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not yet a woman


Well in my honest opinion being an adult means I am held responsible for all of my actions, my job, my finance, my personal life, etc. I would say I am already one because everyday I would have to pay for my actions that takes place or get rewarded for them. I would say I became an adult when I am out of university and that time reality kicks in, where I have to manage my own finance, free time, and work.

– Andreas, 24, Guest Advisor for a Honda dealership


In my opinion, being an adult is taking responsibility. You work, you earn money and if you choose to have someone to accompany you in your life then you have to plan forward.

Yes, I consider my self an adult. When? For me when I work and earn my self a living. Anything I would like to add: be friend with people that is much older than you. Learn from them.

– Julianto, 30, Real Estate Agent


Being an adult means being independent, self-sufficient, and responsible.

Do I consider myself an adult? Not quite there yet, but getting there. I’m still a young adult. Why? Contrary to the western culture, many young adults in their 20s still live with their parents, even after graduating college. I’m one of them. I still live with my parents in my parents’ house. Living in parents’ house, I don’t need to be responsible with household expenses. So I wouldn’t say I’m fully responsible. I still drive a car my parents provided for me. Those are just some examples to show that I’m not 100% independent financially and self-sufficient.

To me, I’d say I’m fully an adult when I fulfil the 3 criteria stated above. Being independent financially and self-sufficient is one of the most important ones. Similarly critical, I think being responsible with myself and my loved ones are also very important, financially and emotionally.

– Christian, 23, Life Insurance Practitioner


I never feel like I am an adult but I do feel older when I interact with kids younger than me. When I talk to them, when they share their life or problems; that’s where I realise I’ve been there, I went through that and I can see it from different point of view.

But I never really feel I am an adult, I just feel I grow in maturity. I can handle problems and responsibilities not by throwing tantrums or putting blames but find a way to solve it. May be because I still feel my parents are the adult here even after I get married.

I just feel I am growing older and a bit wiser I guess, but I won’t say I am an adult.

– Sartika, 30, Graphic Designer


Being an adult literally means you are more than 18 years old and able to think more than your high school world (if we are fortunate to go schools, some can’t in some parts of the world). In schools we are taught every single thing that is out there, we are introduced to science, technology, arts, engineering and maths. However it is our own decision to pursue one or more any fields there according to our passion, to contribute to bigger community in those fields. After high school, we are responsible for ourselves and making those decisions to make the life that you want (does not mean your parents can not discuss things with you). It is about knowing what you want in life and make expectations how things will turn to be.

I am now 24 years old and I could say I just become an adult 2 or 3 years ago when I decided myself to dive into technology/startup industry. Even though I used to hate coding/programming and computer science in general, I was bold with my decision to overcome my fears and challenge myself to become a web developer. Why? I know what I want: to build tech startup one day that contributes to the many communities. So I tried my best to persevere and stay in business and computer science degree at university, even took immersive 2 months coding bootcamp. Now I am responsible not only for my career, but also current life that I am building myself to become a better version of me everyday.

Personally, being an adult also require good decision making, not only for yourself but also for other people. The art of giving good responses, not reactions, is priceless. It has many contexts and can be applied specifically like how I explained being an adult is if you are more than 18 years old and finish high school. In bigger context of being in a team or a community, being an adult sometimes mean put yourself in a bigger picture for the cause of other people. I know life without friends or community sucks. Sometimes your decision to come to a care group or your friends graduation will bring positive impact and feelings to them. For example, I have a friend who just graduated last year who transferred from the same college. She was expecting that some friends from our batch would come however I was the only one to come. My friend was happy to see me come to her graduation ceremony and brought positive atmosphere despite me being the only friend to come. She was sad for a short time but she could understand why my other friends could not come. Being an adult also means accepting the fact of other people decisions and moving on with life.

– Reinhard, 24, Web Developer


Able to take responsibility of oneself. Brave enough to make a decision with all the consequences it brings. Half-adult. I’m not 100 per cent an adult because I am not responsible 100 per cent and sometimes I feel discouraged when I face challenges.

– Indra, 27, Medical Student


Being an adult means being able to take care of others, i.e. being dependable, while also not afraid to depend on others. Admitting our own flaws and open our ears to criticism instead of being defensive of them.

