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trying to be an adult


I think there are a lot of aspects to consider about being an adult. I think it’s a mixture of being financially independent (having a career) and balancing every other aspect of your life alongside it. Learning how to prioritise your schedule is a major factor, be it ensuring you meet job/uni deadlines to making sure you’re feeding yourself three meals a day – healthy meals at that.

Overall, I think I do [consider myself an adult], but only to an extent. Being an international student, it’s impossible to be completely financially independent at this point – the pay of a part time job isn’t enough. That being said, I’d like to think that I’m competent in organising the other aspects of my life – it’s something you have to pick up when you live abroad, away from your family. I think I’ll only fully consider myself as an adult when I have a proper career and when I can confidently put down the first payment on a house.

I think [I first consider myself an adult] was when I first got a part time job, specifically when I got my first pay check. It was so fulfilling to have earned something purely from my own hard work.

There’s no doubt that I still have a long way to go though!

I think there are so many expectations of you when you hit your mid-twenties. You scroll down your Facebook timeline and you see friends (around the same age as you) getting engaged/married, studying, kicking off their careers, travelling the world etc, and you can’t help but compare and question yourself, ‘Am I doing okay for my age? Or am I lagging behind everyone else?’

– Amy, 24, Masters Student in Teaching


I think being an adult is when you can be independent and be content. Don’t get me wrong, I still sometimes think that I’m still childish in many ways. Well, my age is definitely is in the adult category.

I’m speaking as a Christian and I believe, although I’m being independent, I still have to live dependant to God. That’s when I can learn to be content – when my expectations are not met from the people I thought I could depend on, God is there anyway and will supply all my needs and His grace is sufficient for me.

There is somehow emotional balance too in responding to circumstances that we face. Perhaps it depends on your characteristics. I’m a melancholic, and I used to relate and taking things personally – became too overly sensitive over things e.g jokes. But I guess, overtime, I less become sulky and demanding or overly sensitive, but also keeping balance that I don’t become cold or ignorant – for the sake to protect my heart I need to guard it so I need to become cold, which becomes a danger.

And also, I think being an adult is when you think of yourself less, and put other people more highly – no longer it is my way but there is willingness to co-operate with others, even to the younger people. There is somehow willingness to take care of other people.

One thing that I lack is, I think, on being firm. I think that is a trait that is needed as an adult. To be firm and strict somehow. Not lenient. But probably this links to parenting more.

Age wise, yes, [I consider myself an adult]. Hmm, yes I think I’m an adult, an imperfect one of course.

Now that I think about it, perhaps it was when I was living aboard alone – without my parents and also all by my own money that I earned from work, as well as living in Japan for a few months.

But I think I was forced and taught to be an adult when I was given the responsibility to lead and take care a cell group, and perhaps it’s also because all of them are a lot younger than me, and I have to be their ‘mum’ or big sis somehow.

Also because I’m thankful that I am also surrounded by married couples and young families, whom I can learn a lot from..

[I think] being an adult = being mature. But being mature doesn’t mean you’re already there yet and have stop learning and don’t make mistake. It doesn’t mean not asking any help from others. Being an adult is also being responsible in a way perhaps disregarding your own pride.

As a Christian, whether you are an adult or not, I think we all have to have a heart that fear of the Lord. To always be in deep reverence of Him. Because the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

– Sen, 33, Graphic Designer/Illustrator


Okay, being an adult for me is to be responsible in every aspect of our life. I think everyone will be an adult, but not everyone will mature enough to face the world. The most important thing is how to be a mature person. What I consider as a mature adult is how do you control yourself when you facing the problem, will you be strong enough? How you control your emotion, are you responsible enough to your surrounding environment.

I can consider myself as an adult, maybe when I moved to Melbourne, I had to do everything myself. But still, as a guy (boy) sometimes I am being lazy, don’t care with my surrounding, but still, I can manage to be an adult when I am needed to be.

My suggestion: just be yourself but with at mind full of consideration about other people, don’t be selfish.

– Simon, 31, Transport Industry


Being an adult is being able to stand up on your own feet financially and being maturely responsible on ones action. Yup, [I consider myself an adult], I’m 35! I consider myself an adult when I graduated from uni and start to enter into the working environment. Having said that, I still got lots to learn from others or even role model in church on how it takes to become better as a person. So then I can react responsibly and not being impulsive to make decision.

– T, 35, Landscape Architect


For me being an adult is when you realise that you have to take responsibility of yourself at any area (work, private, family, anything). Whatever it costs, you have to take responsibility for what you choose.

Yup, I think I’m an adult now since I already have a child. I have to take responsibility not only for myself but also for my child and my family.

