I’ve been doing these #AdultingAdventures posts pretty much every Wednesday (high five to me),
and I stumbled across this article the other day, Kindly Shut the Hell Up About “Adulting” and thought I would respond.
Danielle Tullo is an editorial assistant at Cosmo who seems to fit into the millennial category and classifies herself as “basic” in her Cosmo bio, but she hates the word “adulting”.
As you know I’m a big fan, partially because as a writer I’m all for coining new, creative words (because if a language isn’t evolving it’s dying), and partially because I feel like at this point in life I’m adulting. I’m figuring this nonsense out day by day, kudos to those out there in their twenties who feel like adults full stop, my husband is one of them; as for me it feels like a weird messy process I’m going through and that ing, just fells like it pulls it all together, I’m not quite an adult I’m adulting.
I agree with her that when we use the term “adulting” it should hit on some of our bigger accomplishments. Language is fluid and hashtags shouldn’t have rules, Got a new job #adulting, should totally be a thing.
So I humbly disagree with Tullo, but not entirely. She does make some good points. She brings up that the majority of those who use it are women and that often it’s only around small domestic accomplishments (having clean laundry, cooking vs. microwaving your dinner, etc). Her reasoning though I think is a bit flawed,
“It’s not hard to understand why our generation has this attitude toward growing up. Many of us have been shielded from the full responsibilities of adulthood. Unlike our parents’ generation, nearly a third of us are not forced to pay rent or provide for ourselves immediately after college: A May 2016 survey by the Pew Research Center found that 32.1 percent of adults aged 18 to 34 live at home. (In the 1960s, only 20 percent young adults lived with their parents.)”
She goes on to say that we don’t have to pay bills because our parents provide cable and food free of charge. Just thinking about my own friends, while some are living rent free with parents, not all of them are. Some of my friends have agreements of reduced rent while living with their family, most of my friends 100% pay for their groceries, phones, and bills that directly affect them. All of them hold down jobs.
This also doesn’t take into account that for many of us it’s not an affordable option to live on our own (and don’t even get me started on how school loans determine a lot of these choices). Even my own case. We’re not able to live on our own yet, some might look down on us because we’re married and living with others. Personally I think it’s foolish to live beyond your means, an adult living with parents should have adult responsibilities especially financially, but Tullo is making broad assumptions assuming those living at home with parents are simply moochers who don’t desire to live a different way.
I do respect that Tullo wants the standard to be higher, but I think ultimately she takes this term way too seriously. She could have fun with it and tweet about her accomplishments labeling what she does as adulting.
Tullo writes, “My boss is an older Millennial who gives me a lot of responsibility at work. She trusts me to manage our interns, make sure reports are sent out to higher-ups, and that her schedule is always up to date. I’m not going to look capable of any of those things if I act like going to the grocery store alone is “adulting,” my biggest accomplishment yet.”
Clearly going to the grocery store isn’t her biggest accomplishment, she’s an editorial assistant at Cosmo! Tullo’s issue is thinking it’s an all or nothing term. It’s a made up word (which is a slightly silly argument, all words were made up at one point, just look at all the words and phrases Shakespeare gave us, many of which are in common use today) that can be used any way we desire. It doesn’t have to only pertain to domestic accomplishments, though as someone who is married and living in a small community sometimes doing chores and feeding people can be huge and it is worthwhile to acknowledge and appreciate those things–it can pertain to both.
People can shake their heads and write scathing essays (just gives me more to write about), this millennial enjoys embracing all the weird stuff about my generation. I will take my selfies, use #hashtags, share my photos on instagram, use words like, fleek, cray, and adulting. Tullo can be an adult, I’ll continue adulting until the next thing of course (cause there’s always a next thing), because if I must adult, it’s going to be an adventure.
Peace, love, and selfies,