1. The later you wake up on Christmas morning, the more you’re a grown up. Did you get a full night of rest on Christmas Eve? If so, that indicates that you don’t particularly care. The laying in bed, anticipating, wide-awake with excitement days are over — and it’s become more of a relaxing time away from work. In our defense, we no longer get awesome gifts like Power Rangers action figures, or big Barbie sets. It’s easy to wake up for that. But bed sheets, towels, candles and various items from Target’s décor section? Meh — not so much.
2. When ex-schoolmates around your age are having babies — intentionally. I’m talking fully planned, financially prepared for, deliberately unprotected sex, purposeful baby making. From the age of 16-21ish, the majority of the babies born by our peers were unplanned. Now many of us are wondering what the hell is wrong with our personality or appearance that has us nowhere near creating a little one. Regardless, it’s pleasant to see our friends start their premeditated families.
3. Breakup-to-makeup is becoming less acceptable. The typical high school, on-again, off-again style relationship isn’t something you enjoy being a part of. That indecisiveness and uncertainty is a turnoff, and you’d rather be single than deal with someone’s constantly changing feelings towards you. That type of stress can become overwhelming if you don’t nip it in the bud and cut ties.
4. The number of bills is rising. When you check the mail, it’s no longer full of Nickelodeon Magazine or Disney Adventures — instead it’s stuffed with envelopes from various places requesting your money. What a disappointing change, right? When checking the mailbox has become a dreaded daily activity, it’s evident that you’re evolving into a full-fledged grownup. If the word “evolving” made you sadly reminisce on Pokémon, which you retired from playing/collecting years ago — that’s another sign.
5. You own actual furniture. Not the plastic, drawer doodads or the comfortable beanbag chairs — I’m talking legitimate product — like, purchased from actual furniture stores. If you assembled it all by yourself, that’s even more adult-y. Just a heads up, if you’ve yet to buy these types of things and are uninformed like I was, couches and beds are shockingly more expensive than you might anticipate.
6. Personal products are changing. Ladies are applying less glittery makeup, cutting back on the deliciously flavored Lip-Smackers and easing up on their previously heavy glossed lips. For dudes, they’re (hopefully) cutting back on the Axe body spray, and investing in legitimate colognes. With any luck, they’re also exfoliating and investing in higher quality lotions and face creams (YES, dudes should moisturize too).
7. Your sleep habits are becoming more traditional. When you recognize that you wake up at 5 a.m. more often than you go to bed at five in the morning, that lets you know things are changing. Early rising is a result of some type of responsibility, which is admirable — and a good indicator that you’re maturing.
8. The conspiracy theorist in you is appearing frequently. Perhaps this is a result of watching the news more often, but it’s increasingly difficult to trust anything. We question the legitimacy of reports, the intentions of our leaders and the constant surveillance we’re under.
9. You find noisy neighbors obnoxious. Back in the day, your only issue would be the fact that you weren’t in on the action. Now you just want to focus on your work, or sleep peacefully without hearing yelling, bumping, and the bass of the party’s dubstep music.
10. Poor eating habits are showing their lasting effects. Once upon a time you ate all of the sweets, fried foods and greasy meals you desired with little to no consequence. Then gradually, you notice significant differences. The metabolism is no longer as speedy as it used to be, resulting in weight gain. In addition, we can’t throw down and digest 2 a.m. Taco Bell or Burger King without feeling as if a train jam-packed with heartburn, aches, and punishment is coursing though our chests and bellies.
11. When Lowe’s has surpassed Toys R Us in the category of places you’d like to shop. For me, this day hasn’t come — and I can’t imagine it in the foreseeable future. I have no interest in tile, cabinets, lawn care, paint, or lighting — but I’m almost positive I could find video games and action figures that would satisfy my interests. If you’d rather receive a giftcard to Lowe’s than Toys R Us (at noon, when you wakeup on Christmas Day), you’re really growing up.
12. When being asked for your email address in a professional setting is so embarrassing to speak that it makes you cringe and forces you to switch it up. A simple firstname.lastname@example.org, or vice versa suffices. As long as you don’t have to say “PrettyPinkPrincess2001@Ivehadthisemailforadecade.com,” you’re in good shape.
13. When spontaneous adventures are discussed, you enthusiastically agree to be a part of them… then the overthinking, play-it-safe feelings finagle their way into your brain, taming your wild desires. Typically the end result is you backing out, and doing something peaceful like wine and Netflix.
14. The stupidity displayed by the general public no longer amazes you. In fact, you’re more flabbergasted when someone displays intelligence. Sadly — speaking openly on topics that one’s ignorant to has become a commonality amongst several people you’ll interact with daily. In your younger days, you’d have argued or pointed out their misinformed word vomit. Now, after seeing it regularly, you’re more likely to let it slide and bite your tongue.
15. You keep your family closer. As teens, being spotted with our parents was considered a catastrophe by many of us. We were too cool for family nights and did our best to avoid all household festivities. As we matured, and realized that our parents and siblings are the most dependable, forgiving, loving, caring individuals we know — those feelings changed. We enjoy having them around. We don’t rush our mother off of the phone, we value our father’s advice — little things like that. Ultimately we develop a special appreciation for our flesh and blood’s presence, and a resilient bond.