Menu Close

The Signs You Are Officially A Grown Up

woman smiles on sofa with golden retrievers

A recent nationwide study has revealed a list of signs that you have officially become an adult, according to Britons, with remembering to pay your bills on time (48 percent) emerging as the number one sign you’re officially a grown up.

According to the survey, the average Brit does not feel like an adult until the age of 32, with clear signs including, resisting the urge to stay in bed all day when hangover (26 percent), taking an interest in gardening (26 percent) and being able to rustle up a full Sunday lunch with all the trimmings (29 percent).

Making it into adulthood also means you’re likely to disapprove of reality TV (24 percent), know how to change a fuse (26 percent), enjoy taking Sunday drives (14 percent) and start leaving answerphone messages (12 percent).

Ditching Radio 1 and changing allegiance to Radio 2 or Radio 4 (23 percent), seeing a trip to the garden centre as a nice day out (23 percent) and enjoying cryptic crosswords (16 percent) also made the list.

The survey, by building materials supplier Southern Sheeting, also found that having the ability to keep houseplants alive (22 percent) also featured high, as did being able to talk to an electrician and plumber without sounding like you’re clueless (28 percent),  knowing how to change a lightbulb (23 percent) and being able to bleed a radiator (23 percent).

Yet almost a third of Brits think we are a nation of “kidults”, with 16 percent admitting they constantly still feel like a child during their day to day life – and with almost four in 10 (37 percent) claiming being a grown-up is totally overrated.

“The research shows there’s plenty of ways to indicate you’ve officially made it to adulthood, from enjoying a trip to the garden centre to never running out of loo roll and even knowing how to bleed a radiator.

While we can’t help the nation’s big kids complete everything on the list, there’s no need to panic about DIY,” says Tony Hobbs, Managing Director at building materials supplier Southern Sheeting.

“This past year we’ve helped people complete some impressive projects such as building their own shepherds hut, constructing a houseboat and even putting up an outdoor bar with a jacuzzi. It’s amazing what you can achieve when you put your mind to it.”

So, it’s no surprise that we love to indulge our inner child, with 57 percent of UK adults enjoying playing games on their phone, 48 percent frequently munching through a large pack of sweets in one go, and 42 percent even still licking cake batter from the spoon.

We also can’t resist watching cartoons (41 percent), colouring in (31 percent) and even playing with our kids’ toys when they’re not there (14 percent).

And the study found that 29 percent of the Brits polled said that not being phased by DIY was a crucial part of the growing process – and 26 percent have asked our partner or housemate to deal with a tradesman, simply because we didn’t feel confident enough to do it ourselves.

27 percent of the nation’s adults confess they often bury their heads in the sand when it comes to keeping on top of things like our finances, health check-ups and work.

Meanwhile 50 percent of the nation admit that older generations had to grow up faster than modern Brits today.


  1. Paying all your bills on time       48%
  2. Staying calm in an emergency       38%
  3. Knowing which day the bins and recycling go out    36%
  4. Knowing when your car is due its MOT      33%
  5. Appreciating the benefits of an early night     32%
  6. Never forgetting to pay your credit card bill     31%
  7. Being able to cook a full Sunday lunch      29%
  8. Topping up your pension every month      28%
  9. Being able to talk to a plumber/electrician without panicking   28%
  10. Organising regular visits to the dentist and hygienist    27%
  11. Never staying in bed all day with a hangover     26%
  12. Knowing how to change a fuse       26%
  13. Getting into gardening        26%
  14. Searching for new utility providers every year     25%
  15. Disapproving of reality TV       24%
  16. Having friends and family’s birthdays written down    24%
  17. Freezing leftovers and then not forgetting about them    23%
  18. Being able to bleed a radiator       23%
  19. Never going to bed with washing up in the sink     23%
  20. Never having your credit card declined      23%
  21. Having an ISA         23%
  22. Being able to change a lightbulb       23%
  23. Listening to Radio 2 or 4        23%
  24. Looking forward to going to the DIY store     23%
  25. Seeing a trip to the garden centre as a great day out    23%
  26. Having a filing cabinet for your paperwork     22%
  27. Never running out of loo roll       22%
  28. Enjoying “one glass” of wine with dinner     22%
  29. Being able to keep houseplants alive      22%
  30. Being able to change a tyre       20%
  31. Being able to put up a shelf       19%
  32. Always parking at a parking meter       19%
  33. Having a weekly meal planner       19%
  34. Never breaking the speed limit       18%
  35. Answering your mobile even if you don’t recognise the number   16%
  36. Genuinely enjoying going to the tip      16%
  37. Being able to put up a fence       16%
  38. Settling down to do the crossword      16%
  39. Opening an umbrella without any problems      15%
  40. Taking a Sunday drive        14%
  41. Listening to your answerphone messages     13%
  42. Never drinking caffeine after 5pm      13%
  43. Watching movies with subtitles       12%
  44. Leaving answerphone messages       12%
  45. Wearing gloves when washing up      10%