Am I an Adult?

Every time I felt I had reached an answer, I ended up being more confused than I ever was

Edited by: Laila Malatawy


Dear reader,


Welcome. You may have stumbled upon my article by accident, or maybe it was fate. But before you go, allow me to muddle up your brain a little. I promise in the end, it will be worth it.


In my house, there is this window by which I love to stand at night and look out at the city. It is barred from the outside. Whenever I look at it, I feel trapped inside. But when I stand by it, I let my soul and imagination take me outside, for unlike myself, they have no physical weight. I could stand there for hours, thinking and planning out my life.


One day, as I was standing by the window, thinking of all the deadlines that are yet to be met, and the exams that are yet to be studied for, a fleeting thought occurred to me: Is this really how it’s like to be an adult? Or more importantly, am I an adult? As a child, I would ask so many questions. I was curious to know about the ways of the world. But whenever I asked a question, I would be told: “when you’re older you will know” or “when you’re older you can.” I remember how disappointed I used to feel, and how I wished I was an adult so I could know and do everything.


Years passed by, and I became one. I’m a twenty-year-old college student now, so legally, I am an adult.

Or am I?  

When can one be identified as an adult? Is there a certain age for it? Or does it have to do with how wise a person is? So many questions raced through my head, and every time I felt I had reached an answer, I ended up being more confused than I ever was.

Then I remembered this very special friend I had in middle school. She was a little younger than I was, and would often come to me for advice. She found comfort in talking to me, and so did I. We were inseparable, or as many people like to call it, we were best friends. College was a turning point in both of our lives; heartbreaking as it was, we had to part ways. And even though we had a lot in common, and are now, both, college students, our lives couldn’t be more different.


When we graduated high school, she applied to college in Canada, and lucky for her, she got in. Not only did she have to move to another country, but she also had to find a part-time job and an apartment. At only 18, she had to start over, all on her own.

But then I thought about how I was doing, now that I am a fully grown 20 years old. At twenty years of age, I am still heavily dependent on my family. My biggest responsibility as an “adult” is maintaining my GPA. Easier said than done, I know.  But does that even make me fall under the category of “adults”?


Compared to my friend, who has gone miles ahead of me, I’m still struggling to pass the first milestone. But still, does finding a job and living on your own give you an instant upgrade to adulthood? Or is it about building a home and having a family? When will I reach that point in life where I become an adult not just on paper?


I don’t really know, and I may never know. Guess I’ll just have to wait and find out. But until that day comes, I will stick to what I know, and what I have learnt so far in the 20 years that I have walked this Earth: accepting your own faults and striving for the best, knowing that the world is full of imperfections and being okay with it, failing and picking yourself up knowing that hard work always pays off. That, to me, is what being an adult is all about.  

Agree or disagree, it is all up to you. I promised it will be worth it, and I hope it was. I just gave you a piece of my mind. The night has fallen and it’s getting chillier,  I’m going to have to close the window now.  But until next time, stay safe my friend.


Yours truly,

A “so-called” adult.