What does it really mean to be a “responsible adult?” At 18, you are declared an adult regardless of how you feel on the matter. Do you auto-magically know how to handle every situation life could possibly throw at you now? Can you suddenly develop the ability to warp the fabric of space-time such that you can accomplish everything expected of you every single day? Is some government entity secretly monitoring to see how responsible you are being in your daily life?
Of course not!
Being at or past the age of majority doesn’t mean that you somehow transcend into some new state of existence. You’re still you – now with some nebulous expectations presumably set upon you.
Do you still believe these myths about being a responsible adult?
Myth 1: A Responsible Adult Does Everything By Themselves
This is a super-important one to get past because it can seem overwhelming. You do not have to do everything alone. You will never master every skill there is to be had in the world. Period. While you may be or become an expert in some things, there will always be other people out there who are better at other things. Use them for this expertise.
- Ask questions of those who have more experience or who work in an industry that you are not familiar with.
- Search for answers on the internet.
- Hire a professional, if you can.
You do not have to do everything. You do have to do something.
Myth 2: A Responsible Adult Must Have a College Degree and a 9-5 Job
Shenanigans! There are tons of jobs that are awesome and do not require you to be in an office from 9 to 5. This world needs farmers and mechanics and truckers and plumbers and construction workers just as much as, if not more than, it needs people typing on keyboards. The basic needs of humanity and the infrastructure of society do not come from computers. They come from people doing hard work.
Myth 3: A Responsible Adult Is Never Overwhelmed
Life happens. It happens at the speed of… well… life. Some of the things that happen are going to be new to you. They were once new to everyone who has now experienced them. Some of these things are going to suck and they are going to be hard.
You can be overwhelmed. Cry. Wish that someone would make the hard choices for you. That’s OK.
Feeling overwhelmed by new and stressful experiences is part of life. Being responsible doesn’t mean that you don’t feel scared by these things. It means that you acknowledge that this is going to be hard, try to assess your options, and then you make those difficult choices.
Rely on support where you can find it. You are not alone. You don’t have to do this by yourself. But you do have to do this. And you can do this.