New Brunswick — A disturbing new study put out by UNB psychology researchers has found that the majority of millennials now apply the term “adulting” to the simplest activities undertaken by every adult human throughout history — and they’re actually taking pride in being so “adult.”
After the Canadian Oxford Dictionary named “adulting” the most annoying word of 2015 right after “millennial,” psych professor Carol VanDine was intrigued enough to delve deeper into the obnoxious phenomenon.
“Something as easy as making a meal, these kids do it once — poorly, post a photo on social media, and brag to their friends that they’re ‘adulting,'” VanDine explained. “These are tasks that their parents and grandparents, and really all previous generations, would have done from childhood without a thought. Why is it now such a source of pride? Why does watering a plant make you mature and worldly?”
The researchers assembled a random group of 100 students from UNB and STU who are adults in the legal sense but who have used the word “adulting” at least once on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. Many were even signed up for the new “Adulting 1013” class taught at St. Thomas University.
“We asked them what being an adult means to them, and we found that most of them could easily choose healthy meals, take care of a cat, or go to bed at a reasonable hour, BUT they like to feign incompetence in order to seem cute or quirky,” said Vandine, shaking her head. “It’s very odd.”
The researchers interviewed older relatives of the test subjects in an effort to gain more insight.
“Kyla says she’s ‘adulting’ if she cleans her room,” said an exasperated Bob Michaels, father of Kyla. “She’s 22, for god’s sake! When I was her age I already had a kid while working two jobs, yet her friends are patting her on the back for being so grown up! The other day she posted a Facebook status saying ‘Ugh have to go to class at 8:30 a.m. No one ever said #adulting would be so tiring.’ Jesus H. I taught her better than that.”
VanDine said that many of these adorably incompetent 20-somethings are also claiming to be experts in mental health, despite their put-on ineptitude in every other arena of life. “For one, how is mental health related to taking the trash out? These are privileged kids who have at most taken one psychology class, but in their ample free time they’re blogging about ‘self-care’ and ‘putting your mental health first’ and ‘taking adulting just one step at a time’ and ‘going easy on yourself when you just can’t even.’ My god it’s annoying.”
The researchers found that after cooking, cleaning, owning a pet and paying basic bills, doing taxes is widely considered by millennials to be the most “adult” task under the sun.
“Ughh like I can’t even think about doing my taxes,” said Christen Malcolm, 21. “I already feel like I’m adulting so hard just taking part in this study. Hashtag adulting.”