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Transitioning into adulthood can seem like a daunting experience. But when you really think about it, we don’t realize when it’s actually happening. Adulthood is more of a mindset than a physical phenomenon as it is largely related to how we think about and interact with the world around us. So, how do you know you’re officially an adult?

You’re Financially Responsible AND Independent

As a child, you probably didn’t have to worry about whether you could afford something or not because someone else worried about that for you. But now, you find yourself more invested in your financial situation. It could look like creating a savings account and actually having money in it. For some, investing doesn’t look as easy as the wolves of Wall Street may have us believe. Despite this, you’ve met with a financial advisor or done some sort of research to open your very own investing account – like a TFSA, depending on where you’re from.

You’ve got a good grip on the way you spend your money and have a working budget. It’s easy to spend money on the things we want when that money is someone else’s. However, as soon as we start earning our own, it can be a little tricky for some of us to pull back from all that spending. To do this, maybe you needed to start budgeting. Once you’re an adult, you now know how to manage having a credit card, bills and taxes pretty well.

The Future is in Your Sights

The future doesn’t seem to scare you as much. Sure, it can be a little daunting from time to time if your financial situation isn’t what you want it to look like. However, your action plan reassures you that you’ll get there eventually.

Maybe it’s a dream job you’ve always wanted, or you just landed an internship in the ideal career pathway.

It could also mean that you’re creating a life that you want to live.

Independence and autonomy allow you to live the way you intend to and you’re not afraid of those changes. As you grow into yourself, you’re becoming more and more comfortable with the constant changes that you go through as you mould life into what you want it to be. Have you moved out on your own or gotten into decorating your space? Things like that seem exciting. Even getting new dishes or cutlery sets seem exciting.

You Feel Like Yourself

The more you live through your adult life, the more you feel like your own person. This means that you have a sense of independence and autonomy. When those boundaries are challenged by others, you recognize them and are able to resolve the issue. Yes, it’s still scary to reinforce those boundaries, but once you enforce them, you’re letting it be known what you want and what you won’t settle for.

If you can relate to most or any of these points, congratulations! You’re doing the adulting thing right. This list isn’t exhaustive, but these are the aspects of adulthood that you need to fill your hierarchy of needs. At the end of the day, you decide when you’re ready to take the steps to be an adult. Once you do it, you’ll find out what puts you down and where you thrive. Everyone’s journey looks different so keep your chin up. You got this.

Priya Butter

Wilfrid Laurier '23

Priya is a student at Wilfrid Laurier University pursuing an Honours BA in Global Studies. Along with being a writer, Priya is a passionate dancer and poet. She has a soft spot for puppies (of all ages) and is also known to be thought provoking through conversations about current events.
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