Five things that are certain to make you feel grown up!

Commenting on the birth of his first son William in 1982, Prince Charles described the whole experience as “rather a grown up thing” to a crowd of well-wishers gathered outside the hospital.

Of course, many years have since passed, and Prince William is now grown up himself: 39 years old, with three children of his own. But during that time how has the concept of “grown up” evolved? 

Some scientists actually suggest that we don’t reach full adulthood until our thirties, because the neurons that connect and transmit information around our brains are still continuing to develop until that stage.

In light of this, we thought it would be interesting to take a look at the kinds of things that make us feel grown up in 2021. What does it take to finally convince us that we have reached adulthood? We’ve been doing a bit of research on this and come up with five common themes:


Having a sense of purpose in life

Becoming an adult is more complex than just a checklist of things such as landing a great job, getting married, having a child or buying a home. The key thing is whether you have a sense of purpose in life. Do you know where you are headed, and are you making plans to get there?

Those dreams and plans may well include some of the things we’ve just mentioned, but some people have life plans that are very different. Some may desire to be a top sportsperson, actor or musician, continually travelling with the job. Others may yearn to be a research scientist or voluntary worker, stationed in a remote corner of the globe. Yet others feel strongly that they want to become part of a religious order or other kind of alternative community.

For any of these examples – and many others – making a conscious lifestyle choice that may not be viewed as mainstream can be a very grown up thing to do. More so perhaps than following the expected norm.


Being responsible for your domestic and social life

A very telling aspect of having reached adulthood is when you demonstrate the ability to keep all the plates spinning. Whatever your life choices and circumstances, ask yourself the following questions to see how well you are adapting to adulthood:

  • Are you able to get up and out and where you need to be in the morning without continually being late?
  • Do you manage to keep your living quarters in good condition: reasonably clean, tidy and organised?
  • Do you keep up to date with personal administration: bills, paperwork etc?
  • Can you cook a few dishes consistently well and without having to check the recipe?
  • Is your social calendar reliably up to date, so that you don’t miss important dates, events and appointments?


Caring for partners and dependents

Whether you are with a partner, married, have one or more children, or have parents or other relatives who need your help, the way you care for the significant people in your life is a good indicator of your adulthood.

So do you do this generously or resentfully? Are you prepared to be the bigger person where needed, in order to make someone else happy? Sometimes you need to sacrifice your own needs in order to sort out someone else’s.

This does not mean that you don’t need time to yourself, to recharge your own batteries. In fact another indicator of adulthood is the ability to spend time constructively on your own. Being kind and empathetic to yourself will help you to pay the same forward to others.


Communicating honestly and reasonably

Another key aspect of adulthood is the way you communicate with others. This applies in two ways.

At times you will need to initiate communication. For example, breaking the ice at a social or business gathering; which may sometimes include making small talk with people who you wouldn’t normally spend time with. Or how about sometimes swallowing your pride and asking for help when you need it? Or apologising when you realise that you have upset someone?

At other times you need to listen more carefully to what is being said to you. Receiving feedback from others is not always easy, but it can be incredibly helpful. Being asked a favour by someone can be flattering, but there are times you may need to say no if you realise that you are not in a good position to help. Saying no can feel awkward, but is sometimes the most honest response.

So in adult communication, aim to be friendly, rational, responsive and – above all – diplomatically honest.


Managing your money well

One final way that you know you’ve achieved adulthood is if you feel confident about how well you are managing your money.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have a lot of money to manage. It just means that you are making the most of what you have, and are making sensible decisions about working towards the future. 

Managing your money well includes areas such as:

  • Budgeting;
  • Paying bills on time;
  • Clearing debts;
  • Having emergency savings;
  • Having longer-term investments, such as ISAs and other savings, a home, a pension.

These are areas that we will explore in more detail in future articles, so do keep checking back here for the latest news and views. 


In this article we have looked at various ways that help people to feel that they have grown up. You may be able to identify with some of them, and/or you may have other things that are significant landmarks to you. 

Our aim on this page is to regularly feature articles that will help you to reflect on how your life is going and, at the same time, to get the most out of your money. So visit us again soon here at Munzee Loans, the direct lender with a difference.