What does "being an adult" mean? SEP 02 2009
I've noticed that when people speak of the mindset associated with "being an adult", they are referring to either A) the setting aside of childish ways; or B) a rebellion against the lack of freedom of childhood. Basically opposite approaches: responsible adulthood and irresponsible adulthood.
The A people feel that being an adult means eating healthfully, being financially responsible, dressing to meet the expectations of others, flossing regularly, servicing your vehicle regularly, etc.
Folks who take the B approach feel that adulthood means that you can eat candy for breakfast, drink too much, fail to keep careful track of your finances, stay up late, play hours of video games a day, skip dental cleanings for three years, order the steak instead of the salad, etc. [Note: This isn't to say that these people are irresponsible to the point of being lawless, although that is sometimes the case. It just means that when it comes to actions that have an impact primarily on themselves, they don't always make the "best" long-term choices.]
There are likely a whole host of personality traits and such that can be determined to varying degrees of accuracy based upon a person's answer to this question (even if it's "sorta A and sorta B"): emotional maturity, political party affiliation, age, gender, intro/extroversion, Myers-Briggs personality type, marital status, and so on.
So which type of adult are you?