Feel like you’re failing at being a proper, independent adult?
Don’t panic – you’re not alone… as long as you’re under the age of 26.
A new survey suggests that British adults don’t become truly independent until the age of 26, blaming the economy, spending longer in education, and difficult reaching traditional markers of adulthood, such as buying a home.
More than 2,000 adults over the age of 25 were polled about when they felt they had all their adulting stuff nailed, with the majority believing they don’t become full-on adults until they’re 26.
This backs up previous research that suggests adulthood doesn’t really start until after 25.
Those surveyed say it’s harder than ever for young people to grow up and fend for themselves, pointing to a lack of education about basic life skills in schools.
Despite the legal age of adulthood being 18 in the UK, six in ten of those surveyed don’t believe this is the real age of being a grown up.
38% of those polled said they still rely on their parents or guardians.
The research also came up with 50 signs ‘independence day’ had been reached, so you can go ahead and tick off as many as you can to check you’ve succeeded at adulthood.
The survey was carried out by the National Youth Board for the National Citizen Service (NCS) – a programme to help 16-17 year-olds build confidence, independence and learn life skills.
Nuala McNally, who sits on the board, said: ‘There are a number of factors which may contribute to young people finding independence later now than ever before.
‘It’s much harder for us to leave our parents’ and guardians’ homes for the first time, meaning less opportunity to put practical skills such as budgeting.
‘In addition, a lot of us are choosing to stay in education longer, which is great as more people are academically investing in their future.
‘However, it means we have less ‘real world’ experience.’
Top 50 signs of being independent:
- Being financially independent from your parents/guardians
- Moving out of your parents’/guardians’ home
- Managing your own bills/outgoings
- Buying your own property
- Having a job
- Being able to budget
- Having control of your own bank account
- Paying rent
- Having savings
- Paying your own mobile phone bill
- Planning and going to do your weekly food shop
- Doing your own clothes washing
- Spending your money on household goods e.g. hoover, mattress
- Booking your own doctors/dentist appointment
- Being self-motivated
- Owning your own car
- Buying your own clothes
- Going on holiday without your parents/guardians
- Making your own dinner
- Being confident at taking on any task without help
- Sorting out your own car problems
- Travelling alone to a foreign country
- Passing your driving test
- Having a baby
- Having no problem saying ‘no’ to people
- Buying your own towels and bedding
- Being comfortable challenging other people’s opinions
- Being confident talking to new people
- Navigating public transport alone
- Having life insurance
- Not having a curfew
- Knowing how to do a meter reading
- Confidently being able to cook a roast dinner
- Having a credit card
- Being able to change a light bulb by yourself
- Being happy to go out for a meal alone
- Having family and friends come to you for advice
- Getting a pet without asking anyone’s permission
- Being able to buy alcohol
- Dressing weather-appropriately without anyone telling you to
- Volunteering by myself
- Being able to mow the lawn on your own
- Buying toilet paper
- Having sex
- Owning a host of cleaning products
- Hosting dinner parties
- Being able to bake a basic cake without looking at a recipe
- Putting up a tent by yourself
- Having your own social media accounts
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