1. You’re financially independent (even if you are not financially thriving). You can pay your bills each month and make allowances for random expenses that crop up. You may not be rolling in cash, but you have enough of it to support your base necessities.
2. You’ve traveled to at least one place you’ve always wanted to go to. Maybe you haven’t backpacked across Europe, but you’ve ticked at least one major destination off the travel bucket list – and you have the memories and photographs to prove it.
3. You’ve left behind a relationship that was once significant to you. You developed the strength and self-awareness to walk away from a relationship that was no longer serving you – no matter how impossible it may have seemed to do at the time.
4. You’re employed. You’ve channeled your skills and experiences into some form of gainful employment – or at the least, you’re aware of which skills and experiences are going to get you to that point.
5. You have at least one friend you can rely on (and a few more you can call on to have fun). Through the hot mess that is life after college, you’ve held onto at least one friend whom you can count on come hell or high water – and a few more you can call up to keep you company when you’re bored.
6. You’ve learned to say ‘no’ to what you don’t want in your life. You’ve stopped going along with things just for the hell of them. You’ve learned to set boundaries and turn down the opportunities that won’t benefit you.
7. You’ve learned to say ‘yes’ to what you do want. You aren’t stuck in a cycle of denying yourself happiness because you feel like you aren’t ready for it. When love, joy or success knocks on your door, you open it and invite them in to stay.
8. You can afford a place to live. Even if you still have three roommates and don’t live in the borough that you’d rather live in – you have a place to come home to every night.
9. You can occasionally splurge on a night out or even a weekend trip. You may not be financially set to quit your job and travel the world, but you CAN get away for a day or weekend trip every now and then, to break up the monotony.
10. You have at least one person you can count on in an emergency. Even if that person lives far away or happens to be your mom, you know you won’t be left high and dry if you’re ever really in trouble.
11. At least one person thinks of you as someone they can count on in an emergency. Your best friend, roommate or coworker knows that they can count on you when they’re in a bind. Because you’ve proven yourself to be someone who’s worthy of that trust.
12. Someone disagrees with you on something important. You’ve learned to stand up for what you believe in in life – which might mean that you’ve accumulated a couple of naysayers. But you’re not about to back down to appease them.
13. You’ve gotten over at least one major issue that you thought you’d never surmount. Remember that slump, breakup or job loss that you thought you’d never get through? Look at you now – still living and stuff!
14. You have the means to do something nice for a loved one now and then. You have the means to go out of your way for the people you care about when they need you – whether that means sparing $2 to pick someone up a coffee on the way to work, or being able to take a few days off work to be around for a loved one who’s going through a tough time.
15. You don’t freak out the moment things take a turn for the worse. You know that life is cyclical and that you’re not going to be happy 100% of the time. So when something goes wrong, you don’t panic. You just brace yourself to work through the tough times and inevitably make it through to the other side.
16. There’s at least one part of your past that you still miss a little. You’ve had a lot of experiences that matter to you in life – and some of them you may still miss a little. But that doesn’t mean you’d want to go back, necessarily – it just means you have a healthy appreciation for where you’ve been.
17. You’re concerned about what’s coming next. You know that if you want a good future, you’re going to have to create it – and you’re consciously working on doing so, every day.
18. You know what you need in order to take care of your body. You understand how much sleep, physical activity and food you need in order to feel at home inside your own body. Even if you aren’t always perfect, you’re aware of what your body needs to stay healthy.
19. You know what you need in order to take care of your mind. You understand what kind of stimulation your mind needs in order to stay healthy and focused. More importantly, you realize that your mind needs to be monitored and maintained just as much as your body does.
20. You’ve survived at least one massive failure. You’ve fallen flat on your face in the past, and it didn’t kill you. You got through it, and you know that if you have to, you’ll get through it again.
21. You have spare time to relax every now and then. You can spend the odd night kicking back with Netflix or hanging out with friends. Your life isn’t so jam-packed with obligations that you never have time to do nothing.
22. You’re unsatisfied with at least some aspect of your life. You know that you still have untapped potential within you – and you’re able to recognize the areas in which you’re not doing as well as you could be doing.
23. You can think of at least three things that would make your younger self really proud of the person you are today. Your younger self may not approve of ALL of the choices you’ve made, but they’d definitely approve of many of them. And hey, it’s not like you’d approve of all your younger self’s choices either – so it works both ways.
24. You’re motivated to improve yourself. You don’t need others to kick your ass into gear when something goes wrong for you – you’re aware when a change needs to be made, and you’re motivated to make it for yourself.
25. You’re aware of the ways in which you still need to grow. You know that you don’t have it all figured out at 25 – and that’s okay! If you had it all right now, the rest of your life would be boring. You have goals in mind moving forward, and you’re excited for whatever comes next.