How ‘Adulting’ Has Changed

adulting 2016


May 16 2016, Published 3:30 a.m. ET

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If you’re a millennial, and you frequent the Internet, you likely are familiar with the newly popular term known as “adulting.”

Everyone has an idea of what they think their life will be like after college. You’ll throw your cap into the air, move out of your parents house, get a bomb full time corporate job with full benefits and a hefty salary (because, of course, you have 16 years of educational experience – right?!), meet an eligible significant other who also has their “ish” together, get engaged and live happily ever after. Doesn’t that sound about right? Well, those who grew up believing this fairytale are met with a rude awakening. Being an adult looks a lot different in 2016.


Education is one of the biggest changes in the adulting experience. Thousands of dollars in debt and jobs in fields unrelated to the completed degree is now a stark reality. As a result, a mash up of entrepreneurship and education has emerged with the creation of alternative learning institutions, such as General Assembly or online learning resources, like SkillShare. This allows the opportunity to gain real world skills from professionals currently working in the field.


Another change in the adulting experience is career. More professionals are cashing in their “F-You money,” quitting their corporate 9-5’s, and pursuing their passion. We have rearranged our priorities to focus more on passion now rather than status or salary. This stampede of entrepreneurship has led to a significant increase in employment at start-up companies, remote working, and freelance opportunities.

Pursuing your passion often means you are hustling to make it work. You typically see young adults move back in with their family, hold onto their cars for a little longer, and cut back on clubbing, concerts, and dining out. This new generation of adults understands how to make sacrifices in exchange for the chance to do the work they genuinely enjoy.

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This also means, often, pushing marriage and kids to later in life.A recent article titled Millennials Still Want Kids, Just Not Right Now stated that, “The birth rate for teenagers and women in their early twenties has dropped quickly in the last few years. Births by women over 40 are still relatively rare, but their birth rate has doubled since 1990.”

The important thing about becoming an adult is to accept that life does not go as you planned. No matter how logical and well thought out the plan may be, no matter how things went for your parents or those before you, sometimes things just go a different way.

No matter how someone else’s experience looks, don’t fall into a “quarter-life crisis.” Your life will be different, because you are different. You have different needs, desires, skills, and passions. Regardless of whether you are currently in a peak or a pit, know that your experience can turn around. How ever your adulting evolves, you control the narrative.

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By: Alair Castro

Alair Castro is an Atlanta native, wife, and mother of two. As one of the first in her family to graduate college, she received a bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Georgia State University. Alair is a natural planner and analytical person. Her passions include Financial Literacy, Career Readiness, Parenting, and Community Service. Alair values work ethic and strives to “create change while changing diapers.” Alair is a writer, change agent, and innovator working at the intersection of Diversity & Finance. As a financial professional, she helps families with financial planning, including securing life insurance as a wealth building tool. As a diversity equity and inclusion leader, she has created financial literacy programs, coordinated events focused on black wealth, and crafted maternity leave guides to support women in the workplace. When she is not working, Alair spends her free time volunteering in her community, speaking to local high school students, and working with organizations such as Junior Achievement and Fulton County Schools. When she is not glued to a phone or computer screen, Alair can be found listening to her favorite podcasts, caring for her family, or indulging her foodie nature at a local restaurant. Alair Castro can be contacted at

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