On Defining Adulthood

During the summer I saw an episode of Kelly and Michael that cited a study saying that 25 is the new 18. Naturally when I googled this to verify I got my facts right, an article with Hannah from Girls pops  up, as she is the prime example of the "struggle" to grow up these days, despite not being representative of any of my experiences growing up. Anyways, you probably don't need to read the article, as I just told you the thesis: that adulthood is now postponed until 25. Moving on, I didn't give much thought to this assertion until today, when I started to wonder exactly what constitutes adulthood. I pay rent on my own apartment, I have a full-time job (with bennies AND a retirement plan), and I have the responsibility of maintaining the life of two plants. More recently, I have signed up for my first credit card, and now my dad just sent me all sorts of paperwork so the car will be under my name. I'm feeling pretty "adult" these days.

On the flip side, my parents still pay for my cell phone bill, I still go to them for advice on every major decision, as well as every minor financial decision. I still call my mom when I'm sick, and I still don't have any idea what I'm going to do for tax season.

So am I an adult?

At what point can I say that I am "on my own?" Is it when I stop looking for advice on things? When every bill I owe is in my own name? The article I have previously referenced cites independence as the catalyst to growing up, but that's ambiguous to me.

I can't see myself ever being truly independent from my parents. They've been pretty helpful in the past. Ya know, like paying for college, raising me with a good set of morals, and bringing me all around the state of Connecticut to play some peewee sports. Just because I am living on my own and making my own money doesn't equate independence to me. I am always going to respect their opinion and value their input on my decisions. I am never going to feel totally independent from them.

So if independence isn't a clear indicator of adulthood, what is? I'd love to say it's when I start paying all my own bills, but it would be fiscally irresponsible of me to volunteer to move off the family cell phone plan when it's so cheap to stay with them! And for that, my parents would probably be proud, as I am making a smart decision to continue to mooch off of them indefinitely. Cheers to partial adulthood!