We have been using the term “adult” all of our lives to categorize certain individuals. When we think about what it means to be an adult we all have assumptions that arise in our mind. Most of the assumptions are the same such as: more responsibility, more independence, etc., while some are unique to each individual. The problem arises when we try to define “when” we become an adult. The problem is that most common assumptions that come with being an adult can be used for all age groups, because when we go from being a baby to a child, and from a child to a teenager we gain more responsibility and more independence, so how much responsibility and independence does it take for a person to be known as an adult. The truth is that there is no certain amount of responsibility you must have to be finally be seen as an adult, and the better way to define it is by age. I feel that 18 would be the best age to define an adult because you are finally starting to make a life for yourself, by moving out of the house either to go to college or to start your career; however, there is a rising percentage of individuals, ages 18-34, who are staying at home with their parents. The Pew Research Center has found that the percentage of young adults living with their parents is “the highest percentage since around 1940” (Desilver 1) or since the great depression. So the best way to define becoming an adult is the age that you move out and either go to college or begin a career and start working for yourself. The age that you move out is so important because, once you move out you must learn to do everything for yourself and live with the consequences or benefits of your actions. Every wrong decision does not end in a punishment from your parents, but rather affects your life and your future. A good example is when you get a credit card separate from your parent’s bank account and go crazy buying things you don’t need. You don’t just get a lecture from mom and dad about how to spend your money wisely, instead you have a lifetime of trying to pay off all the debt you accumulated. As you grow older and older the responsibility you have always seems to grow with you, like when you get married or when you have children, but to be seen as adult you must be able to leave your home and support yourself and live for yourself. Many believe that the term adulting means the process of becoming an adult, but I believe that happens the minute you step out of your house and away from the shelter of your family. The term adulting actually refers the hurdles you must jump over and obstacles you must overcome now that you are already an adult.
- DeSilver, Drew. “In the U.S. and Abroad, More Young Adults Are Living with Their Parents.” Pew Research Center RSS. N.p., 24 May 2016. Web. 07 Sept. 2016.