1. You have a credit card.
There’s a big difference between a debit card and a credit card. With a credit card, you’re building credit, which is invaluable for your future. Though it might not feel like a huge thing, having a card that you pay off (partial or in full) is a great way to improve your adult life, as you think about making larger purchases or taking out loans.
2. You’ve lost touch, or distanced yourself from an unhealthy relationship.
As you mature, you realize that you don’t need to put up with people’s crap. You now know which relationships are healthy, productive, and valuable in your life. And the ones that aren’t, you give yourself space from.
3. You have your own bank account.
One that’s not attached to a parent/relative/significant other, but in your own name and that you’re totally responsible for.
4. You pay your bills on time.
Which means you set reminders to ensure each bill is sent before the due date, or, simply, you have enough funds in your account to offset the debits.
5. You understand (and maybe even use) auto-pay for an account or bill.
Which means you’re fully prepared each month to front the bill without having to worry—which, essentially means that you’re comfortable enough with your finances to go without checking every month to see how much money you have.
6. You are the sole decision-maker when it comes to groceries or odds and ends for yourself.
Instead of relying on someone else—family member, parent, significant other, etc.—you are the one who makes those decisions, who keeps track of needs, and who makes sure you’re prepared and taking care of yourself.
7. You belong to a gym/take workout classes/find ways to stay active.
You know the value of taking care of yourself, and so you’ve found time in the craziness of your schedule to workout/stay active.
8. You know how to prioritize your money.
Which may mean saying ‘no’ to a social event in order to save, or paying off all your loans/bills before spending your cash on fun things. (AKA: Needs > Wants.)
9. You don’t spend the entirety of your paycheck in the first week.
You actually take note of how much money you’re earning and don’t blow it all before paying bills, adding to savings, supplementing your emergency funds, etc.
10. You actually have a savings account (and actually put money in it).
You’re not just dumping your paycheck into an account linked to your debit/credit card. Instead, you’re putting money in a place where it can be saved, or even invested.
11. You’ve landed your first job, or at least have had a few productive interviews.
You’ve been actively searching from employment, and whether that’s manifested into your first full-time gig or you’re still looking, you’re taking active steps in the right direction. (And you’re walking into interviews prepared, confident, and excited.)
12. You use social media responsibly.
Which can mean anything from avoiding inappropriate posts, to using your accounts as advertisement or networking tools.
13. You don’t burn bridges when something doesn’t work out.
Whether it’s a relationship, a job, a connection, etc. you take careful steps in removing yourself. You don’t just up and quit when you’re frustrated, or cause a scene when something doesn’t go your way—instead, you act in a diplomatic, calm, collected manner, and you create a healthy separation from what you no longer want to be a part of.
14. You have a professional email address, and know how to send appropriate messages.
You’ve deleted the ‘firstname.lastname@example.org’ email address and subbed it for something that meets your employment standards and goals. Instead of talking in casual slang, or being lax in your messages, you speak professionally and know the difference between ‘social media speak’ and legitimate correspondence.
15. You aren’t afraid to say ‘no,’ if something doesn’t feel right.
Whether it’s ‘no’ to a night out before a big interview, ‘no’ to a date, ‘no’ to a third shot of whiskey, or ‘no’ to a career move that doesn’t match your goals, you’re able to articulate your wants and needs, and don’t feel guilty in going against the norm.
16. You have fallen in and out of love at least once.
Which shows that you’re learning what’s important to you, what you desire in a partner, and what you’re looking for in the future/long-term.
17. You have tried something new/done something you never thought you would.
From a job to something downright scary, you’ve experimented in order to find out what really matters to you, or what you really want.
18. You’ve purchased gifts for people who matter, and written ‘thank you’ notes or messages when you’ve received gifts.
Believe it or not, this is a sure sign of adulting—making a conscious effort to remember special dates for people in your life, gift-giving, and being humble and thankful when this courtesy is returned to you.
19. You’ve made new friends.
Which shows you are growing, changing, and surrounding yourself with people who fit your goals, desires, and future plans.
20. You’ve filtered your social media to be more professional.
AKA: You’ve deleted those ugly pix from middle school/partying days and have used your accounts to reflect who you are as an adult.
21. You check your bank statements at the end of every month to make sure there aren’t any fraudulent purchases.
Whether that’s a quick look-through, or an item-by-item, receipt-by-receipt check, you make sure that all the purchases you make are yours and that you’re not getting screwed or stolen from.
22. You’ve felt (and maybe even still feel) lost.
Because feeling lost is a part of growing, finding yourself, and learning who you are as an adult.
23. You’ve found a way to make money, even if it’s not the ‘ideal,’ or what you originally wanted.
Maybe you’ve settled for a crappy job to get experience. Maybe you’ve fallen into a different line of work just to make ends meet. Or maybe you’re just working somewhere for the interim. Whatever the reasoning, you’re still finding ways to make money, even if it’s not your ‘dream’ or ‘ideal.’
24. You’ve moved, relocated, changed your living space, or went away for a period of time.
You’ve defined your own home, left your past behind (even for a little bit) and carved your own path.
25. You have actual, tangible goals.
Goals that you can identify. Goals that you can actually see progress, or determine when you’ve reached them. Goals that push you to be a better version of yourself.
26. You have tried something you absolutely hated.
Because it was important to you to try rather than wonder ‘what if?’
27. You’ve failed.
Because every single failure helps you to see where you can improve, what’s important for you, and what you want to change for the future. Because failure is not a marker of unworthiness, but shows that you are a living, changing, breathing human who can and will figure this mess of life out.