely handle your responsibilities and freedoms.

Being an adult means we’re willing to face the consequences of our actions. If you constantly cancel on your best friend, missed her birthday, and forgot to send flowers when her mom died, not only are you missing out on strengthening your bond with her, but you’re acting like a child (and not in the fun “I’m wearing my Halloween costume to bed” way). 

Being an adult means we’re willing to face the consequences of our actions.

You can’t do something if you don’t actually DO IT. If you’re tired, anxious, or just having a rough time, be honest and find healthy ways to cope. Some days a woman just needs a nap. Others, you’re just being lazy.  

Eating healthy so you can think clearly and have more energy is an adult decision. Getting enough exercise, water, and sleep is something grown-ups do to properly function. Making the bed is…annoying and sometimes impossible (especially if you have four kids), but it offers a small sense of accomplishment that imparts confidence and tells us, “Girl, you did it! You can do more!!”

Learning Through Experience

A lot of Millennials think they're not ready for big adult changes because they don't "feel" ready, but the fact is, you're ready for an adult lifestyle when you decide to be. We can sit around waiting for life to start, or we can shoulder the responsibilities necessary to make it happen. 

It’s normal to not feel perfectly ready for marriage or parenthood, but that hesitation isn’t necessarily a sign you shouldn’t say I do or try to get pregnant. If you can honestly say you’re willing to put in the effort, the time, the love, and the sacrifices for your husband or your child, you’re ready enough.

You're ready for an adult lifestyle when you decide to be.

And when we make mistakes (because we will), instead of seeing every misstep as a horrible tragedy, mature adults learn and grow in order to change with dignity and grace. No one can avoid change. Even if you sit on your couch collecting unemployment endlessly, your hair will go gray and wrinkles will form.

Closing Thoughts

Seeking positive change through life’s adventures and experiences will drive you to do things you never thought possible. Just as you couldn’t imagine what driving would be like when you were 6 six years old, being a wife, mother, or career leader isn’t as hard as you think. 

Growing up is fun. You get to do what you want, how you want, and live your own life based on what you choose to do with it. 

No one is going to make you act your age. There is no “adulting” button. You have to take the initiative and learn to drive yourself. 

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