On Turning 25

On Turning 25

So I turned 25 this month which is kind of terrifying. Because I have to admit that I’m a proper adult now, I’m not just some teenager pretending to be a grown-up. But the problem is that even though I am technically considered a “responsible adult”, I don’t feel like one.

I’ve always thought of adults as people with responsibilites like jobs and houses and cars. And I don’t have any of those things. I mean I could try and use the CFS as an excuse. But I’ve only had that for just under 2 years. I’ve spent most of my 20s not doing anything and even though I had a job for most of that time, it still felt like I was just pretending to be grown-up.

I am trying to fix some of that now, I’m finally going back to the course I tried to start 2 years ago. I’m going to start driving lessons. I’m trying to be more outgoing and do things I want to do (even if it means I have to do them on my own). But I don’t know if these things will make me feel like I’m a proper adult. I don’t know if anything will make me feel like a proper adult. Maybe its some secret my parents never told me, that no one knows what it means to be an adult.

Could someone please let me know if everyone is just pretending they know how to be an adult or if I missed the owl with my “totally now an adult” certificate.

66 thoughts on “On Turning 25

  1. If I where you at try my best to start being self sufficient, depending on people is not going to serve you well in life. ThatΒ΄s my experience anyways, and that is what being an adult means to me. Being able to fend for yourself.

  2. My husband turned 26 this year and I turned 24. We’re living on our own and pay all our bills, but we still don’t feel like adults all the time. Sometimes I’m still shocked that we’re actually married. When did all this happen???
    There’s this great book I bought last May because I thought it would be funny, but it had some good insight into “adulting.” Give it a go. πŸ™‚


  3. When you find out the secret, tell me. I’m 31 years old and I still don’t feel like a proper adult, and I know that in part is because “my job” means coming to the university everyday and “study”, put the other part I don’t know… πŸ™‚

  4. You didn’t miss it. It’s just nobody tells us that you don’t become an adult in the blink of an eye. Nobody tells us that by the time you reach 25, you probably won’t have it all figured out. You probably won’t have a (stable) job like some of yours friends have for longer than you wished and you certainly won’t feel like an adult.
    Don’t ask me when that will happen, I’m still in the process of figuring it out. But you are not alone and just because you don’t have a job, a house or a car does not mean you’re not doing well in life. πŸ™‚

  5. I’m the same, I’m 23 and my mindset and ‘inside voice’ is still the same as it was back when I was a teenager. My mum is 54 and she says that she still doesn’t feel like a ‘grown up’ so maybe we’re all just pretending…God knows I am haha you’re not alone :p loved the post πŸ™‚

  6. You found us out. It’s all a charade. I was supporting myself on my own at 18 and don’t feel any different a 32 then I did then. And I have a husband, a house, kids, all the adulty stuff. haha You’ll feel like a kid all your life. Have fun with it. teehee

  7. I think there are moments when you feel “grown up” or adult, but it’s not a permanent feeling (not for me or anyone I know at least). And I used to wonder if people were pretending to feel adult, too, but even those people, despite looking like they’ve got it together, are freaking out on the inside just like the rest of us. I don’t feel like a capital A “adult” at 28, and neither does my 50 year old mother. So, don’t be too hard on yourself — we’re all just winging it πŸ˜€

  8. I’m going to be 36 in two weeks time and as I suppose I’m *meant* to have a grown up job (I’m a teacher) I actively try to have as little responsibility everywhere else in my life.
    I don’t own a car. I rent a house. I have no children – teaching 120 of everyone else’s across every two weeks is quite enough thanks. I still play video games. I would rather spend my time writing than cleaning the dishes. I dyed my hair blue during the Summer holiday (I need to dye it back before I start work again next week) And my most exciting purchase I’ve made this week is a Hello Kitty glasses case!
    You can choose the ‘adult’ you want to be and if that doesn’t conform with anyone else’s ideas, well…who cares. There are no badges that say you need to do things by a certain age.
    In my head, I’m still 17. Unfortunately, the reflection in the mirror and the size of my jeans tells me otherwise!
    As long as you are happy, that is the important thing.

  9. Don’t worry! You’re not the only person feeling like this, I think you put it exactly right that we are all pretending to adult when really none of us have a clue what we are really doing. At least that’s what I feel and hope others do too. But as you feel the same way there’s hope we aren’t the only ones! You’re doing a good job though, and I think you’re adulting just fine. Good job! Happy birthday as well, hope you had a lovely day!

  10. Hello from age 34. I have a house, a car, two mortgages, and I’ve held more than 10 jobs. I do the taxes for my husband’s small business. And I *still* don’t feel like an adult. I still call my mom at least once a month (down from weekly!) to ask “how to adult” questions. I still get panic attacks about government forms. I still don’t understand my mortgage. My hair is 15% gray but I feel like at any moment someone with a badge is going to knock on my door and inform me that I have done absolutely everything wrong since the moment I moved out on my own and now I have to go to a special kind of prison. I’m not even sure I’m slicing onions right.

