by the Editorial Staff

We get taller, start dressing differently; we get jobs and start paying bills, but when do we truly become adults? What moment in life makes us define ourselves as grown up? Is it when we graduate college or when we start paying bills?

Most traditional students enter college between the ages of 18 and 19 following their high school graduation. This leads to them graduating around the age of 22 to 23 with a four-year degree. However, according to research done at the University of Rochester Medical Center, the rational part of a brain isn’t fully developed until the age of 25. That is two to three years following their graduation from college.

So it is hard for someone to be considered a full grown adult when they aren’t even fully developed.

Many people like to think that graduating college and getting a full-time job is that defining moment. The reality is that graduating college is probably not a turning point. According to, the average class of 2016 graduate has $37,172 in student loan debt. That combined with students first jobs coming out of college tending to be low paying and start up jobs just to get their foot into their field leads to the probability of someone considering themselves actual adults after college very low.

So from the outside looking in, it is hard to pinpoint just exactly that point in time where you are an adult when you have to combine things like a person’s debt and their body’s development. Therefore, it might be easier to pinpoint that moment based on the inside of a person and the events that change how they approach their life.

Everyone hits a point where they get bombarded by reality. This moment can be something like a fight with a friend, a breakup with a boyfriend or girlfriend, a loss of a loved one or simply rediscovering yourself. At that moment you mature and realize that growing up is the only option you have. For some, it may be in their early 20s, and for others, it may be in their late 40s.

When that reality hits you, you have become an adult. For some, it will happen way before others, but it is when you have a newfound perspective on life that you are now considered an adult.


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