I think I became an adult when for the first time I get my first job (not in my father’s company) and I can manage my own finances. I am able to manage my own life and am responsible for whatever I decided. For me being an adult is simply taking over your own life (not depend on your parents) and being responsible for what you did.

– Fenny, 33, Housewife


Paying taxes. HAHA! I joke. I think, being an adult is taking full responsibility for yourself, and being mindful about others. Taking full responsibility means that I can survive on my own, not being dependant on others. Being mindful about the people around you in your day-to-day interactions, understanding where they are coming from and trying to look at the grey area more than just what is black and white.

If it is just the criteria of paying taxes, then yes [I consider myself an adult]. On a more serious note, I don’t think so, but I would like to think I am getting there.

Why? Well, mostly because of what I have mentioned above, I think sometimes, I am not mindful enough on my bad days. I would like to think I am getting there. But at the same time I sort of wish I am always getting there.

Anything else I’d like to add? Well, even though I have sort-of-an-answer what I think being an adult is, I feel like adulthood is tiring and sometimes boring. Which is probably why I am still stuck at the ‘getting there’ stage. I also agree with you and think that I am sort of faking to be an adult. Just to meet society’s expectation of me at this age, which is why I mention in my answer, I feel that adulthood is really tiring and boring. All these expectations to meet and manage. Urgh!

– Kenneth, 26, Video Producer


When a person starts to think on his/her own and starts to take responsibility for his/her actions, I think he or she should be treated as an adult. I believe when you take the first step in learning to be mature, I think you are an adult. Sometimes, I get a sense that being an adult is more a biological concept of time and what people around you expect in a person in consequence of this, while maturity is a lifelong journey. So my definition is similar somehow; that being an adult is when you start to think on your own, and when people expect you to take responsibility for your actions.

I am not sure when I consider myself as an adult, or maybe I don’t even bother to label myself. Maybe, it is when I started university.

– Karina, 23, Analyst


Being an adult means that we know the meaning of life. Knowing the responsibilities of this life and aware what the circumstances we’re gonna face. Its not easy thou. Sometimes people are always forgotten about their value. So, being an adult or being mature is our choice.

In my case, I’ve realised that I’m not young anymore when I know what I want, really, to be in my life. So yeah, as soon as you know what your visions are, you should’ve worked it out.

– CW, 24, BCom Graduate


I think being an adult is about having self-awareness and responsibility. By awareness, I mean being aware of who you are (your personality, strengths, weaknesses), what is your aspiration/desire (career, partner in life, location on earth), why do you want such things, and how are you going to strive to accomplish it.

Responsibility is the proactive mindset that accepts yourself as the main driver and guide in your life. Parents, teachers, and experts can give you advice, but you are the decision maker in your life. You have to decide things for yourself, and fully accept the consequences/result that follows. You cannot blame other person if something unexpected happens.

Yes in the legal sense, but not yet according to my previous definition of an adult. I’m still learning decision making from my peers, coworkers, mentors, etc, and I am not yet aware of my future long-term aspiration/goal… still lookin’.

– Anthony, 24, Engineer


For me, being an adult is about responsibility. Your sense of responsibility changes once you enter adulthood – things like having a job or being involved in a relationship brings added responsibility. It’s no longer about satisfying your own desires as your actions also have impact on other people. You can delay handling an assignment at uni, but you can’t do the same at work.

You also begin to think about things which you wouldn’t worry about in your childhood – getting a job, relationships, long-term budgeting, mortgage, career goals etc.

I consider myself a young adult – kind of in between a young person and an adult.

I think adulthood is relative. I work in an office dominated by people in their 40-50s. In a building of 200+ people, I am probably the youngest. So this does make me feel like a ‘young person’ compared to my colleagues because I am the same age as their own children. I’m also the youngest child in my family, so inevitably I am the ‘baby’ in the family (which is fine by me as being the youngest has its perks).

For me, the transition to adulthood has been gradual. I didn’t wake up one day feeling like I’ve transitioned from a teenager into an adult. There was never really any point in time where I felt like I switched into an ‘adult’. Turning 18 legally made me an adult but for me it was just like any other birthday.

Adulthood, like any phase in life, has its own challenges. My advice is to not let yourself be bound by other people’s definition of adulthood. There is not ‘right’ pathway to adulthood. Everyone’s journey is different.

If you constantly compare yourself with other people, you might create more pressure for yourself. Other people may seem like they’ve had their whole life figured out. They may be very sure about their direction in life, they might have a high-paying job and a stable relationship. But the truth is that they have their own challenges and obstacles to go through. We are all navigating our way through the murky waters of adulthood.

– Tim, 24, Communications