  11. I am 24 and I don’t feel like a proper adult either. I think I’ll never feel like one. πŸ™‚ I have a job and loads of responsibilities yet I’m still just pretending to be a proper grown-up. In fact they are a burden to me. I don’t think there’s a secret to be an adult. Most of us are just pretending while deep inside they are perfectly unhappy. Be patient, wait until you can feel it and while you are waiting, do whatever you like πŸ˜‰

  12. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. We’re probably all just kinda making it up as we go along. And then one day realize, “wow! Look where I am now!”
    I think the idea of being an adult is way more malleable and playful than we were lead to believe. They are so good at pretending like they know what’s going on don’t they? I think you’re onto them with your introspection here. Go out, keep playing, you’ll be fine πŸ™‚

  13. Happy Birthday! πŸ™‚
    Nope you didn’t miss out on any secret adult club. We’re all just winging it – no matter how old we are. And you pick things up along the way: every time you have to do something you’ve not done before, be it open a bank account, raise a child or learn to drive.
    In my opinion, the best adults are those who never forget what it was like to be a child.

  14. Completely agree. I moved into my first home 2 years ago now, I’m even getting married in 2 years, but I always still feel like such a kid. I’m scared of the dark, I can’t be home alone, and I always feel like when I tell people about my life that I’m lying and instead I’m going to go home and be 15 again!

  15. We’re pretending. I’m 39 and definitely not a “proper adult”. Nor do I care to be πŸ™‚

  16. Don’t worry, I’ve got a good decade on you and still don’t think I’ve grown up. The responsibilities thing just happens and gets absorbed into daily life but as for adult common sense… I still wear my hair in bunches for goodness sake! We’re all pretending and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise!!

  17. I don’t think I thought I was an adult at 25, despite having a job and renting a flat etc, and looking back now some years older.. I’d say 25 is still a kid (except for those who have the super-power of being an adult) and what’s great about any age is that there are still options open for people to explore, still possibilities for development and growing.

    At times I’ve felt like I’ve missed the train of being an adult (which involves proper career, marriage and kids etc), but I once had a thought about it and decided I didn’t miss the train, I’m simply riding a different one – which is fun as well.
    And after talking with a few close friends, it appears, that everyone has at times the feelings of having missed the train of “normal” adult life or simply feel as if they’ve failed in one thing or the other. But that’s what’s cool about life, you never can fail completely and even at rock bottom you only have one way to go: up! πŸ˜€

    Happy 25th and enjoy your next 25 and have fun! Wish you luck with tackling your course and also CFS. You’re already doing well!

  18. I’m a decade ahead of you and it’s only very recently that I’ve stopped feeling like a 16-year-old. It happened somewhere in the midst of adjusting to being treated for mental illness – it just dawned on me at some point that I was either working or looking for work, I was making and keeping my own appointments, I was deciding what I wanted to do and doing it. It still feels like my life is out of control at times, but not nearly so much as the feeling of being eternally a teenager.

  19. Happy Belated Birthday. 25 is a milestone, one that marks you as having survived a quarter century on this wonderful blue marble we call Earth. I’m 48, but I’ve found no special secrets to being an “adult” other than to filter the often-conflicting advice on being an adult and to chart your own course, making sure to note the things that have worked for you and those that haven’t. The fact that you have the insight you do says that you have your head on straight and moving the right direction. Keep it up. You’re doing great. πŸ™‚

  20. I’m inclined to think that most people don’t feel like “proper adults”. I’m in my 30’s with a kid, husband, car and full time job and I constantly feel like I’m just playing at being grown up! Revel in being youthful – I don’t ever want to feel like an “adult” if it means that I start to feel my age! πŸ™‚

  21. This won’t make you feel any better, but I’m 28 and still feel like I’m faking the whole adult thing. I never got the “How to Adult” handbook. It feels like there should be some defined line you cross where all of a sudden “Yes. This is it. I’m an adult now,” but there’s not. The closest I come to “feeling like an adult” isn’t actually feeling like an adult – it’s feeling outdated. Like when I mention the Oregon Trail computer game in my class and everyone looks at me like, “WUT?” or when I teach about the 9/11 attacks and one of my students tells me they were 3 at the time and don’t remember them. But feeling OLD is way different than feeling like an ADULT. Still haven’t had that experience.

    1. Ahh yeah I had a moment like that, I was talking to someone I worked with a few years ago and they were all “Yeah I was born in 1998”. Though that didn’t make me feel like an adult, just old.

  22. I’m 25 as well, and even when I did have a job I felt like I was a kid pretending to be grown up. There were times where it seemed too good to be true “they wouldn’t let me do that, I’m just a kid.” But I got to do whatever it was because I was over 18.

  23. I’m not a great person to respond to this, since I’m 24 and pretty sure no one has ever looked at me and thought “yep, she knows how to adult”, but I’m starting to wonder if everyone feels like this. Maybe the concept of success is just a competition to see who is the best at pretending to adult. You can either try and compete or accept that other people will always appear adultier than you and do something fun instead. Personally, I think I’m going to spend the next eight hours or so staring at that Pusheen gif because it’s hypnotic.

