‘Grown Up’ In Your Twenties

being an adult in your twenties

There’s a trend that seems to be very popular among this generation. It’s where ‘grown up’ is synonymous to ‘boring’. I’m not even sure how this came to be but it is what it is. Similarly, being cool is defined as going out to parties at night, drinking, smoking and generally lots of promiscuity and irresponsibility. The worst part is there is no in-between. After noticing these default settings, I became a blogger and found a lot of people especially ladies in their twenties, mostly early twenties, married. This confused me even more. Weren’t they all supposed to be drinking or something? How do they have two kids and have a better beach body than I do?

The worst part is there is no in-between. After noticing these default settings, I became a blogger and found a lot of people especially ladies in their twenties, mostly early twenties, married. This confused me even more. Weren’t they all supposed to be drinking or something? How do they have two kids and have a better beach body than I do? It was then I realized that the only news that travels fast is bad news.

First of all, being grown up when you’re young is not boring. Secondly, irresponsibility is not cool, it’s just being irresponsible.

I don’t like pointing fingers, but a lot of online magazines and ‘advice columns’ have done everything but help the situation. When you have bucket lists filled with ‘get drunk once’, have a one-night stand with a stranger’ and the like. I get that adrenaline is important for youths but if they already have a tendency to misbehave why not encourage them to do different and get the same results rather than fueling a roaring open flame. Maybe it’s just my Christian and moral side speaking but you know what I mean.


So, what does it mean to be to be ‘grown up’?

  • First, it means you’re more careful with decisions you make and you don’t just act based on your feelings. Sometimes you splurge, sometimes you do things drastically but it doesn’t mean it is the usual but it should be normal. Being careful doesn’t have to mean doing nothing at all.
  • It means caring about people a lot and not just yourself. You always find ways to be of help and other people’s feelings where due, are carefully considered. It’s not an ‘I don’t care situation’ all the time.
  • It also means being open to positive and constructive criticism. Being willing to grow out of your comfort zone at any given time to become a better person you were five minutes ago and not letting your feelings or ego get in the way of your progress.
  • It means being ready to be your own cheerleader when no-one else seems to appreciate your efforts or thank you for the wonderful things you do and you’ve accomplished.
  • It means standing up for yourself and for others when you can and should. It’s knowing your worth and not letting anyone treat you any different.
  • It means knowing and understanding the meaning of compromise and sacrifice. That nothing good comes easy and you can’t always get what you want but you know when you deserve it and then you demand it.
  • Finally, it’s having fun and meeting new people, who may become a permanent part of your life and knowing when to let go of those that won’t be.

Adulting, as it is popularly called, doesn’t have to be difficult. You don’t have to fail at it. You can only fail a standardized test because there is a fixed expectation. Everyone grows at different paces. Just because someone has their life together does not mean it’s easy. They probably spent a lot of time making it that way. Couching and reading a lot of ‘failing at life’ memes doesn’t make you that person. At least not when you do it  ALL the time.

Be your own competition and make it a point to be better every day.

When you look back, you’ll realize how far you’ve grown, however fast or slow it may be.


  1. LOVE this!!!! I love these standards as things that show what being “grown up” really means, and it makes so much sense when I think about people I know and where they fall with these things… some people wouldn’t pass a single one of these!! I wish more people had this mindset! Great post, so well written!

  2. My stepson is 19. Married one year to his wife who is 20…and yes, they have a 4 month old. They want the white house, picket fence, have the puppy, and 1 kiddo so far. What they don’t have is any real idea of what that takes. It’s definitely hard to sit back and watch it all unfold. It’s amazing I haven’t bitten off my tongue yet. What I don’t understand is my stepson really has been exposed to reality, responsibility, and should have a better understanding of consequence. Alas, every day is a struggle. For real.

  3. This is a really insightful post. TBH I never really got the whole let’s label ourselves thing (I never really felt my age, whatever age I was!). I think in whatever part of our journey we are, all we can do is our best.

    • Take it from someone who finished high school at 13 and had friends way older than she was all the time. Don’t grow up too fast. You can and should definitely be mature but don’t rush to be that overly cautious overly responsible person that is just rigid. Never pays off.

  4. Everybody is in a hurry to grow up nowadays, and then they see the media and society and everything really lied to us.
    Heck I just turned 18 some months back but I would give anything to be 16 and in high school again.

  5. This is great! I was thrust into being an adult at 19 since I became a mother. So my 20s was basically spent taking care of kids, but I didn’t mind. I was never into partying and such, so it was perfect for me. Some days were tough though, that’s for sure!

