When did you feel like a grown-up?

When I turned 25, I mentally drafted my five-year plan. For me, my five-year plan was all about love. I knew that I wanted to get married at 30, and I wanted to be dating the guy for two years before we got engaged (hah! We all know how well that turned out), and so I knew my timeline for finding my husband would be about 27. At 25, that gave me two years to do some serial dating so that I could find a mate.

So at 25, that was my five-year plan. Date, Get Engaged, Get Married.

By the time I turned 26, I had already completed all three.


I’m turning 29 now. Twenty-nine. It is such a grown up number. I could have never predicted four years ago that my life would turn out the way it has and yet I am perfectly content.

While I don’t feel that 30 is old by any stretch, I do see it as a sort of unofficial official mark of adulthood—if that makes sense.

There’s a part of me that still feels like Eric and I are just playing house. Yes, we pay rent and utilities and pay down student loans, and we go grocery shopping on weekends, and we purchase our own plane tickets without asking our parents for permission or having to borrow their credit card to make purchases, but I still feel like we’re just playing, like this is all just pretend.

Maybe because it’s too much fun? And being a grown-up isn’t supposed to be fun?

When my mom turned thirty, she had a 10-year-old (me), a five-year old, and was eight months pregnant with my youngest brother. So as a 10-year-old looking at my mom, I saw her as a serious grown-up. And now that I’m turning the age my parents’ were at one point, I feel like I should feel old, but I don’t.

Does that make sense?

I somehow thought that being a grown up was supposed to suck. But I really enjoy our life right now.

I don’t really have any goals for 29. It’s really just about continuing to do what we’re doing, having fun, saving up, paying off debt, and getting through grad school.

At what point did you feel like a grown up?

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35 thoughts on “When did you feel like a grown-up?

  1. May 2, 2013 at 6:27 am

    As a mom of three at age 26, I have felt really grown up with the responsibilities as a mom and as a wife. But it doesn’t mean I have to be serious at all times and there are still times when I act completely like a child especially when I am with my kids and we play anything childish they have in mind.

  2. Ally
    April 28, 2013 at 9:43 pm

    I don’t feel grown up at all. I’m also 29 but I still live with my parents which makes it hard to do grown up things. My mom still makes me ask her for permission to go out to the movies or hang with friends. I’m currently saving to buy a house and I’m pretty sure that the first night in “my” house will be the moment that I finally feel grown up.

  3. April 28, 2013 at 3:34 am

    When I received my first pay for my first job during post graduate schooling and didn’t anymore receive any major financial assistance from my parents since then, I felt all grown up.

  4. Poor fat chick
    April 26, 2013 at 11:32 am

    When I had to pay for my rent by myself for the first time. That is when I first felt like a grown up

  5. April 25, 2013 at 7:51 am

    You know i still don’t feel like a grown up 100% of the time. I am 32, married and have a toddler.

  6. April 24, 2013 at 9:29 pm

    I don’t know when I’ll ever feel fully like a grown-up. I’m married and have a doctorate, but since I’m doing a fellowship (e.g. more training), I still feel like a little kid sometimes! We don’t own a house yet either….maybe when we get a house we’ll be grown-ups? Or maybe we need a kid?

  7. April 24, 2013 at 12:41 pm

    I have this conflicting feelings inside me. Sometimes I still feel so young and immature and other times, I feel old and too late to do anything. I just need to find the right motivator for each situation.

  8. April 24, 2013 at 12:06 pm

    Once I started living on my own, started my first real job, and had taxes to do myself, that’s when I really felt like a grown-up.

  9. Jessica
    April 24, 2013 at 11:11 am

    I had my son really young (16) but somehow 7 years later after raising him, having my own place finishing my degree and getting my first “real” job in a corporation I still have my moments where it doesn’t feel real, like I am going to wake up and be back in my parent’s house with my old purple flower alarm going off… wierd I know… LOL

  10. April 24, 2013 at 8:45 am

    I felt like a grown up at 28 when I started my first full-time job after graduating from law school. School definitely took a lot of work, but it was also a fairly carefree time.

  11. April 24, 2013 at 7:47 am

    I still don’t feel like grown up! I very much feel like I’m trapped in 20-something purgatory. I know what you mean though, I feel like our generation is maturing MUCH slower than the one before it.

  12. April 23, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    I feel like this all the time. I’m (almost) 27 and have a husband and a mortgage. I pay all my bills and cook myself dinner. But sometimes I still feel like I’m living in someone else’s house and just taking care of it for a while. Hahaha

  13. April 23, 2013 at 10:54 am

    When I was 24, I bought my first place, a condo. I think that was definitely when I first felt like a grown-up, seeing that payoff date of 2028 really hit home!

  14. April 23, 2013 at 7:48 am

    At 33, I still do NOT feel like a grown up! I think it’s all relative…though I wonder if I ever will feel grown up hehe.

  15. April 23, 2013 at 6:31 am

    I don’t think I still feel (or think I look) like a grown up yet, and I’m 26. There are times I can definitely say I don’t feel like a child, ie, when all I am having for dinner is ice cream, but I don’t think I feel like an adult even if I am on my own, financially and emotionally. And I’m ok with that!

  16. April 22, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    So silly, and so random – but it was the first time that I was invited to a family wedding on my own with a +1, rather than under my parents. I was 23

  17. April 22, 2013 at 6:14 pm

    I felt like a grown up the moment I realized I had a child that would live with me 24 hours a day. That I couldn’t go to the grocery store without someone watching him or taking him with me. There is something very grown up about motherhood. I wouldn’t change it for anything in the world, but it definitely made me think of myself in a whole new light.

