Measure Your Level Adulthood with This Adult Point System
Measure Your Level Adulthood with This Adult Point System

Measure Your Level of Adulthood with This Adult Point System

By awarding points to tasks based on their level of adult, you can chart you and your friends’ growth. My roommates and I averaged 180.

Finally, a Way to Quantify Your Adulting

By awarding points to tasks based on their level of adult, you can chart you and your friends’ growth. My roommates and I averaged 180.

By Josephine Werni, University of Minnesota Twin Cities

The idea that there is a distinct difference between being 18-years old and being an “adult” is not unprecedented by any means.

However, the definition of what it means to be a grown up is as foggy and debatable as the question of why exactly Donald Trump is running for president. My roommates and I recently had a lengthy conversation about this topic the other night, which led us to create the Adult Point System (APS). We figured that while many people certainly qualify as adults, they do so in different ways and in varying degrees.

The Adult Point System is composed of 4 separate levels of adult-related accomplishments. Level 1 includes efforts that would be considered the most basic, bare minimum examples of adulting. Therefore, they are worth the least number of points. Levels 2-4 continue to move upwards in adult value, and consequently contain feats of adulthood that are more difficult to accomplish.


Rather than assigning 1, 2, 3 and 4 points to each respective tier, I chose to go by multiples of 5. Multiples of 5 make for much simpler mental calculations. That way, if you’re a grown ass adult with a middle school level aptitude for math like me, the process is easier. You’re welcome.

In order to calculate your adult score based on this sophisticated and thoughtfully handcrafted model, you’ll need to thoroughly peruse each of the four categories and add up your points accordingly.

Level 1 (5 Points):

This category can be considered pre-adult adulting. It essentially consists of all of the shit you can accomplish while still in high school. You may add 5 points to your adult score for each of these statements that ring true for you.

-Having a driver’s license.

-Knowing how to change a tire.

-Doing your own laundry successfully.

-Owning a pair of jumper cables/can jumpstart a car.

-Going to the gym on your own accord.

-Calling yourself in sick (because you’re actually sick and not because you’re trying to skip school.)

-Keeping your room clean because you want to.

-Acquiring a non-skilled job.

-Having the guts to tell your friend that it was you who clogged their toilet, rather than leaving the problem for whichever unfortunate soul happens upon it first.

-Being able to navigate at least one mode of public transportation with confidence.

-Owning an article of clothing that has been specially tailored to your body.

Level 2 (10 Points):

If level two is the chief supplier of your adult points, you probably either live in a dorm or some other form of student housing that you do not directly pay for. You may exist primarily outside of your parents’ house, but you aren’t entirely without their support and provision.

-Calling and making your own doctor/dentist appointments.

-Signing a lease.

-Buying and preparing all of the food that you consume.

-Having utilities under your name.

-Spending several agonizing hours on the phone trying to get your internet or cable set up.

-Filing your own taxes. This one would have been categorized as Tier 3 if not for TurboTax.

-Having studied abroad.

-Owning furniture that’s not just for your bedroom.

-Spending a significant amount of money on things that you don’t like but are now responsible for providing/replenishing (i.e. bulk toilet paper, a vacuum cleaner, all sorts of towels, etc.)

-Going to a sex shop with the intention of actually buying, as opposed to just slinking around and giggling at the names of dildos to mask your discomfort.

-Writing a proper resume and cover letter.

-Buying a car.

-Making a LinkedIn (And then only take the time to meticulously update it when you’re hard core procrastinating doing something else).

-Having an internship.

Level 3 (15 Points):

Level 3 signifies the transition between the trial run, faux-independence that is exemplified in level 2, and the point at which you’ve truly unmoored yourself from the title of “dependent.”

If you find that you’ve accomplished most of the things in level 3, you might be able to afford to live by yourself for the first time. I bet you call your parents all the time now, just to chitchat and catch up.

-Paying for your rent and utilities yourself.

-Having successfully planned and executed solo travel.

-Having a pet that you are entirely responsible for that’s not in a cage.

-Having a dependent.

-Being married.

-Buying a house.

-Having a degree.

-Taking out a loan in your own name.

-Being financially independent.

-Moving out of your hometown.

-Having your own insurance.

-Owning furniture that’s not from Ikea/Craigslist/garage sale.

-Starting a 401K.

Level 4 (20 points):

This final and top tier of adulting consists of achievements that many adults either take a long time to do, or never do at all. That’s why level 4 is notably smaller than the first three.

-Getting hired in your field.

-Paying off your loans.

-Putting another person through college.

-Successfully starting up and maintain your own business.


-Writing your will.

With all of the adult capabilities listed here taken into consideration, the highest possible score you could receive is 510. I scored a 175, while my roommates received tallies of 190, 145, 230 and 165, respectively.

I feel that that we’re pretty average 21-year old students, typically hovering somewhere between levels 2 and 3 in terms of points. I’d also like to point out that obviously, this list is not exhaustive by any means. It is merely the result of one night of drunken brainstorming over a game of Settlers of Catan.

I took the liberty of filling in some of the glaring gaps that I found when editing the original manuscript, though I’m sure there are plenty more that I have missed. For the most part, the accomplishments catalogued here are pretty general. Feel free to add in whatever adulty successes you dream up and count them when you’re computing your own points.

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