Things I Thought Were Super ‘Adult' When I Was A Kid

Sometimes (okay, always), when you’re younger you want to speed up your life and get to do all the cool things you see adults doing. Clearly, this is not always sensible. But it’s something we all go through – this desire to just go see an R-rated movie or get your license or be out without having to check in with your parents. These are normal I Can’t Wait to Grow Up And Do Everything things.

But I want to talk about those other (weirder) things that are perceived as adult from the comforts of youth (or maybe just by me).

1. Drinking Coffee and Coffee-Related Activities

I mean, really, what’s more adult than drinking coffee? We learned as kids it would stunt your growth and obviously we all dreamed of being 5’10” like Cindy Crawford, it exists to wake you up before work and it’s kind of gross without a ton of milk and sugar in it.

But you know what I thought was the most adult part of coffee? Shaking sugar packets to get the sugar to the bottom before you put it in your drink.

I’m so serious. Just that motion and that sound made me feel like, “Oh man, some serious stuff is about to go down.”

And now, this is an act I do every day (well, twice a day) and it merely serves as a reminder that I now depend on coffee to keep me awake. Just like those “adults.”

2. Caviar

I mean, I didn’t even really KNOW what caviar was as a kid but I knew it was food and something adults ate. Actually, specifically something that fancy adults ate. And that’s really the goal of life as a little kid anyway, right? Either be a superhero or, barring that, a very fancy adult.

Caviar is mentioned in Clueless as one of the things Cher wants to donate from her house to the Pismo Beach Disaster Relief so we KNOW it’s fancy. Jack Dawson also hilariously can’t recognize caviar in Titanic because he is so poor he’s never seen it before. AND THEN in You’ve Got Mail, Tom Hanks steals all the caviar even though Meg Ryan informs him, “That caviar is a GARNISH!” (Also, how much do I want to yell that at someone?)

I’ve since had caviar and do enjoy it but it still couldn’t possibly live up to my little kid dreams of being a hyper-fancy adult just sitting around with my monocle, eating caviar.

3. Writing Checks

I always remember being VERY impressed with how you write out checks and paying attention to how they’re written out. I definitely was that teen who, upon getting her first checking account, wrote checks for $5 just for fun (and hilariousness). There’s just something magical about writing the amount numerically and then also writing it out for clarity and THEN you get to sign your name and that means that money can go to someone else. Just amazing.

Of course now the only reason I ever write a check, really is for my rent bill so it just makes me sad that so much money a month goes to a space I don’t own. I mean, I’m not going to lie, I sometimes still find check-writing thrilling but it definitely doesn’t hold the same mystique that it once did.

4. Being Sequestered for Jury Duty

I think this comes from my desire to go to a “lock in” at school or church or wherever one goes to a lock in. I didn’t really know what a lock in was (clearly) but I knew it sounded like fun. Like sleepaway camp but for only a night. (I never went to sleepaway camp either). But for some reason being sequestered for jury duty seemed like THE most exciting thing that could happen to a person. I mean, clearly in The Simpsons episode “The Boy Who Knew Too Much”, I was taught by Homer how to get the most out of being sequestered on a jury.

Much to my disappointment, when I finally had jury duty, I realized it is really boring. I sat in a weird room for hours with mostly crazy people (that 30 Rock about people on NYC at jury duty is pretty spot-on), watching that jury video you have to watch and then Forrest Gump. Let me tell you, crying to Forrest Gump at jury duty is not the glamorous thrill-ride I thought being sequestered would be. (Also, I hadn’t seen that movie in years, so it wasn’t until jury duty that I realized Jenny died of AIDS. Crazy.)

Maybe (hopefully not) . . . one day I’ll know the adult joys of being sequestered for jury duty.

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  • Christine Wilson

    The first time my parents got a babysitter to watch me, she asked me at bedtime if I slept with the lights on. I was never afraid of the dark as a kid and I had never heard of anyone sleeping with lights on, so I assumed it was something that only big kids got to do. My parents weren’t exactly thrilled when they got home and I was still wide awake with the lights on in my bedroom.

