1. Figuring out a budget that allows you to be entirely self-sufficient, and learning how to stick to it.
2. And being smart enough with your money that you can save a little bit each week, even if the amount feels incredibly small to you. Saving is still saving, no matter what the amount.
3. Learning how to meal-prep each week.
4. Or, if you’re not a good cook, at least figuring out some method that allows you to avoid ordering takeout or delivery for every single meal that you eat.
5. Refraining from putting yourself down – just to make other people feel more comfortable – any time someone gives you a compliment or any time you’re experiencing some sort of success.
6. Reaching a point in your life where – although you can still care your physical appearance – you’re more concerned with your integrity, your character, and the type of person you are.
7. Getting a raise, especially at a job that you were unsure you’d be good enough for.
8. Or being brave enough to ask for a raise, when you know you deserve it.
9. Getting to a point where you are comfortable with demanding respect from anyone you encounter.
10. And being willing to show that same respect to everyone you interact with, even people you don’t like. Because a lot of adulthood is dealing with people you don’t want to be around.
11. But also knowing when to (and being willing to) stand up for yourself if you’re being mistreated – by a friend, a family member, a stranger, a partner, or even a boss.
12. Applying to a job that feels way out of your league.
13. And not being afraid to move forward with an in-person interview or an actual offer if that’s the way it works out.
14. Learning that loving your body doesn’t always mean that you’re 100% confident about it. But rather, that you can look at it with forgiving eyes and understand that you can still be beautiful, regardless of the insecurities you have or the “flaws” you’ve been conditioned to feel ashamed about.
15. Becoming not only comfortable, but happy, with your own company.
16. And learning that being alone does not necessarily have to mean you are lonely.
17. Finally learning what you need to do in order to shut your brain up, when it’s trying to tell you that you’re not good enough for something.
18. Exploring your political beliefs and deciding for yourself what and who you want to support.
19. And being able to have educated discussions with people of differing political opinions, without immediately writing them off as stupid, foolish, or ignorant for having a opinion that is not the same as yours.
19. Learning how to enjoy alcohol without going on a college-level drinking bender every time you go out.
20. Understanding how to be genuinely happy for one of your siblings or friends when they experience a major success or life milestone, rather than feeling the instant need to panic and start focusing on your own inadequacies.
21. Learning how to check your privilege (if you come from any place of privilege whatsoever) and doing everything you can to learn more about it, rather than trying to defensively deny it.
22. And making a consistent, continual effort to provide help in any way you can to those who have to fight for the same privileges that you were automatically given.
23. Being able to apologize. And being able to do it the right way.
24. Learning how to say ‘no’ when you need to. If you’re trying to save money and you need to sit this group dinner out, if you’ve taken too much on at work and you need to tell your boss that you can’t add that project to your list, if you’re exhausted and need to have a night in instead of going out with your friends – understanding how to say ‘no’ without feeling guilty or anxious is one of the most important things you learn how to do in adulthood.
25. Making a conscious effort to stop judging others, especially when you’re doing it out of your own insecurities and unhappiness.
26. And using that spared energy to affect positive change in your life, by addressing any issues of your own that were attempting to disguise themselves behind your judgment.
27. Refusing to ever give up on your education, and knowing that there are all sorts of ways to keep learning and keep expanding your mind, even after you’re finished with school.
28. Being a good friend, even when someone isn’t currently being a good friend to you.
29. Saying ‘I love you’ to the people that matter most to you.
30. And, even more important than that, showing them that you love them.