For most of us, the transition to adulthood is not a seamless process we ease into gradually. No, it’s more like a brick in the face when one day we look at ourselves in the mirror and think “By God, I’m just like my parents now”. Of course, others have no problem with reaching maturity, in spite of the fact that it’s less fun to work a 9 to 5 shift and do the same thing over and over again when you get home.
To each his own, but to paraphrase the famous baseball player Chili Davis, you can grow old without actually growing up. Now, these are indicators that you might have joined the ranks of the adult armada and if you find yourself in more than 4 of the following 10 descriptions, you should probably be worried!
1. News bulletins present a lot of interest all of a sudden
As a kid or an adolescent (one who’s not trying to impress girls with his exhaustive knowledge of the political circus), you would rarely pay any attention to what a certain prime minister said about the tensions in the Middle East or the fluctuations in the value of foreign currency. The only piece of news that might present an interest concerns the attempts to censor the internet, but that’s as far as it goes. When you notice that you fervently watch a certain news bulletin – or worst, you gather your info from additional sources to ensure it is unbiased – then your childhood is hanging by a thread.
2. You deposit money in a savings account and establish a weekly budget
The only financial paradigm that you should follow as a child/adolescent states that you should try to avoid wasting your money on stuff you don’t really need. That’s it! No savings accounts, no budgets to work around, no penny-tracking systems. During this period, you can always fall back on the money you borrow from your friends or even your parents and the best part is that you don’t really care. If you support the 401k (or even know what it means), you can calculate your income-to-debt ratio or you can balance your checkbook, then I have bad news for you.
3. Handshaking a person you’ve never met before is your second nature
Handshakes don’t come instinctively, they are learned from experience. For example, look at how uncomfortable a child feels when an adult is trying to shake hands! Throughout high school and later on in college, the repetition of this gesture seeps through the cracks of the subconscious and shrewdly implements itself within the instinctual behavior. How do you make acquaintance with someone?
4. You can’t drink more than a couple of beers without getting a hangover the next day
Not that I’m condoning heavy drinking here, but I’m pretty sure that at some point you could party all night long with your friends and wake up fresh as a daisy the next day. It’s not exactly clear why hangovers become a normal occurrence after you reach a certain stage of life, but they do. And the worst part is that you don’t need more than a couple of brew-skies to get the mother of all headaches and a tongue that feels like #50 grit sandpaper. Sad but true.
5. 11 P.M. is the latest you go to sleep on weeknights
You suddenly care about getting a good night sleep and you definitely prefer it to “wasting” your nights with your friends painting the town red. Of course, I mean who could actually perform well at his 9 to 5 job if he didn’t get enough sleep? Well, sleep didn’t use to be your main concern in college and high school was it?
6. You would rather sleep in on weekends
This is somewhat of a corollary to number 5. The reason you would prefer sleeping in on weekends rather than partying at what used to be your favorite club resides in the programming you subject it to all week long. To put it simply, when you go to sleep before 11 P.M. 5/7 days, don’t expect your body to behave differently that you trained it. Where did you spend your last weekend?
7. High school colleagues are now married with children and have a mortgage
Well, this requires a bit of explaining. It’s not the fact that your former high school colleagues have spouses, children of their own and a nice mortgage to regulate their budget that should get you worried. However, if you take a genuine interest in discussing the best home financing plan, the thought that you are not married yet bothers you and you seriously consider having children when you see baby pictures, know that adulthood is lurking in the shadows. Remember, a man can be judged by the company he keeps.
8. Cheering for the adult characters in kids movies
Movies in which children are the protagonists typically portray the adults as the bad guys who always ground them, take away their toys and other similar punishments. As a child/adolescent, you would always empathize with the kids because of your rebellious nature. However, as you grow older, you start to perceive the adult character’s point of view and attempt to justify his actions through complex thought processes. Who did you root for the last time you viewed “Home Alone”?
9. Formal clothes preponderate in your wardrobe
Clothes don’t make a man, but a man chooses his clothes in accordance to his day to day activities. When your schedule become all about the 9 to 5 followed by sleeping in, you will need nothing more than formal working clothes! How many colors can you spot in your wardrobe besides black, grey and white?
10. Reckless behaviors always make you think about the dangers involved
The infamous “Hold my beer, I want to show you something” only makes you think about the risks and you completely ignore the comic potential outcome of the situation. This applies to reckless driving, pool diving, bungee jumping, so on and so forth. It shows that rationality has completely replaced the adventurous spirit proprietary to youth in your normal thought process. Beware!