When you’re little, you can’t wait to become an adult. Then you become an adult and realize “What was I thinking?”. Working 40+ hours a week, paying bills, doing laundry, the list goes on.
Hence the popularity of the hashtag #adulting. Essentially what “adulting” means is to behave like an adult.
I’ve seen it used by many of my fellow millennials when they buy a house, make a payment on a car, cook a healthy dinner, take out the trash, go to bed before 11pm, or simply need an extra cup of coffee to get through a tough the day (like a Monday or really any day that ends in “y”).
None of these things are especially difficult but rather expected of us as we grow up.
So why do we use this word? Is it because millennials are doing things (like getting married, buying a home, and starting families) later in life than previous generations? A 2016 Pew Research Center survey found 32.1 percent of adults age 18-34 live at home. Or are we hoping to stay our young and carefree selves as long as possible and this is just the current generation’s ways of congratulating themselves for finally growing up?
One of the reason I feel it’s being used more frequently is not due to a lack of laziness on my generation, rather it’s a lack of knowledge.
How many people under 40 get takeout because they don’t know how to cook? Or can change a flat tire without calling On Star or AAA? Or drive a stick shift?
I admit I’m guilty of some of these myself.
We’re taught the extra language, math or science class will help you more than taking a home economics class in high school. But does it help to know the atomic number of Chromium instead of being able to sew on a button? (by the way it’s 24)
I was lucky. During my junior high school years, I had a teacher who realized the value of real world experience. She taught us to balance a check book and invest in the stock market. I had child development in high school. While carrying a baby doll around for a week is definitely not the same as being a mother, it gets you thinking about what it’s like to care for a newborn.
Today, people can come out of college with a bachelor or even master degree and still not know how to properly knot a tie for their job interview.
I don’t know if there’s a solution for the millennial generation. However, I will make sure my son knows as much of these basically life lesson as he can before he’s on his own in the real world.