10 Ways To Find That Grown Up Feeling

feel like an adult tips
This fantastic guest comes to us from the always-awesome Ashe of Dramatis Personae fame.  She writes about style, fashion, indie businesses and life on the regular.  Go say hello!
In my own reflections, I’ve decided that being “grown up” is part action and part appearance or “fakin’ it” (and at almost 25, I’d gauge those to be 40% action & 60% appearance/”fakin’ it”).

Here are 10 things I do when I want to a feel a bit more ‘adult.’

10. Invest in “real” night clothes.

No more oversize t-shirts that I’ve had since 7th grade (and are holey and covered in bleach). Sleeping is one of my most favorite parts of the day; why shouldn’t my night clothes be given the same regard and thought as my day clothes? To begin with, I ordered this lovely Kimono. I love the combination of a stylish design and comfortable fabric.

9. Invest more in “real” art work.

Having real art (accept no generic substitutes!) in one’s house makes them feel grown up. Etsy is an easy way to find original art pieces or prints for a very affordable price. For me, my investment mostly moves in the direction of actually framing the current pieces I own! Like with mattes!

You can also find great, afforable art at around the holidays or the end of the semester at art schools. I like Minted and Art.com, too!

8. Develop an enchanting home aesthetic.

Growing up, my mother always had a design for each room of the house, and to this day, she still does. I’d like each of my rooms to reflect an aura and energy; currently, my kitchen is the closest to having such balance.

Things to get rid of– unsavory piles of magazines falling off of broken bookshelves, a lack of bed frame (!), and pack rat habits. These can be rectified by small and cheap purchases, and my home will feel a million times better. Your home is a reflection of you– organized chaos can be charming, but think of the chaos it brings in to the rest of your life! Here are 11 ways to make your home feel happier and more like you.

7. Shop smart.

With all of the green movements going on, it’s grown up to shop smart. For me, it’s about investing in higher quality products, with the knowledge that I’ll get more use per dollar from it.

Picking up disposable items for my life is becoming unappealing, and for those reasons, I have become disinclined to want to even shop at all! Rather than buy two pairs of cheaper shoes, knowing I’d wear them out in a year (as they’re practical shoes, which means regular, hard wear), I bought: new winter boots and new black flats (my others had holes in the bottoms). Hopefully, the cost per wear on both pairs will make them well worth the higher cost.

6. Be more financially responsible.

College and living post Hurricane Katrina made it very easy for me live financially foolishly. In the next few years, I’ll be hoping to settle in to a wonderful city, buy a home/apartment or car, and start paying off my student loans. And to do this, I need to eliminate my credit card debt and start living below my means. Much of this will relate to smart shopping and generally decreasing my consumption in general.

5. Manage your time better.

No more procrastinating until the last minute on those tasks I do not want to do! No more being called inefficient! I need to learn to prioritize and plan and better manage my time. Here’s productivity advice from a type-A Virgo!

4. Write more – like with a pen.

Ever noticed how good grown-ups have great etiquette? I’d like to cultivate myself so that I write more letters, send more cards, remember to send “Thank You” cards rather than emails.

3. Buy more fresh flowers.

Maybe this is an aesthetic cultivated by watching too many movies, but there is something refreshing and adult about having lots of fresh flowers in my house. Trader Joe’s regularly sells $5 bouquets and if you buy a cute little bud vase with a small neck, you only need one flower to ‘fill’ it!

2. Get comfortable doing things alone.

One of the most terrifying things in the world is doing something on your own; whether it’s going to dinner, out to a movie, or on a trip, company is often the preferable way to go. However, despite our best friends and partners, being independent enough to say, “I will eat lunch on my own,” shows that we are comfortable, secure, and confident with ourselves. Bonus points if you can do it without shoving your nose in a book!

1. Learn to say “Thank You” gracefully.

Personally, I have a horrible time accepting gifts, compliments, favors, relationships, etc. It’s just a matter of being stupidly independent at times. But there is something lovely and mature about being able to accept these things in your life and say “thank you.”

It may seem more endearing, humble, modest to stumble around for the words or try to casually brush it all off, but it’s more respectful and heartfelt to give a “thank you” instead.

So how about you? What gives you that grown up feeling?

P.S. How to make friends as an adult + How to (at least start to) get your finances in order

photo by lili popper // cc

16 Comments

marthe

Improving my cooking skills definitely makes me feel more grown up. At 24, I think it's about time I stop relying on my boyfriend to make dinner for me. (Yes, I have found mr. perfect, he actually used to cook all our meals!)

Now, I'm learning how to cook healthy minimalist meals thanks to a blog called The Stone Soup.

And it feels awesome! I feel so much more grown up, responsible and self-confident now that I'm not relying on anyone else to feed me!

