You would think that every boy grows up to be a man eventually, but the sad truth is that many avoid this transformation at all costs. The same goes for girls becoming women – and who could blame us? Being a college kid sounds like much more fun than being a reliable parent or a diligent employee. In fact, many of us miss the moment when we have crossed over to the other side. One day you might just wake up and wonder – when did I start clipping coupons and gardening? Where did all these kids come from? When did I buy a mini-van and become a responsible member of my community?
Buy an “Intelligence is sexy” t-shirt!
Don’t let this transformation catch you off guard. Here are ten sneaky signs you might be entering real adulthood:
Your circle of friends is shrinking.
Remember that giant crowd of girls you used to hit the bars with? Where did they all go? Some might have gone shrieking off into the night in a drunken haze, while others sneak away into their own adulthood, filled with responsibilities and limitations. Don’t worry, though – your adult friendships, though fewer, will be equally close and rewarding. If you have ever called a friend in the middle of the night with a question about your baby’s rash and poop consistency, you are already there.
You’re excited to talk to your mom –
and not just because you need money. As you gain independence, it is natural for your parents to loosen the reigns a bit. Your dad will become less of an authority figure and more of a friend. Your mom’s quirks will start to seem adorable, rather than humiliating. You’ll realize they’re really kind of great and fun after all.
Pregnancy announcements are met with joy, rather than panic.
You don’t ask if she’s going to keep it. You don’t ask if he’s absolutely sure it’s his baby. It is and they are, because they’ve been married for two years now and live in a three bedroom house. They might have even thrown one of these adorable announcements up on Facebook. Speaking of which…
You’re one step behind on social media.
They lost me at Instagram, and now, according to my teenage cousin, nobody’s even doing that anymore and everyone’s on Snapchat. I’m still using Facebook with all the other moms, politely liking each other’s baby pictures and inviting one another to book clubs and family nature hikes. I’m at peace with that.
Friends Who Grow Up Together Stick Together
You share your feelings with your partner –
and not by screaming and throwing dishes. You have experienced enough of life to understand the value of emotional expression and having a soft place to fall. You are no longer afraid to be vulnerable with your significant other.
You don’t go out on weeknights.
Now that you have an important and grown up job, a good night’s sleep is starting to sound infinitely more appealing than a hangover. You also might be starting to tire of crowds, noise, and strobe lights. As Lorde put it, “I’m kind of over getting told to throw my hands up in the air…so there.”
In fact, “going out” in itself means a whole different thing.
For the reasons described above, and thanks to your blissfully strengthened financial resources, you might be more likely to find yourself at a fancy restaurant than a bumpin’ club. This one really hits home when you return to go to bed and realize your babysitter is on her way out to start her own night – and that you have a babysitter.
“Bros before hos” is over.
So is “chicks before dicks.” You and your partner are in it for the long haul now, and you need to be one another’s first priority.
You embrace little weekday pleasures –
think morning commute playlists, healthy and affordable lunches, and the new coffee special. Weekdays solidly outnumber weekends, and you might as well find little parts of them to cherish. Don’t wish your life away waiting for Friday. Live it now.
You would NEVER say something like “YOLO” –
not only because it’s obnoxious and you look silly doing it, but also because you no longer agree with the spirit of the phrase. The fact that we only live once is not an excuse to do something stupid. It’s a reason to open that 401k and invest in quality furniture. Exception – you get bonus adult points if you say YOLO while doing something of that nature.
Being a grown-up is actually pretty great. I get to eat as much candy as I want, and I don’t have to ask permission to go to the bathroom. I do have to take my toddler with me though, and apologize to the woman in the next stall when he pops his head under the divider to say “hi.” Life is all about trade-offs, and I’m pretty pleased with the ones I made when I crossed over into adulthood.