    Good luck with your course and your driving lessons, though!

  24. Adults all pretend to know. I wonder if ANY of them knows how to be an adult. I still don’t feel like one – was even shocked when I saw a video of myself the other day and thought – gee, I look like how I imagined an adult would look like! But again: I still don’t feel like one… πŸ˜‰ And after all: it doesn’t matter. Live your life how you feel it’s good for you <3

  25. I turn 39 in November. I still feel like a little kid in my mom’s clothes. I don’t think the feeling ever goes away completely. You just deal with it better. That being said, happy early birthday!!

  26. I turned 25 this year too. I have the same concerns. My story is more like: I got a degree, worked random jobs for two years and now I am thinking about pursuing a completely different degree. Re-imagining my future. I think bravery and not giving a crap about time is a secret recipe that I am starting to realize is important to “moving on” in the adult process.

    I still feel like a kid going through puberty some days. I admit it. I still don’t know what an adult is supposed to be. Was it being able to buy expensive things? Was it paying taxes? Was it not holding that middle finger to the person who cut you off while driving? I’m not sure. It’s definitely a growth process. A process that still eludes me.

    I wish you luck on your future, WordPress friend! Keep trying new things. I know I will be.

    1. That’s almost the exact same as what I did! Got a degree in computing, worked for two years now I’m going back to do Graphic Design. Its scary isn’t it?


  27. My freak-out year was 29. I don’t think any of us ever really feel like an adult. We know more, we are more mature (sometimes), and more experienced, but I don’t know if anyone ever really figures it all out. πŸ™‚

  28. The quarter life crisis is a tough, I went through it myself this year! haha don’t worry I have come to the conclusion that following normal adult conventions and feeling like an adult are two different things and if you avoid the second part the first part will be far more entertaining! x

  29. I turned 30 this year and I don’t even feel like an adult yet, so no worries. If there are guidelines for being a adult, I didn’t get them

  30. I turned 25 this year too and I completely understand how you feel! I have decided I will never really grow up and don’t wish to. That would be extremely boring if nothing else πŸ˜€ good luck, you’re certainly not alone!x

  31. Many happy returns to the child in you, Emma, who may or may not turn into an adult one day – no matter! But then, I’ve also met children who are more grown up than I am…

  32. I’m about to turn 29 and am going to own a house, and I haven’t once ever felt like an adult. I’m more excited about going on a Disney World trip than getting a new job, and am constantly turning on cartoons instead of watching something adulty like the news. Basically, it’s a lie, no one ever feels like an adult. People just keep gathering more things to create an illusion, like mortgages and children.

    Happy birthday!

  33. 60 here and no sign of being a “proper” adult yet. I do all the responsible adult stuff, but I still read comic books, and watch cartoons. I still want to climb a tree again, but my wife says no. She doesn’t want to raise two cats on her own. So keep doing what you’re doing. You’re okay. πŸ™‚

  34. Happy belated birthday!
    I think we are just constantly growing and learning which is why we don’t really feel like proper adults until we sit down and consider everything that got thrown on us and how we dealt with it.

  35. Happy belated birthday to youuuuuuuu. Consider that I’m more than 30 years older than you. Here’s some unsolicited advice: be a proper adult when you have to be — the rest of the time, just be you. πŸ™‚

  36. I’m 25, too. Have been since March, and you know, while this has been a year of new experiences for me, I’m still a kid at heart. I don’t have a house, or car, or a family started, yet and I want all of these things! But I spent my community college years paying out of pocket so it took 4 years to get a 2 year degree, and now I’m trying to get my bachelors and finally broke down and took out loans for that. It’s a difficult struggle and it really is a lot different from when our parents and grandparents were kids.

    It’s hard to compare ourselves to them (and trust me when I say that I get caught up in comparing myself to them a lot myself), but the thing we have to remember is that we’re not them. Our world and society are constantly changing views on what it means to be an adult versus a young adult. Recently, I heard that 40 is the new 20 and 50 is the new 30 and so on and so on. So, if that’s the case, 20 is the new 10. Congratulations, we are still kids! But that’s really not the problem. All we have to do is keep our heads up high, do what we feel is right, and try our best to learn new things and to adapt as the world spins.



  37. I just turned 57 and I wish someone would tell me also how a 57 years old women should act because I still feel like I am 25 πŸ™‚

  38. If you can find eternity somewhere on Earth then there is no adulthood or childhood or old age–only the timelessness of enjoying existence… I imagine living on a self-sustaining farm somewhere out west might do the trick…

    So many people lose their adulthood in the trap of debt–they take out student loans which then justify their job, which then justify more loans for a mortgage to hold their ever-increasing need for stuff… If you are 25 and avoided all these traps then I say, “Good job!”

  39. You start becoming an adult not when you have a career or kids but when you are grown up enough to live the life you want. If your life is dictated by the norms of society then you are still stuck in high school no matter how old you are.

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