Why Being An Only Child Has Helped Me Become A Better Adult

by Zoya Gervis

For some reason, only children are constantly getting a bad rap. We're selfish, entitled, spoiled and bratty. I'm sure the list goes on, but I don't have the energy to think of it all.

From childhood, we're faced with stereotypical judgements from others, based on the simple fact that our parents chose not to have any other children. I mean, how is that even fair?

We never understood the relationship siblings have. Because of all the stereotypes, people with siblings envy our sibling-less lives.

I'm an only child, and I have always loved not having to share my room with another person. I never once begged my parents to give me a sibling. I enjoyed babysitting my little cousins. But then, I liked being able to leave and go to my own space.

Now, as an adult, I'm even more thrilled I grew up as an only child. Not only did it make me who I am, but it also prepared me for adulthood.

Here are four ways only children are more prepared for adulthood:

1. We're extremely independent.

Only children are extremely comfortable with being alone. This comes in handy as an adult. We don't rely on others to feel safe and secure.

When I moved away to college, I noticed most people were terrified of doing anything alone.

They needed someone to go to the dining hall with, walk to class with and even study with. But for me, it was the opposite. It was the first time I had to share a room, so I took any chance I could to be alone.

It was a great, defining characteristic to go through life never having to depend on anyone to do the things I wanted to do.

2. We can easily communicate with adults.

All those holiday dinners sitting around the "adult" table come in handy when you transition into adulthood.

Even though they definitely got bored and begged their parents to let them leave, only children have witnessed how adults talk.

We may have picked up on dirty jokes quickly, but we also learned how to listen when someone's speaking. We witnessed passionate conversations about a variety of topics.

By being around my crazy family (and my parents' crazier friends), I've learned how to speak to all my professors, future employers and even random people on the street without feeling nervous or intimidated.

3. Perfection is our middle name.

The truth is, being an only child can be a lot of pressure. We're the only fruits of our parents' labor.

Notoriously known for bragging about their kids, moms in particular expect their children to achieve great success, so they can share it with anyone who will listen.

Only children have to pave their own way. We don't have any siblings to blame for our mistakes, so we always have to learn the hard way: on our own.

Some people think only children coast through life because they don't have siblings to be compared to. But this couldn't be further from the truth.

Innately, only children have a deep desire to please their parents. As the only priority in my parents' lives, I always felt pressured to get good grades and be the best at everything I tried.

Constantly putting pressure on yourself to be the best at everything is exhausting.

But the moment you find the one thing that speaks to you and makes you work harder every day is the moment you've found your calling.

And guess what? That perseverance only comes from being an only child.

4. Our parents are our BFFs.

Inevitably, being an only child will make you closer to your parents.

As a kid, you spent most of your time with one, the other or both. Most likely, you had one parent who was the disciplinarian, while the other was the fun one.

I certainly did.

Having this balance in my life allowed me to appreciate my parents individually for who they were. My mom puts up a strong front, but she's really a softy on the inside.

My dad is a softy on the outside and the inside: He lives to make his daughter happy.

It's no wonder I grew up to love, respect and treat my parents in the same way I do my best friends.

Whenever something happens in my life – no matter whether good, bad or ugly – I immediately contact either my mom or dad, depending on the situation.

If I need someone to listen to me vent, it's a toss up. But when it comes to hilarious memes, my mom is the first to see them.

The one thing all only children have in common is how incredibly fortunate they all feel to have grown up without siblings.

Being an adult is hard. So, having a leg up on adulting by being an only child helps manage the hardships that come with it.