  18. April 22, 2013 at 4:21 pm

    I think I felt grown up when I got married and stopped taking classes toward my degree (age 24). My husband and I are still students but we treat our research like our job. We rent but we don’t yearn to buy. So I feel pretty grown up and I like my life a lot. Probably we will start feeling super grown up when we reproduce.

  19. April 22, 2013 at 3:59 pm

    I am 28 & I don’t feel like a grown up. I have taught classes, worked management jobs, started achieving life goals, and matured in many ways, but I feel 18. I am not married, no kids, I rent…it’s not a lot different from my first years post school. I still feel accomplished paying things on time, LOL. Maybe we will feel adult in our 30s; I’ve heard that’s when women get more grown up attributes like self-acceptance.

    Happy Birthday, hon. Hope you had a great day!

  20. April 22, 2013 at 3:18 pm

    In some ways, I’ve felt grown-up since I left for college. I chose a school that was about 3,000 miles away from any of my relatives, so I think that forced me to grow up faster than I would have otherwise. My husband likes to joke that I’ve been 40 since I was 12 (is this his way of telling me that I’m old at heart?!)

    But in other ways, I still feel really young. When my parents were my age (27), they had bought their first home and had their first child (me). That’s something I can’t quite wrap my head around. I hope it’s several years before we have kids!

  21. April 22, 2013 at 1:19 pm

    Age is only part of the “grown up” equation. Maturity which for some occurs at different ages. Some earlier than 29 others not until their 30s.

  22. April 22, 2013 at 12:47 pm

    I totally relate to how you feel. Sometimes I feel like I am just playing house as well without actually feeling like an adult. I don’t know when that feeling will go away. Maybe its just here to stay.

  23. April 22, 2013 at 11:07 am

    I’m 29 and I’m still not sure I feel like a grown up :). I’m getting married this year but I’ve been living with my fiance for a year and it was almost too easy of a transition. Sometimes I forget that we’re adults and getting ready to get married. It probably doesn’t help that I’ve lived in several cities and haven’t yet “settled down” officially. I have a feeling that adulthood won’t really hit me until we have children. It’s funny how we wait for that feeling of being grown up, but even through work, bills, and responsibilities, it still doesn’t seemt to hit home.

  24. April 22, 2013 at 9:23 am

    I’m 23 (coming up on 24) and I feel like a grownup even without kids. It’s hard to believe I moved out on my own almost 6 years ago though. My mom got pregnant with me when she was 24. It’s weird thinking about that because I feel nowhere near ready for kids.

    Funny how life turns out, huh? I was NEVER going to get married. EVER. Then I got married at 20 to my boyfriend of 6 months. It was very unexpected but he’s amazing so I’m glad life turned out differently than I expected :). I can’t wait to see what’s in store for me next year!

  25. April 22, 2013 at 8:20 am

    That’s something I think about a lot. When my mom was my current age, I was in COLLEGE! I think the fact that I never had kids keeps me a lot younger at heart. I hope that doesn’t offend parents out there! But for some reason it just feels so weird to be 42, yet still rent, have hand me down furniture, watch shows on the CW, etc. But on the other hand, I know I’m very responsible and have been for a LONG time as far as taking care of myself. So I think I’m a little of both.

  26. April 22, 2013 at 7:58 am

    I’m a grown up?! Just kidding, sort of. I am 28, and I think I fluctuate between feeling grown up and not. Flying to Germany by myself to see my husband before he deployed felt grown up. The fact that it is now 9 am and I’m still in my PJs and have done nothing sounds more like high school me. Getting my dog was a big step in the grown-up direction. (I’ve been keeping another living organism alive and mostly happy for 7 years now!)

    I know what you mean about thinking about what your parents were like at your age. My mom had three kids by now also. I def don’t feel that grown up!

    Oh, and happy birthday!

  27. April 22, 2013 at 7:55 am

    There are days where I feel like SUCH a grown up and others where I think I JUST graduated college. I turned 29 last month and can’t believe I’m going to be 30 in less than a year…. It’s starts to hit me when we talk about things like retirement planning, buying a home, etc.

  28. April 22, 2013 at 7:19 am

    I used to wonder when we were going to feel “grown up”, but even as our responsibilities have increased, we’re still having tons of fun! So who knows if we’ll ever feel grown up at this rate. And I’m pretty okay with that. =)

  29. April 22, 2013 at 7:06 am

    I don’t feel like a grown up, I wonder if I ever will. I think children might play a part in finally making me feel adult, but I do have my doubts.

  30. April 22, 2013 at 6:29 am

    I’m 23 and feel very much like a grown up. Yeah, my mom already had me by this age, but I don’t think you need to have kids in order to act or feel like a grown up.

    I love our “freedom” when we are not working all the time, and really wish we could stay in this stage forever.

    I really don’t want any additional responsibilities.

  31. April 22, 2013 at 6:03 am

    I still don’t know that I feel like a grown up, but turning 26 and having my first baby all in the same week did make me feel suddenly older.

  32. CF
    April 22, 2013 at 5:40 am

    I still don’t feel like an adult at the age of 28! Most people think I’m 22 lol. Maybe it’s becauseiI am not married?

  33. April 22, 2013 at 5:22 am

    LOVE this post. I feel like a grown up, but of course every now and then and sit back and think about how I’m 23 and how everything in my life has changed so much!

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