Adulting: Everything You Need to Know But Were Afraid To Ask

Adulting is a pain in the ***. At least that was the thought racing through my mind when I got hit with the cold hard truth for the first time.

What Does Adulting Really Mean? Most people on social media accept the term adulting as an actual word. Technically, the word is a new gerund that comes from using the word adult as a verb. For those who aren’t linguists, a gerund is when a verb ends in the suffix “ing,” which acts as a noun

“Adulting is an informal term to describe behavior that is seen as responsible and grown-up. This behavior often involves meeting the mundane demands of independent and professional living, such as paying bills and running errands.”  Dictionary

Adulting is an expression popularized by the Millennial generation, used when discussing the feeling of accomplishment they get when performing adult tasks such as washing dishes, buying a suit or sending Christmas cards.”

When you finish your adulting task, you feel better. There’s just something great about seeing a sink full of dirty dishes, scoffing at it, eventually motivating yourself, washing those filthy things, and finally, after all that, getting a sense of relief.

You ticked off another item on your list of to-dos for the day. That’s the essence of adulting for me and what it means. Doing the things that you know you have to do while feeling accomplished on the other side.

Adulting, in this sense, is more sarcastic, bringing out the fact that adulting is a term used exclusively with those who typically don’t adult very often (definitely not any of us).

What Does Adulting Mean in Texting? Adulting in texting is pretty much the same thing, with a slight nuance to it. If someone were to text me, “Hey, what’s up?” while I was adulting, I would text back, “Oh nothing, just adulting as usual.” There’s a sarcastic undertone to it.

– How to mail a physical item with stamps – How to cook healthy foods – Where your car manual is and what information it holds – How to do your laundry and not ruin your clothes – How to navigate your 401k retirement funds – The power of debt to enhance or cripple your life – How to budget your money – How to invest your money

Powerful stuff right there. Think of it like this. If you can’t make your bed, how in the world will you ever make a patient’s bed when you become an RN? Not only is there a technical aspect of it to learn (and I had to learn it in nursing school, but that’s another story for another time), but there’s also the habit of doing it.

One of my favorite books I’ve ever read was Atomic Habits by James Clear. It argues and proves that developing systems for habits is far superior to setting and attaining goals. And just like Admiral McRaven says in his book, accomplishing small tasks such as making your bed can lead to completing even greater tasks, even the ones you thought were impossible.

There are lots of definitions of Adulting in today’s world. Some people claim the term originated from this and that, but the reality is we don’t know. We went over what adulting means, what it means in texting, where it came from, and some core adulting skills.

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