Adulting is HARD.

I have been working since I was 16-years-old. I haven’t gone without a job since. At 16, I also started driving. At 17, I got my first credit card, and in June 2016, I turned 18.

This is the age we all wait for, where we can officially say “I’m a legal adult,” but at 18, I still had no idea how to “adult.” I was accepted to college, working, had many credit cards, and drove a car. All the while, I still lived with my family, ate their food, and would seek financial help from them.

I’m now 21. The older I got the more credit cards I opened, resulting in more bills. Funny how that happens. Yet with all the bills, I am still not sure I consider myself a full-fledged adult.

According to Webster’s Dictionary, ‘adult’ is “a person who is fully grown or developed.” According to Big Think, research shows the brain doesn’t fully mature until age 25, although these ages can vary among men and women as well as individuals. So why is 18 the official age of adulthood if the brain isn’t fully mature? According to multiple sources, the reason 18 is the official age of adulthood is because this is the age you can vote. There really is no clear reason why 18 is the chosen age, but it seems a bit off-putting that I can vote for someone to run the country, yet can’t legally drink a beer or even rent a car.

So I asked University of New Haven students and alumni what they believed being an adult means. A popular answer among the alumni was, “When you get your first full-time job.” Some said it’s when you make your first doctor’s appointment. There were plenty of other answers.

I have loans and bills to pay. I have to find a full-time job after college and I’m always stressed. If there is anything everyone can agree on it’s this…Adulting is hard.