Brits do not truly become adults until the age of 26, new research has suggested.
While many of us might have an idea about when we should expect to be a proper grown-up, a new survey has revealed that we don’t truly become adults until our mid-twenties.
The age-reveal will no doubt come as a relief for those under 26 who feel like they’re failing at adulting, because they still have time to grow-up before they’re considered to be an actual grown-up.
The survey suggests that British adults don’t become truly independent until the age of 26, citing the economy, spending longer in education, and difficult reaching traditional markers, such as buying a home, as reasons for the late arrival to adulthood.
More than 2,000 adults over the age of 25 were quizzed about when they felt they had nailed grown-up life, with the majority believing they don’t become bonafide adults until they’re 26.
Despite the legal system in England and Wales stating you’re an adult when you hit the age of 18, six out of ten of those surveyed don’t believe this is a real life marker for being a grown-up.
Over a third (38%) of those polled said they still rely on their parents or guardians.
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.
Commenting on the findings 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.”
The research also came up with 50 signs of independence, as a sort of checklist of adulthood success.
Markers included being able to budget efficiently, being financially independent from your parents, and paying your own bills.
Booking your own doctor and dentist appointments, being comfortable talking to people and not having a curfew are also signs of reaching real adulthood.
Top 50 sings of independence
1. Being financially independent from your parents/guardians
2. Moving out of your parents'/guardians' home
3. Managing your own bills/outgoings
4. Buying your own property
5. Having a job
6. Being able to budget
7. Having control of your own bank account
8. Paying rent
9. Having savings
10. Paying your own mobile phone bill
11. Planning and going to do your weekly food shop
12. Doing your own clothes washing
13. Spending your money on household goods e.g. hoover, mattress
14. Booking your own doctors/dentist appointment
15. Being self-motivated
16. Owning your own car
17. Buying your own clothes
18. Going on holiday without your parents/guardians
19. Making your own dinner
21. Being confident at taking on any task without help
22. Sorting out your own car problems
23. Travelling alone to a foreign country
24. Passing your driving test
25. Having a baby
26. Having no problem saying 'no' to people
27. Buying your own towels and bedding
28. Being comfortable challenging other people's opinions
29. Being confident talking to new people
30. Navigating public transport alone
31. Having life insurance
32. Not having a curfew
33. Knowing how to do a meter reading
34. Confidently being able to cook a roast dinner
35. Having a credit card
36. Being able to change a light bulb by yourself
37. Being happy to go out for a meal alone
38. Having family and friends come to you for advice
39. Getting a pet without asking anyone's permission
40. Being able to buy alcohol
41. Dressing weather-appropriately without anyone telling you to
42. Volunteering by myself
43. Being able to mow the lawn on your own
44. Buying toilet paper
45. Having sex
46. Owning a host of cleaning products
47. Hosting dinner parties
48. Being able to bake a basic cake without looking at a recipe
49. Putting up a tent by yourself
50. Having your own social media accounts
The results go against an earlier survey which revealed you don’t become an adult until you reach your thirties.
Further research earlier this year also revealed the age we’re expected to have our life sorted.
A study, by Beagle Street Life Insurance managed to pinpoint the exact age we should have everything in place as 39.
But it seems many millennials are struggling with the basic skills that typify adulthood.
So much so that one council offering youngsters a crash course in adulting.
The City of Onkaparinga in Australia is hoping to educate teenagers about some of the grown-up basics they need to survive real life once they leave school.