  • Sarah LaDuke

    Some of mine: Opening and closing file cabinet drawers. Jogging stacks of paper. Talking on the phone while typing. I guess I thought all adults were receptionists/office workers?

  • Kassie Zott

    Oh my gosh! I completely identify with all of those things, I mean, check-writing? Could it get more mature and cool? I also thought that people who wore suits and walked with purpose through an airport must have it all.

  • Kiley Morgan

    When I was little I thought being a McDonald’s Drive Thru worker would be the best because you got to talk to people all day long without anyone telling you to be quiet (which I frequenly was) and you got to eat free french fries! My mom informs me that this dream is still attainable 😛

  • Jessica Rufino

    Having your heels “click” when you were walking down the hallway! When I was a kid, wearing high heels that clicked when you walked was just the epitome of being an adult. That and my mom’s fuchsia lipstick. (It was the 80’s.)

    • Erin Long

      Oh man, you’re so right. That’s a great one!

  • Heather Carroll Marrazzo

    I thought pinning my hair up on just one side was SO grown up – perpetuated by the fact that my mother wouldn’t let me do it. And this is an odd one, but when I was a young tween/teen I thought smoking pot was for waaaay older people. Like, 25 year olds. And when I was mid-20s I thought, wow. That’s for like, 15 year olds.

  • Kirsty Wade

    Having a big ice cream/lolly. I always had a kiddie one and wished I was an adult so I could have a bigger one!

  • Suzannah Likes-pie Connel

    For me it was getting a medium drink at a fast food place, or being allowed to cut vegetables for dinner or check the mail. Also clicky shoes too.

  • Ebony Utting

    I always thought using Tippex (white out in the US I think??) was super grown up. When I started secondary school I bought 6 bottles of the stuff and even if I liked the answer I’d written I still used tippex just so I could write it again. Sigh.

    • Erin Long

      Haha, that’s so cute!!

  • Joshua Pack

    First off, you are super cute!

    Second off, I always thought buying my own things was super ‘adult’ when I was a kid. Come to find out I would be buying stuff just to borrow until next month….

  • Claire Amodru

    I totally find myself in this article ! I always had a problem with that ,always wanted to grow up faster,always wanted to be mature because when I was a kid a though that when you are a grown up stuffs are more simple,you’re free ,you’re stronger to deal with problems,and love is easier but you know what ,I realized that it’s absolutly not true,things get juste more and more complicated and you have to find a way to be happy no matter what because I learned that we don’t solve problems with a big ice cream anymore!I’ve been through a lot and I keep thinking that a grew up too much faster and now i regret it because now , it ‘s found out that it hurt people somehow …

  • Jess Allen-Summers

    I’m super bummed that I really don’t like coffee because it means I will never truly be an adult. Also, I always thought that paying by credit card at the checkout was like the most grown up thing ever.

  • Doreen Mulman

    For me, the only thing I felt would make me a grown-up would be to drive a car, which I started to do, unlicensed, when I was 14 years old. Now, at 50 years old, I hate driving… But that’s probably because I live in the Los Angeles area.

  • Robert Remillard

    Racing a car. Not having to study.

  • Jessica Calhoun

    I always thought being one of those people who lugged their books and laptop to the local coffee house (i.e. Starbucks) were super adult, because they were learning things that were far out of my reach at the time, and they were all obviously super smart. I now work at Starbucks and have also realized my dream of studying there all the stinking time. All of it. Like right now, for example, I should be studying. Maybe those people were doing what I’m doing now, and were never really studying at all. Hm.

  • Sierra Harrington

    I always wanted to get something in the mail not realizing that it was, and still is, all JUNK!!! Who ever gets anything good the mail!?

  • Zoë Colburn

    swishing your hips when you walked and (naturally) wearing lipstick! my mom never had a lot of makeup, but i always sneaked some lipstick on when i could.

  • Anonymous

    I insisted that my mom let me write out the checks at the grocery store when I was about 8. This lasted till I was at least 11.

  • Katy Cole

    I insisted that my mom let me write out the checks at the grocery store when I was about 8. This lasted till I was at least 11.

  • Anonymous

    some things on my list: smoking (we would pretend to smoke using lollipop sticks) and having an ID (we would make them out of anything).

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