Being able to realise our competencies and incompetencies are important, that is by being open to what others are saying but have the necessary filter of what to listen and to trash away. To picture perfect, when I first thought of what an adult is, I’d say someone who’s kind, loving, have high tolerance, slow to anger, financially stable, and so on. But as everyone knows, no one’s perfect. So for me, being able to focus on our own strength while gradually challenging our weaknesses are important when it comes to having an adult-like character.

In addition, learning new things and being susceptible to it is also a contributor to someone’s level of maturity, which then translates to whether that someone is an adult.

Lastly, another reason why I say that adulthood is a process is because of the amount of responsibility that we take in through life differs. The higher we are in a social, career or relationship ladder, the more responsibilities we have, just like taking exams at school. So, for me, how we respond to those responsibilities also a factor that determine our progress of being an adult. If we pass a responsibility given at hand, i.e. if we perform well, we’ll go further up to another one, just like passing a grade.

I’m definitely an adult in progress. I still have issues with trying to think about others than myself. As a human, we have the tendency of being self focused and having a mindset such as ‘If I do this, what’s in it for me?’, just as what marketers describe the marketplace is all about. So I guess from where I am standing right now, my maturity is something that will always be renewed by every events that I go through.

There were and will always be moments that I prefer to act childish and let go. However, there will also come times where I have to act maturely. So I guess, being an adult for me is being able to determine the correct timing to let loose and let myself be a kid, whilst also being the adult my surroundings and myself requires me to be (to those whom I know depends on me whether it’s my family, partner, friends, anyone).

When it comes to first considering whether I’m an adult, numbers will also be in mind. I thought being 17 would mean that I’m an adult, getting my driver’s license, ID card, going into university and so on. But boy was I wrong. Age is honestly just a number that explains how long we’ve lived.

To be honest, even until now, I’m not sure I can call myself an adult. Age wise, I’m definitely old enough to start a family of my own and have kids. But I won’t do so until I have the necessary kits, such as financial independence, motherly sense (i.e. having the selflessness to take care and raise another human being), commitment to my partner, being responsible for household chores and the list goes on.

Overall, for me, being an adult is definitely an ongoing process. Like what people say, the longer we live the more experience we have. Those experiences are the spices of our adulthood and maturity.

– Risa, 23, Finance


Adulthood comes when someone starts to have responsibilities that involves the well being of other people or entities besides oneself.

Such as in Ethiopia, a 5-year-old has to take care of his or her even younger siblings. Their childhood is stolen and adulthood forced into them. A 35-year-old man can just live by himself, take care of himself, even do charities and still wont mean he’s an adult. Because his responsibilities doesn’t affect others directly or profoundly enough. If he dies the way he is now, the world and people around him don’t even need to move on because again, the lack of presence.

I would like to think I am an adult, but then again, other people are the ones to judge that. All I can do is do the best and be the best I can be, as well as being sensitive to people and things around me.

Being and adult also means you know that being a ‘good man’ is better than being a ‘great man’.

– JGL, 29, Royal Australian Navy


Being an adult is about taking responsibility (current and future well-being) for oneself and the people in your inner circle. The amount of people included in that circle correlates to the degree of maturity that one has. Yes, but I don’t think being an adult is a milestone, it is more of a journey. For me, it started when I realise that I would rather compromise or give up my own comfort (time, energy and money) to ensure others’ well-being is taken care of.

– HG, 31, Management Consultant


Being an adult is being more independent and responsible in anything that I do. And, being able to make important decisions for yourself. I can still ask for some help and feedback from my parents or family and friends, but my decision will be a lot more based on my own past experience and knowledge.

More accepting towards who I am and who I am not.

Being able to accept that I will have winning and losing moments in my life, realising that I can’t have it all and I can’t always do things the way I want to. Being less selfish. (Not easy to exercise this one)

I think [I am an adult]. Not sure when, technically after my 17th birthday, I received my first ID card. I felt I’m not a kid anymore. But I think that was a ‘false alarm’. Because a lot of my actions were immature, a lot of selfish decisions and ambitions back then (even in my 20s).

I think I really have a change of mind after I got married, my little niece was born and many other events happened in my life. I sort of see that, decisions I made in the past were all about ‘me, myself and I’, while once you formed a family, life is really not just about me and my dreams.

– Sam, 32, Graphic Designer