All Grown Up: Have You Completed the 5 Milestones of Adulthood?

adulthood, lifestyle, life, milestones

Unlike Peter Pan, we've all got to grow up sometime, and apparently there are concrete events in our lives that experts use to deem us full-fledged adults (who knew?).

Sociologists often define maturity in adulthood by the ability to meet five important events:

  1. Completing school
  2. Leaving home
  3. Becoming financially independent
  4. Marrying
  5. Having a child

But as a generation and a country, we're slacking off when it comes to completing these cornerstones. According to information from the 2000 Census, fewer than half of the women and one-third of the men surveyed had completed the five by the time they were 30. In comparison, during the '60s (aka Mad Men era), 77 percent of women and 65 percent of men had.

But why? My guess is that people are either holding off on completing some of these–or being forced to for other reasons. There's been research on how women are waiting past 30 to have children. Many people are working now and then planning on going back to school for advanced degrees. Becoming financially independent is increasingly harder to do with the economy the way it is. All these scenarios could have an impact on why the 21st century is stalling on these significant life events. Bob Dylan said it best–the times they are a-changin'.

Tell us: Have you done all 5? Why do you think we're behind on growing up?

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