  6. I definitely miss the carefreeness and carelessness of my 20s. But I’m embracing my 30s and loving all the things that this phase brings along with it 🙂 (While still, occasionally, trying to re-live life in my 20s with a few shots of tequila thrown in for good measure!)

  7. Sounds about right for me, if not earlier actually – considering I moved out of my parents house at 15. It’s a struggle but well worth it, and I balance it all out with lots of fun and great self care!

  8. I “peaked” too soon, however… I am coming to the age (if not already there) where people my age are acting the way I have for the past ten years… Like they wanna go to bed at 10pm and just want to hang out at happy hour – LOL!

  9. Great post! You really hit the nail on the head with your list of what it means to be grown up. It does seem today that many young adults have a sense of entitlement and that the world revolves around them and getting the next Kylie lip kit. lol And ooooh…I don’t like it when the magazines portray promiscuity/one night stands as “grown up.”

  10. What a wonderful piece! Totally love your blog! You are writing about very crucial and ntriguing topics and let me tell you, you nail it! We also run a women’s community at http://www.inbodeforyou.com where we invite women from around the globe to share their views, opinions etc with fellow women on our platform, building a platform for you, by you! We give you full credits and name! We would love to have you write something that other women can also relate to! Do let us know if interested at team@inbode.com

  11. Great read! I agree with you on whag grown up means. I feel like it akso means being able to take care and fend for yourself. Theres no real definition for how to be in your twenties properly though – everyone is different and has different experiences. I think what everyone has in common though is the fact that in our twenties, we learn a lot about ourselves if anything. Thanks for sharing!

  12. I got my own place when I was 20. And, I promise you that the rent didn’t get paid by irresponsibility. I love this. There’s so many people who don’t care and won’t care for a long time yet! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  13. I really appreciate your list of what it means to be grown up. I’ve set your post aside to share with my growing daughters some day. I know adults in their 40s that may not possess some of these qualities so I would like to teach my daughters this at a young age.

  14. Ahhhh it’s true!!!! The internet is filled with people doing absolutely nothing!!!!! And then getting praised for it like it’s cool. I always felt like I was “boring” in my 20’s because I was married and working my butt off, but here I am in my early 30’s and thankful because of where I am. Wish the internet would Praise hard work.

  15. I think being grown up can look really different to different people. But learning to stand up for myself has definitely been one of the hardest parts of adulthood so far!

  16. Loved the post, used to want to be all grown up when I was 18 now I am grown up I want to be 18 years old again. Really funny. Adulting aint that bad ☺

  17. Funny…..if being grown up is boring I haven’t made it yet! lol All kidding aside, AMEN to your list of what it really means to be a “grown-up”. All about your character and not your age! Seriously considering printing this and mailing off to a few people 🙂 Love it!

  18. Great read! I will be 30 in a couple months so I’m constantly trying to find the balance between “young” and “adulting” 🙂

  19. A great post, many people in their young 20’s are afraid of responsibility and thus anything other than what is popular like going out and partying is boring and uncool. Being an adult to me is taking responsibility for your finances, actions and being a loyal and honest person.

  20. It makes me happy to see how responsible some young adults are. Although I have no knowledge of their “adulting” ways, whether it was forced upon them, or they are doing it out of their own free will. I still think being responsible for ones’ self at a young age is a reflection of how good they were raised.

  21. I don’t think it is really a matter of being a “grownup” or a young person. It is a matter of personality and education. I got married at 23 and left my country. I became expat and wife at a very early age. I can say I’m a “self-made” woman, focused, responsible. But I have been like that ever since I can remember! even as a child. Other people never grow up. Even in their late 40’s or 50’s they just can’t asume responsabilities like the rest.

  22. I love this. I do not think “age” should matter but it’s nice to know that when I am out and about, people think that I am older than what I am because of the maturity level.

  23. Your post makes a nice read! I miss my teens as life was carefree and we don’t have any fear of tomorrow! As we grow, we get more wisdom and our perception towards life changes!

  24. Hey thanks for putting this together. As someone in my mid-twenties, I am in the midst of contemplating what it is to be “grown up,” and I think you really bring up some good points. In short, I think it’s about moving from selfish to selfless.

  25. There are some really good points in here!!! Being grown up doesn’t come with a certain age…it’s a mindset and how you carry yourself. Like you said, “Irresponsibility is not cool, it’s just being irresponsible.” I also loved the quote at the end, “Be your own competition and make it a point to be better every day.”. Great advice!

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