Oh OK, I’m not a proper grown-up, but it’s just life, dammit


Oh OK, I’m not a proper grown-up, but it’s just life, dammit

A new study says people feel like a ‘proper grown-up’ by 26, but there are a few important milestones to reach

Tom Ough

The age at which modern Britons are truly adults, according to a recent survey of 2,000 people, is 26. Speaking in my official capacity as a 26-year-old, I consider that figure misleading.

As the Irish mathematician Des MacHale once noted, “the average human has one breast and one testicle”. I reckon the “adulthood at 26” statistic is another victim of this statistical pitfall.

As far as I can tell, my fellow 26-year-olds fall into two main categories. The first group grew up somewhere other than a big city, never left except perhaps for university, and, as such, were issued with a marriage, home, car, dog and baby by the age of 22. Tah-dah! You’re an adult. The rest of your life consists of laundry, the school run, and buying tea towels that say “I bloody love gin”. Next stop death!..

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