1. You’re not happy all the time.
You are not living a happy-go-lucky lifestyle. Sometimes you’re overwhelmed with joy, and sometimes you have a really bad day or week or month. You are living a normal, realistic life. You understand that it’s okay not to be happy every second of every day.
2. You feel uncomfortable a lot.
You’re out of your comfort zone a lot of the time. And though it may be difficult, it means you’re forcing yourself to grow and branch out and try new things. People rarely find success in their own backyards. They find it from being willing to be uneasy and scared and that’s exactly what you’re doing – you’re allowing yourself to be uncomfortable.
3. You find yourself thinking about the future and how “this will all pay off.”
Your mind is not just focused on having fun in the present. Instead, you’ve realized that if you want things to pay off later on, you have to put the work in now.
4. You’re more concerned with how you feel as opposed to how you look.
Looks probably still matter to you a little bit, but for the most part, you’re much more focused on finding things and people that make you happy and content. You don’t bother with shallow-minded people anymore because, as
Eleanor Roosevelt Joseph from The Princess Diaries said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.”
5. Rejection is no longer something you’re afraid of.
It’s uncomfortable, you don’t like it, and you’ll do anything you can to avoid it. But you do know how to deal with it, and you refuse to allow it to paralyze you. You’ve done enough and tried enough new things to be exposed to rejection, which has actually only helped you in the long run when it comes to becoming the person you want to be.
6. When you want to go somewhere or do something or buy something, you’re not running to your parents.
You understand that your parents are still there for advice and support and guidance, but you also know that you’re an adult now, and if you want something badly enough, you’ll figure out a way to make it work on your own.
6. You have a realistic view of success, and you understand that it takes time and effort.
The people who think success is instant are usually the least successful people out there. You realize that the reason that not everyone is successful is because not everyone is willing to be on the not-so-glamorous side of success in the beginning.
7. Your relationships are based around who adds texture to your life, as opposed to who you think you should surround yourself with.
You don’t have time for social hierarchies and friendship politics anymore. You’re an adult now, and your free time is a lot more limited, so at this point in your life, you spend your time with the people that make you happy, and cut the cord with people who bring you down.
8. Your idea of fun is different now than it was in college.
Going out and socializing is still fun, and having a sloppy night every once in a while can be funny. But for the most part, you have a much better time when you get to actually talk to people and have interesting and enlightening conversations, as opposed to trying to shout over the music to a stranger in a loud, sweaty dance club.
9. You’re doing things that you don’t want to do, because you know they’re necessary.
You don’t enjoy waking up at the crack of dawn, crawling out of your warm bed, and spending nine to ten hours a day (or more) working, but you do it anyways, because you know it’s important to support yourself and use your talents in one way or another. Maybe you’re putting a lot of energy into exercising or eating healthy or practicing your passion – whatever it is, even though it’s difficult, you understand that hard work is necessary if you want to have some control of the direction your life goes in.
10. You still struggle with insecurity and uncertainty.
You’re not perfect, and there are still plenty of days where you feel like you’re not quite yourself. You have to work through feelings of inadequacy and self-doubt, but you know it’s worst it because you’re putting yourself in situations that challenge you and force you to grow and become a better version of yourself.
11. It’s hard for you to feel bad for people who aren’t doing anything to help themselves.
Everyone has obstacles they have to face, and you understand that even though you’ve gone through struggles and hard work, there have also been a lot of people have helped you to get to where you are today. But at the same time, if someone has been consistently offered help or guidance or assistance and they keep turning it down out of laziness or fear or a lack of ambition, you have a hard time feeling bad.
12. You know when to ask for help, and when to suck it up and figure it out yourself.
Everybody needs help sometimes, even the most put-together of people. You know that even though you’re an independent adult now, it’s okay to let people know when you need a little bit of help or support or encouragement. However, you also know that sometimes, you just have to put on a brave face and get through certain things on your own.
13. You’re not making a ton of money, but you have enough.
You don’t have to question every purchase you make at the grocery store, but you also can’t afford to go to brunch every single weekend afternoon with your friends. You’re living a comfortable lifestyle while simultaneously learning how to appreciate the value of a dollar.
14. You don’t necessarily have a million friends anymore.
You’re beginning to realize that it’s impossible to maintain friendships as easily and as fervently as you did in college. You’ve got a lot more going on now, and your friends are spread out all over the place. You’re beginning to see that it’s natural for some friendships to cordially fade away, and some to get stronger. At this point, it’s more important for you to have a few solid, dependable, loyal, genuine friends than it is to have dozens and dozens of acquaintances.
15. Your way of looking at the world is frequently changing.
Maybe your general outlook has stayed the same, maybe not. But either way, your mind has been open for quite some time now and you love allowing new ideas to move through you.