What does it mean to be an ‘Adult’?

Are you stressed about life? How often do you reflect on your life and think to yourself “man, I really have to pull myself together – I am an adult now”? But what does it mean to be an adult?

I used to think of an adult as someone who has a house, a career, and maybe on the verge of starting a family; someone who just seems to have every aspect of their life figured out. Then I would reflect on my own life, and I started to feel lost, as I realized how much I had yet to figure out about my life. I would panic because of how far away I was from becoming my ideal self. It was demoralizing, and for a period of my life, I had lost motivation to strive for a lot of the goals I had set for myself.

The reason I want to write this article is that when I reflect back on that time in my life, I wish I had someone to teach me the things I know now. To not stress about where you are in life. That becoming an adult is not a destination, rather it is a lifelong journey. I realize now that there will never be that single moment in life where you go from feeling like a kid to being in control like an adult. Rather at every age in life, there will be moments where you feel like a child and other times where you feel like an adult. Becoming an adult is a process that starts from an early age all the way to the end of your life.

I am telling you now that the ‘ideal self’ of having everything in your life being perfect doesn’t exist.

You may never in your life have everything together, and that is fine! It’s life, you’re not supposed to. Enjoy where you are now, as you will never get this time back. I believe that the first step to becoming an adult is when you realize that there will always be something that you need to work on. Another step for you to tackle in life, and just be happy about where you are in comparison to that ‘ideal self’. Don’t waste so much time on stressing over the future – you will get to where you are going in life!

I am not saying that you should take planning your future lightly, but rather understand that where you are in life is perfectly fine, even if it isn’t close to who you want to become. It is important to have this understanding alongside the motivation to work towards your future goals.


The video I have linked is a YouTube channel by the name of Wong Fu Productions, who are major stars in the Asian-American community. Their newest video, “How I Became An Adult” really hits home, as it made me reflect on my own life, how far I have come and how much potential I still have. It reinforced a lot of the ideas I had about what means to be an adult. I have been watching Wong Fu Productions videos for years, and they have been a constant source of motivation, inspiration, and entertainment in my life. I hope that watching the video reassures you as much as it did for me.