As a species, we’ve found untold ways to define what constitutes adulthood. In some religions and cultures this includes rites of passage, in others, adulthood is connected to drinking age, or when a person hits 21. The problem with these measures is that they are entirely arbitrary, and real objective adulthood is impossible to define. Because of this, we can follow paths we’re not sure of, in an attempt to satisfy society’s unwritten rules.
Conformity, while it does have some uses, is not helpful in this regard. So how do we find our way to becoming adults in our twenties, and how do we know when we’re there? We want to take a closer look at this question, to hopefully help some readers onto their own path.
Before anyone can hope to achieve adulthood, we first must consider what adulthood means. For most of us, this is a nebulous term at best, or a useless idea at worst. What we consider as adulthood is entirely defined by our culture, and the pressure and legal obligations that come with hitting certain milestones. Many of these general ideas can conflict, which further muddies the idea. For example, some of us know people in their 40’s who have children yet still act immature themselves. Others might know teenagers who, at their young age, work to support their entire families.
In other words, you need to understand that adulthood is not a title that can be set upon you, rather, it is a label that only you can give yourself – if you want to at all. Even if you do, you need to understand that you can only work from your definition and that nobody else’s should matter; something that is easier said than done.
The Power to say No
Given the difficulty of defining adulthood, people might instead relate it to a lack of immaturity. If you no longer enjoy toys or things primarily aimed at those younger than you, then you must be an adult, right? Well, no, even if this is a common opinion. People judging others by what they enjoy and the media they consume has always been a problem that has infected our society, as we internalize it without considering the greater implications.
If you love something, and it’s not hurting anyone, then you have no reason to stop enjoying that thing. Peer pressure is always a problem here, regardless of age group, and it’s always an element of our society which we need to fight, as well as having an effect that is often enhanced in this era of social media. In fact, this survey by Survelum found that around 43% of adults had felt peer pressure to some degree. In reality, there is nothing wrong with enjoying ‘youthful’ pursuits, and letting go of something you enjoy just for the chance to be considered in the grownup ‘club’ is not a recipe for happiness. True self-actualization means being able to put the boot down, to say I’m secure with who I am, and I don’t care if you don’t like that.
Broaden Horizons, Stay True
While keeping hold of the joys of youth is important, we must also factor in that tastes change over time, and that stagnation without exploration can, in itself, be hazardous for long-term happiness. Consider keeping what you do love, what you have passion for, but be willing to try newer experiences, which often come in the form of retraining in a new field or taking on a new skill, such as writing, that perhaps takes you a step out of your comfort zone. This can be a difficult balancing act and might lead to occasional upset, but it can also help you unlock new worlds to traverse.
Uncovering New Opportunities
So, you have the time, and you have a little bit of spare cash lying around. Given the wealth of new opportunities which you now find yourself open to, where do you turn? For many of us, this can be a difficult question, as one of the issues which appear alongside an abundance of choice. Fortunately, time is on your side, and you have many options to choose from.
For example, consider the classic game of minigolf. This can be great, but some people might still have difficultly playing if they’re with a new group. Seemingly aware of this, many golf operations have set up the alternative footgolf, allowing those whose experience with a golf club is limited to get involved in something slightly ridiculous but highly entertaining with their friends. The emphasis is on taking part, rather than getting competitive and improving. In the same vein are art classes, which can be enormously enjoyable experiences alone or with a group. Speaking of ways to express your creativity, you might also consider throwing a fancy dress party. These have no age limit and give people an often hilarious chance to explore their ridiculous side.
Of course, outside pursuits are just one side of the coin. Those who want to enjoy a range of different ideas and themes and thrills within their homes have so many options, with digital so ingrained in our daily lives, and the crossovers are there to be seen. For example, some online casinos host slot machine entries like Narcos, allowing home players to enjoy the digital casino experience while also reliving their favorite TV shows and films. These kinds of options make for a very chill way to spend an afternoon, or longer, and all from the comfort of your own home.
In other words, the best approach to finding new hobbies can be to go broad. If you have even a passing interest in something, don’t count out at least trying it, and you might be surprised at just how much a new element can bring into your life.
The Cold Truth
The unfortunate reality of life is that freedom doesn’t guarantee a path to personal fulfillment. Instead, it opens a million different roads to us, any one of which could end in elation or disappointment. Growing as a person in your twenties and beyond means finding your own way, while still holding on to that which matters most.
This personal evolution can lead us away from our roots, it can cause growing pains, and make us suffer pressure from friends and outsiders both. Only by braving these elements and challenging ourselves and our preconceived notions can we hope to find true happiness. This journey is rarely an easy one, but progress is cumulative, and even setbacks give us a way to learn. Remember that not every step needs to be a big one, they just need to take us in the right direction.