In the US, teenagers technically become adults at 18, an age when they are presumably able to make decisions for themselves and establish independence.
But some teenagers feel they've emotionally and mentally reached maturity before being of legal age, and for some, long after.
Maybe it was a life-changing event or some kind of turning point that make these young adults feel like they are wise beyond their years.
Curious to explore anecdotes relating to coming of age, Redditor brokenbeanie asked:
"When is the first time you remember feeling like an adult?"
These Redditors experienced an epiphany when they realized trips to the grocery store was routine.
"When I got mad that they rearanged the grocery store."
"When I was buying my own groceries and had survived for two weeks on my own. I figured I must be doing it right since I wasn’t feeling hungry or diminished."
Raising A Pet
"It took me a few years. I had a cat for a year and that's when I was like 'holy sh*t I've somehow managed to keep us both alive for an entire year.' That's when I felt like an adult. That was mid to late 20s. I am also a late bloomer."
Accomplishments without the supervision of another adult were common indicators for people who felt grown-ish.
Learn As You Go
"My first summer in college, my roommate and I housesat for a couple who were out of town all summer. Paying rent and bills, buying groceries. We were both working, thank God, but we didn’t have a clue what we were doing. Lived on boiled eggs, raisin bran, bologna and cheese sandwiches, and ten cent ramen."
No Approval Necessary
"The first time I didn’t have to ask for permission to go out."
Tasked With Responsibility
"In college, I was with some friends at a party and one of them fell and busted his face so badly, he started bleeding badly. I went looking for someone to do something when I realized I was the only sober one there. Not a fun night or feeling."
"I woke up, opened the curtains and looked outside at a beautiful sunny day. I thought to myself 'It's a great day to hang the washing out.'"
"Then I instantly thought ach jeez I'm getting old."
Fun With Taxes
"The day I paid my taxes online. I know I overpaid, but getting it out of the way and doing it by myslef felt good. I was an adult now I have full goddam credence to complain about the government."
Regarding making purchases, these Redditors realized they could afford luxuries previously not granted to them.
"Honestly, the first time I bought a car without mentioning it ahead of time to my parents. I was 27 or 28, married (no kids, though), and it was at that point that I realized 'I didn't really run this past anyone............hmm....' All of the college loans without a cosigner, my careers (firefighter/paramedic and nurse),my marriage, vacations... Etc...All the stuff I did as an adult and it took a $32,000 purchase to really feel like an adult"
Answer To No One
"I wanted to buy a box of fruit roll-ups. But was feeling weird about it because as a kid we were not allowed to get it. It was too expensive and my parents didn’t want to buy it. At some point, while I was thinking about putting it down, it dawned on me that I was a grown man with my own income. I bought like 20 boxes."
"Constipated? eat sugar free gummies. Need to totally cleanse every single cell in your body? Eat sugar free gummies. Just bored and wanna play chicken with the toilet? Eat sugar free gummies. You and your husband extra bored during the pandemic, so you two want to play who can create the foulest odors possible? Five pound bags of Albanese gummies on Amazon!"
Remember your first job? That was a defining moment for these Redditors.
Joining The Daily Grind
"Starting my first full-time 9-5 job."
"Same. It was weird not having to clock in or out and being allowed to leave work to go run an errand etc."
"I relate to this so hard. I remember when I got my first big boy job I'd pop my head into the bosses office and be like 'cool if I go to lunch?' Or something along those lines and she'd give me a weird look. After like two weeks she let me know that she did not care about lunch breaks, doctors appointments, or even leaving a little early, so long as the work got done. One of my earliest memories of that adulty feeling."
Still Exciting And New
"I just started my first full time job a month ago and I still feel this way. It’s relieving to know it happens to other people. All of my friends work in a different type of industry so I never mentioned it."
I remember buying my first movie ticket to an R-rated movie was extremely satisfying.
I conveniently forget what movie it was, but it was most likely for a horror film.
Not that the restriction for those under 17 has ever prevented me from sneaking into another theater after having purchased a ticket for a PG-13 film.
Hey, I never claimed to be a model teenager.