I’ve always thought it’s a little weird that, from a developmental perspective, childhood has so many specific phases–you have “infant,” “toddler,” “child,” “preteen,” “teenager,”–and then, once you hit 18, it’s just “adult,” for the rest of your life, until you’re considered a “senior” at age 65. As if you’re in the same state at 18 that you are at 64, or something like that. It’s weird. I get that the changes between an infant and a toddler are much, much more dramatic than between a 21-year-old and a 27-year-old, but it’s still weird. And that’s why I’ve taken it upon myself to coin a new term (at least I think it’s new? Let’s just say it is)–“pre-adult.” A pre-adult is, for all intents and purposes, somebody who likes the idea of being a mature, shit-together adult, but isn’t quite there yet. Kind of like Britney Spears’, “I’m not a girl, not yet a woman,” shebang, minus that whole cliff-symbolism thing.
1. The idea of waking up early at 7 am on a Saturday with a fresh cup of coffee and a crossword puzzle, with a beautiful blank day in front of you, sounds really nice. Unfortunately, so does staying out at the bars until 3 am the night before.
2. You’re irrationally proud of yourself for doing basic human tasks, like laundry and cleaning your bathroom. One day, these things will become automatic, and you won’t be as proud of yourself for doing them. But today is not that day.
3. You’re old and mature enough to know that the right thing to do is to walk up to somebody and just tell you that you like them, but you’re still young enough to have a friend do it.
4. You get equally excited over the idea of doing something fun on the weekend or doing absolutely nothing on the weekend.
5. You find a brand-new recipe on Pinterest that you’re super excited to try, but have to severely alter it because the only spices on your spice rack are basil and ketchup.
6. You flip-flop between wanting to be more “responsible” and wanting to be more “fun” on almost a daily basis. And you’re still young enough to feel like it’s nearly impossible to strike the perfect balance of both.
7. Occasionally, something you see makes me you really, really excited to have kids, but then you walk into your kitchen and find a shoe in your microwave and go, “Eh, better wait a few more years.”
8. Whenever you’re at a house party, you feel like it’s super incredibly cramped and uncomfortable and sweaty, and also it’s really boring because everybody there is just trying to get as wasted as possible, and also why is everybody 12 years old? But you’re still there.
9. You’ve started looking into alternative fun things to do on the weekend besides bars, such as music festivals, dance classes, cooking classes, etc. Unfortunately, either nobody else wants to go with you, or you decide it’s too much time and effort, so bars it is.
10. Before flirting with somebody, you’re always sure to check for a ring on the finger. Unfortunately, you’re at the age where a lot of people are in serious, committed, relationships, but not ready for marriage, so there’s no visible sign of their commitment.
11. Every time you stay in on a popular going-out night to study or do something else grown-up and responsible, you think that some magic decisions-rewarding fairy is going to come swooping into your room and give you a gold star for being so virtuous. You’re mature enough to not “YOLO” it and go out anyways, but immature enough to feel like you deserve a reward for doing so.
12. You turn down a Natty Light, because you’re too mature to drink something so watery and disgusting. Unfortunately, this means you’re still in a situation where Natty Light is being served.