I knew my adult life was solidified the day my boyfriend suggested taking a miniature hoover to a festival we were attending. His concerns over the potential threat of dirt gracing our immaculate tent encompassed the typical reality of adult problems.
Go back to our later teen years and mud would be a non-problem, in fact it would be pretty much expected in our bargain bin £10 supermarket tent. Flash forward to our mid-twenties and comfort trumps money saving as we splash out £99 on a deluxe 4 man tent with separate porch and double layering. The comparison is stark and intriguing to witness. When did we become bothered about quality and comfort over having the ‘slumming it’ festival experience?
It is a question which many millenials can relate to. Fully befitting the concept of ‘first world problems’, younger people face these transitional life dilemmas on a weekly basis at minimum. The hashtag #Adulting has over 1 million uses on Instagram, proving the need to document when we achieve something we perceive to be an adult goal.
The Adulting Checklist of Conventions
Be this new phenomenon or simply more brought to light, it is clear young people are confused about what their lives should look like in the early twenties phase. Deciding when they go from being young to old is an odd one to figure out. On the one hand you might hold down a career job, pay your bills and be expanding your culinary skills, however on the contrary you may still live at home with your parents and eat cereal for dinner when you can’t be bothered to food shop.
Little signals, such as my tent one, may be the hints we need to realise we aren’t young and carefree anymore. We perhaps have responsibilities which have shaped and changed our priorities to befit what we see an adult as. With these responsibilities can come bonuses which enrich our lives, such as more disposable income, therefore giving us a choice we never had before to go for the luxury option, finally having option of quality over quantity.
So is it by choice or a societal process we all get steered toward? Going through the motions and working our way through the adulting checklist of mortgage, kids and marriage to adhere to pre-designed conventions our grandparents set up for us to end up the same as one another? It’s a concerning thought but not one to be thought of too deeply. Choice is still a factor. We all have the free will to choose our own paths. So you can buck the trend for stereotypical living, take a trip around the world, live on a boat, never marry, it’s up to you. Adulting is only what you make of it and if your adult life consists of generically childish things, so be it.
Forget tent hoovers, live a little dangerously and risk the mud instead.