Adulting requires being on your own

Mark Watney, the main character of the movie, The Martian, is left alone by his fellow astronauts on Mars and has to fend for himself. Even though Watney is already an adult, the adjustment he had to make in order to survive on Mars parallels with the process of auditing. Watney has to learn how to plan out his days with the materials that he has. He rations out his food and discovers that he had enough to last him 300 days. He was told that his rescue mission would be in 4 years time and he had little hope of his food lasting that long, although, lucky for him, his rescue was much sooner.


In order to survive he needed to be level-headed and resourceful. This is similar to what one experiences when he/she leaves home for the first time. During the process of adulting, one has a new set of responsibilities, like managing money. Many emerging adults need to plan out how much to spend a week and strategize about how they can cut down on their spending. The ways in which young adults need to learn how to be financially independent is similar to how Watney had to learn how to manage his food supply. In both cases, there is a limited amount of food/money and if eaten/spent recklessly there would be bad consequences. To be resourceful, Watney plants potatoes in hab, where he lives, and uses his knowledge of chemistry to create water. Young people who have just left home often have to be smart with their spending by trying to use what they already have before buying anything new. Sometimes we fail like Watney did when he first tried to create water but when he finally did succeed he was even more excited.


In addition, Watney did not have anyone to ask for advice, when on Mars. His limited conversations through the pathfinder were for important matters and so he needed to be able to manage his daily tasks and make decisions on his own. Emerging adults have to be in charge of taking care of themselves on a daily basis. They cannot call their parents to ask for help with every challenge they face.

Although Watney had already gone through the process of adulting, the challenges he faced on Mars allowed him to mature even more. Most people don’t travel 50 million miles from home like Watney did, but the themes are still the same. Going to a new place and tackling the challenges that come with it can be hard, but the experience can also cause incredible growth.

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