How to Grow Up and Be an Adult

by Cristel Wood ; Updated September 28, 2017

Growing up is a challenge that produces rewarding results.

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Growing up is more than simply attaining a certain age. Growing up and being an adult is about showing responsibility, acknowledging your successes and failures, and demonstrating maturity through your actions and through your interactions with others. The actual age when you become an adult varies from person to person. Sometimes a 15-year-old is more of an adult than a 25-year-old. The key to being an adult is acting like one.

Make a list of both long-term and short-term goals. Make the goals challenging but attainable. Examples of long-term goals include graduating high school with straight A's, being accepted into a good college, or being accepted into an internship at a certain company or in a certain field. Examples of short-term goals include getting an A in a class, volunteering for an organization, or achieving an honor for an academic or extracurricular program. Keep your list of goals somewhere where you will see it daily.

Embrace your hobbies and interests. In addition to developing a sense of confidence and achievement, many hobbies and interests can be included on college applications and resumes and help you to determine a future career path. For example, if you are interested in photography, practice photography in your spare time, take classes and tale to photographers to improve your photography skills and gain insight into the field.

Create a daily schedule. Include classes, study time, job schedules, and time for household chores. Schedule time to participate in leisure activities, such as watching TV or playing video games. Including leisure activities in a schedule will actually help you avoid spending too much time participating in those activities. Once you have a balanced schedule, stick to it.

Create a budget. Budgets should include income, be it an allowance or wages from a job, and how you choose to spend that income. Set aside at least 10 percent of your income as savings; it is never too early to begin saving. Even if you currently live with your parents, budgeting and saving are good habits to start and to maintain as you grow older.

Differentiate between needs and wants. Examples of things you need include food, toiletries and clothes. Examples of things you want include CDs, video games or a new pair of sunglasses. As you grow older, you will likely add utility bills, insurance, car payments and other bills to the need list. Once you determine what you truly need and what you only want, you will be able to budget more efficiently.

Respect others by treating them as you yourself would like to be treated. Avoid throwing tantrums, avoid fighting with parents and siblings, and avoid conflict with parents and teachers. Develop and show respect for your elders, for those in authoritative positions and for your peers. If you disagree with someone, talk to him calmly and listen to his reasoning; it's possible the issues can be resolved through peaceful discussion.

Respect your body by developing healthy habits. Avoid drugs and excessive alcohol consumption. Instead of junk food, eat whole grains and plenty of vegetables. Drink water and juice instead of soda and sugared beverages. Exercise daily. Not only will you feel better physically, but limiting unhealthy habits will help you develop discipline and restraint.

Interact with adults, not only your peers. You can interact with adults by spending time with your parents, volunteering for various organizations or participating in community events. Associating with adults will expose you to role models and experiences that will teach you valuable habits and life lessons.

Photo Credits

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About the Author

Cristel Wood is a writer specializing in food, photography, gardening and video games. She holds an Associate of Arts from South Puget Sound Community College and has worked for her local Parks & Recreation department, Mt. Baker ski area, Vista Village Retirement Community and has taught ESL in Peru.