16 People Describe The Exact Moment When They Realized They Were An Adult


1. “During my freshman year of college, I had the stomach flu and threw up in my bed. Instead of comforting me with offers of soup or saltine crackers, my roommate just passive aggressively opened the window.”

—Kim, 21

2. “The first time I invited people over to my apartment and didn’t demand everyone bring their own alcohol—that’s when I realized I was growing up.”

—Jonathan, 23

3. “When I put in my own zip code (not my hometown or parents’ zip code) in the keypad after paying for my own gas.”

—Teddy, 22

4. “When I realized, shit, my parents were right. About everything.”

—Anna, 21

5. “The other day, when I noticed that the only thing getting me through the day was the idea of going to bed at 8pm.”

—Nick, 23

6. “I was cleaning up after a party and noticed that my roommates and I didn’t own a vacuum. Without really thinking, I drove to the closest Target and bought one. With my own money. It was in the middle of vacuuming under my couch when I fully realized what I was doing and had to sit down a minute.”

—Camille, 20

7. “I started noticing people’s yards. My dad used to talk about gardening all the time when I was growing up and it used to drive me nuts—but one day I found myself at a stoplight and looked out my window to admire someone’s lawn.”

—Sean, 25

8. “The first time someone called me ‘ma’am.’ I didn’t even think that they were talking to me at first.”

—Connie, 22

9. “When I stopped asking people ‘what’s your major?’ and started asking people ‘what do you do?’”

—Billy, 23

10. “At Christmas one year, I realized that I was much more excited to watch my friends and family open the gifts I had gotten for them than I was to open my own presents.”

—Lucy, 22

11. “When my family was out to dinner and my dad asked me if I wanted to split a bottle of wine with him and my mom. It was right after I turned 21, and I had never felt more mature.”

—Alexis, 22

12. “Moving into my first real apartment alone. It was the first time in years that I wasn’t sleeping on a twin bed and sharing a bedroom with two other people.”

—Michael, 23

13. “The first time my friends and I went out to dinner and ordered drinks—but without the intention of getting wasted. We drank socially and nobody blacked out or threw up on the sidewalk afterwards. It rocked.”

—Helen, 22

14. “When I started intentionally looking at women’s left hands to see if they had a ring on.”

—Brandon, 24

15. “My little brother was showing me his new phone and all the new features and I just could not get the hang of it. I had a revelation that this must be how my parents feel when I try to explain social media to them. Is this going to be my future?!”

—Donna, 20

16. “When I drove back to school after spring break and realized that the next time I would be home I’d be a college graduate.”

—Lindsay, 22