“So how did previous generations ready themselves for this adult thing? It seems like they woke up one day and instantly became one.”

I remember myself having that thought four months after I graduated from college. Back then, I didn’t have a crystal clear vision of what I wanted to do. All I had was this diploma — a proof of completing a stage in life — and these grand dreams of traveling the world and building up a business. Of course, I couldn’t start achieving that without a stable income. I always knew that sooner or later, I have to get out of the funk that I was in, start toughening myself up, go to job fairs and send out resumes to companies I thought I wanted to be a part of. 

Although it took me several tries, I finally landed a job that I absolutely love (hint: I get to work anywhere I want!). To be honest, I’m still not an expert of this whole “adult thing”, but here are three things that made me think being one isn’t so bad after all:

1) You get to spend on things you’ve always wanted.

Back when I was younger (and jobless lol), I wanted to buy so many things that I didn’t have the budget for. Asking from my parents took so much work. They keep telling me things like “I’ll give you the money in the next payday” or “No I can’t buy you that thing right now because we still have to buy groceries and pay the bills” and I hated hearing those words. 

When I started receiving my salary, I went a bit crazy for a while. I bought myself a pair of sneakers. I booked myself a plane ticket. I spent my money on weekend travels. I invested on my first laptop. I bought myself books. I was on a roll! It felt good to be able to spend on things I want without bugging my parents to give me money. 

Though I have the buying power now, one thing that real adults do is being financially responsible. Now, this isn’t to burst anyone’s bubble. Sure it’s important to reward yourself with a book or a weekend getaway once in awhile, but saving up for your future is equally important too. And this doesn’t really make adult-ing suck. You won’t realize it now but you’ll be so grateful to your past self for thinking not just of the now, but also of what will happen later. 

Being financially responsible and stable isn’t a joke. I should know. It takes hard work and discipline. But hey, developing a habit takes only 21 days. Make “saving” that habit ;)

2) You can go wherever you want, whenever you want.

One of the perks of being an adult is that you get to go wherever you want, whenever you want! Well as long as you have the budget for it that is. 

I went on several different places this year and all those involved riding a boat, taking a bus, and boarding an airplane. Asking for permission from my parents was easy breezy. Though they asked several questions (literally all the five W’s and one H), they still let me go like it was no big deal.

I know there are still some adults who aren’t allowed by their parents to go on trips whenever they wish, and I totally respect that. These people are only looking out for you. They’re also trying to adjust to the stage in life where you’re in too. So don’t be too hard on them and keep the angst. You’re not a teen anymore.

3) You can cut ties with anyone 

This is the cold harsh truth: you won’t keep the same set of people you grew up with. To be honest, most of the people I thought I’d still hang out with today got naturally sorted out of my life by the twisted magic of fate. Kidding aside, being an adult means you can cut ties with anyone who doesn’t share the same values as you anymore. And it’ll be okay. 

This is the phase in your life where you need to be surrounded with positive people. People who will push you to follow your dreams, who will support you, and who will genuinely be there for you. You don’t have the time and energy to waste on sour relationships. 

If there’s a person (or you know several of them) who you feel isn’t on the same path as you or you feel that you’re better off without, it’s time to ask yourself whether he or she still deserves that spot in your life. If not, let go.

Being an adult, for the most part, can be challenging, but it doesn’t mean there aren’t several perks. It’s true that there are no surefire ways on how to be an expert on it. Most people don’t really have it all together. We’re all just going through this phase figuring things out and learning a lot along the way. So don’t fret. You’re not alone in this ;)


Pearl Aton is a freelance creative from the Philippines. She posts her work and thoughts on her website, pearlaton.com.  

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