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Issue 17 Out Now

What Does Adulting Mean?

Bruce Mars (@andreapiacquadio_)

Adulting is the daily tasks and responsibilities that come with being an adult. This term is frequently used amongst individuals that don’t identify as adults and don’t usually do adult tasks. The noun adult has become the verb adulting, and its most specifically referenced in making appointments and doing taxes. Millennials use adulting to describe their daily activities.

The term adulting is most popular with millennials that use platforms like Facebook and Twitter. Those that are in the later ages of millennials use adulting for stressful adult realities such as permanent jobs, buying homes, and having children. There’s even the trademark #adulting, that’s followed by a post about a mundane activity like using ovens, paying bills on time, and wearing professional clothing.

These are the literal definitions of adulting, “to behave in an adult manner; engage in activities associated with adulthood,” and “to make someone behave like an adult; turn someone into an adult.” Millennials that are delayed in their development related to this the most, having already experienced stages that older generations went through later in life.

And when we joke about engaging in things like having children, changing your oil, staying in on the weekend, and buying home appliances. It helps to come to terms with the transition into adulthood and can be a way to relate to others in a similar life stage. Some Millennials go through this stage at different times than their friends and often signal an end to their youth. Adulting means that you are not acting as one all of the time, versus someone who would view these tasks as just everyday life.

Andrew Neel (@andrewtneel)

The differences between Millennials and older generations also come into play; older generations see Millennials as immature for how they conduct themselves in the workplace. Older generations look down upon those that quiet quit and job hop. In the past, workplaces had higher job security rates for employees that were loyal to the company. Today many Millennials find themselves in toxic work environments that often offer little to no reward for the required work.

Adulting is used amongst those who are doing adult things for the first time in their lives and, finally, feel like an adult. It’s a sign of a stage of life where Millennials have to take life more seriously and prioritize aspects of their lives. The term adulting is how this generation accepts the reality of aging.


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