Reply
Han

I wear odd pajamas I have a bunch of bottoms and a bunch of tops and then make it up as I go – this week we're on Heroes T-shirt (that I purchased then realised I'd never really wear outside the house lol) and a pair of stripy shorts. I wore my winter pajamas up to about a fortnight ago and at the rate it's going with the weather I'll be back in them before August lol.

I love to try and dress more grown up (Rather than my hoodie and jeans) but I never know what to wear – I'm not really completely into wearing dresses but they are growning on me – I just need some that are smart for work but don't make me feel like I'm too over dressed – I work in a little office with like 6 other people so I don't need to be OTT smart all the time but I do need to be smart in case we have visitors – argh being a girl is so complicated if I believed in reincarnation I'd ask to come back as a boy – smart is tie and shirt but can girls carry it off too?

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Casey

I'm 26 and my sister is 24, and we both lament not "feeling" grown up constantly! lol. I think you're so right: a large part of appearing grown up is faking it! At least imho.

I love your idea of conscientiously writing more. I know one thing I fall down on constantly is thank you notes (it's so much easier to *gulp* email someone! :p). And yet when I think of someone who is grown up and gracious, I think of thank you notes. Need to work on this!

For me, another aspect of being grown up is knowing when to say no. During my college years/early 20s, it was easy for me to constantly get into all sorts of projects, outings, etc. I was always busy. But that was before I had other commitments, was in a long-term relationship and had other "adult" responsibilities to deal with. Now I realize that I don't always have to say yet to everything; a measure of wisdom and knowing my own limits is something I aspire to. Not that I always follow it… But it sure is more "grown up" to gracefully finish a project on time than shooting emails at the 11th hour apologizing that the project isn't done yet! :p

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Anonymous

I have an question about something here that I've seen lots of places and honestly don't understand — the idea that doing something by yourself doesn't "count" somehow unless you do it without a book/magazine or something. I spend a lot of time by myself-eating lunch, waiting for buses, waiting on friends to arrive-and I tend to keep a book (or more recently my smartphone!) with me specifically for these times. We spend so much of our time with other people, why not enjoy those moments alone to catch up with a book you've been wanting to read? I'm not trying to be snarky or derail from a very nice article, but I do see this all over the place and I'm genuinely curious!

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Sarah Von Bargen

Anon,

Obviously, I can only speak for myself, but as someone who is
a) constantly connected to technology
b) always planning things and thinking about the future
I really struggle to stay present and appreciate what's going on around me.

If I'm not careful the day just turns into one giant text message/email/internet surf. So, whenever possible, I try *not* to involve technology (or a book or a magazine) in what I'm doing. I really try to just wait for the bus and look at the people around me. Or walk to the market and appreciate the good weather. Or sit and eat my meal and actually taste what I'm eating. 🙂

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SillyJaime

I want so badly to have my own home, or even an apartment, rather than live with my mother-in-law like I do. Then I'd feel more like a grown up.

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Ashe @ Dramatis Personae

Anon, I agree with Sarah! When I tend to take a book, it's because I'm uncomfortable with being confident just engaging myself with the world around me! I tend to do it as a way to avoid others (so I look occupied), so for me, leaving them behind is a way of opening up to whatever the universe may want me to see, who I may meet, or talk to.

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The Remarkable Redhead

I'm definitely making it a point to write more as well. Having my own apartment and cooking "grown up" meals with my boyfriend and by myself makes me feel grown up, too.
I think the single thing that has made me feel like a grown up has been the two vacations I've taken this independently from my parents this year. Every other year of my life, it has been "family vacation", but this year, it was "MY vacation".

http://splashofsass.blogspot.com

Reply
Chelle Lynn

I agree with SO many of these (except the sleepwear thing…my new-found adult frugality does not allow for fancy sleep clothes!)

For me, it's basically boiled down to Being Responsible and Being Attentive (aka Realizing That I Am Not The Only Person Who Matters).

I'm still working on it.

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Pooja

These are definitely adult things to do. But, about the sleep-in dress, I feel at any age you sleep better in completely worn in (comfortable) clothes, holes and all! 🙂

A few adult things to do for me are
a)to accept myself, my physical & mental imperfections (I call them quirks) and stop trying to please people.
b) to be able to say "NO". I really don't know how to. 🙁 (Maybe a next blog topic for you Ms. Von?)

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Marie

Clothing has been a big one for me. I have figured out adult work clothes, but adult casual clothes are a lot harder.
I finally found some shorts that aren't "old lady long" or "butt hanging out short." This was a huge accomplishment.
Being in a book club has also made me feel more grown up; even when we read YA books.

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Sarah

I'm not even a grown-up, but a high school junior with a baby pink room. I didn't want to repaint it because somehow, the color held some sentiment AND painting is tough work. I wanted my room to be more adult, and I hung a huge painting over my bed and I felt like a real person! Twas lovely

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Anonymous

I think i need to listen more. This is a sign of maturity. I always need to have my say.. not anymore.

Reply

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