Have you ever found yourself looking around for an adult but realize you yourself are 18 or over and legally an adult? Do you know what the powerhouse of a cell is but can’t tell the difference between green vegetables? Have you bought new clothes because you didn’t want to or didn’t know how to wash your dirty ones?
If you or a loved one answered “YES” to any of these questions, then you might be
What is a kidult, you ask? Why, it’s only a kid adult. It’s as simple as smushing those two words together to form a new one that describes you or someone you know. A kidult is when you are legally an adult but are nowhere near as adulty as your parents. They have, like, real jobs and know how to do grown up things and stuff.
If you are a kidult, adulting is the answer to your mom’s pleas to stop poisoning your body with Easy Mac and Instant Ramen 24/7 and eat some vegetables for a change, as well as your dad’s demands to stop scaring the neighbors by wearing that white t-shirt with the ketchup stain that looks like you got stabbed and finally do your own darn laundry.
I’m Stephanie. I’m 20 years old and this is my story and my experience with adulting:
I’ve been a kidult for 2 years. If I commit a crime, I can be charged as an adult, but I still feel like I should be sent to juvie if that were to happen. I first realized I was a kidult when I told my dad that I can’t wait until I grow up and become an adult and he said, “Steph, you’re 19. You legally are one.” That was one year ago. My life was never the same after that moment. My kidult tendencies grew worse as my friends started to work at summer internships and I sat on the couch all week in the same clothes, binge-watching Parks and Rec, only getting up to use the bathroom. Unabashedly, but lowkey with a hint of shame, I want to admit that I am a horrible cook and can’t do laundry. I knew something had to change when I only ate rice cakes with Jam and leftover birthday cake for all meals, five days in a row. I knew I had to do something, but I didn’t know what steps to take. I’ve always wanted to learn how to cook, but with kidult enablers like dining halls with takeout, student centers with fast food, and large home-cooked dinners that can last three days, I had no motivation to learn.
I lived in a dorm my first two years of college and because my parents live close by, they would visit often. Their visits coincidentally coincided with my laundry bag filling up with clothes. After treating me to dinner (which I usually doggie-bagged and saved for a later meal), they graciously took my dirty clothes back home with them. They said that they wanted to see how I was doing, but I think they just came for the laundry because they obviously love cleaning so much. My mom always wanted me to stay out of the laundry area, so I never really bonded with a washing machine. I think she was afraid I would somehow stain the clothes with my barbeque-sauce-covered fingers that were dirtied from eating that doggie-bagged dinner.
Before leaving for Australia, I had not yet achieved the initial milestones of being an adult: Cooking and Laundry. It was nice, not having to take time out of my craaazzzyyy schedule (read: really not that crazy, I was just lazy) to worry about cooking and cleaning clothes, but in hindsight, knowing how to adult would have been a good thing to learn earlier on.
It’s now been a week and a half since I tried Adulting. I knew the basics of cooking, such as boiling water and putting cup noodles/Easy Mac into a microwave (with the water, because some people forget that step when trying to cook this convenient meal). The time has finally come where I can no longer be lazy and must cook for myself. Adulting helped me break out the big guns of cooking: egg frying, pasta boiling, and frozen food defrosting. Sprinkled with tasty greens (I think I bought spinach. It may be lettuce) and some cup noodles for kidult time’s sake, I’ve been able to feed myself like a real human. My mom told my housemates to make sure I don’t starve because she apparently thinks I will. Adulting is my secret weapon, and thanks to it, I’m excited to see how my cooking progresses over this next semester. And hopefully, by the time I come back home, I’ll be able to make gourmet cup noodles that are cooked in a pot with add ins. Take that, mom!
As I watched my limited supply of clean clothing dwindle, I dreaded having to do laundry. The fear of ruining clothes and colors bleeding only added to my apprehension of doing this fundamental adult task. I needed to do this. I’ve waited too long. I separated my darks from my lights and confidently approached the machine. It smelled the kidult coming off of the clothes my mom washed for me. Little did the washing machine know that I was equipped with Adulting. It gave me the strength and certainty that I had done this quite simple and straightforward task correctly. Yes. I looked the washer right in the glass as I put my clothes in, closed the door, and pushed the start button. Feeling as if I scored the winning touchdown, I did a victory jump and stood in front of the washing machine, arms crossed with an accomplished smile plastered on my face; I listened as the whirring faded into roaring applause.
Thanks to Adulting, I am no longer a kidult and I can proudly and truthfully say that I’m an adult. I’m an adultier adult than I was a week and a half ago. If you are like me, then it’s not too late to learn the basic skills of adulthood. Don’t wait too long to try Adulting or you might spend the rest of your life wandering the streets in dirty clothes looking for the nearest microwave to warm up the leftovers you saved from the last time your parents took you out to dinner.
Don’t allow yourself to suffer from severe kidult syndrome (SKIDS).*** I was lucky that I tried Adulting before it was too late. Don’t wait until circumstances, like studying abroad, force you to complete the amateur levels of adulthood, so start now if you haven’t already.
If you or a loved one could benefit from Adulting, please watch Food Network until you say “Yum-O!” every time you have something to eat, or use the washing machine until the clothes stop coming out pink.
Side effects of adulating may include nausea, upset stomach because you accidentally food-poisoned yourself by incorrectly following that recipe, heartburn, and not being able to go out to that super, hip bar because you need to stick to your budget but go anyways and then hating yourself after three drinks when you realize how expensive they are, but not death because Adulting most definitely gives you immortality.
*The testimony in this blog post was given by a real person, not a paid actress. Definitely not paid. Possibly an actress. Only in her wildest dreams.
**Some dramatization may have occurred.
***This is not a real disease.