Adulthood doesn’t happen overnight, and you don’t get a certificate in the mail when you become a proper grown-up. If you’re wondering whether you can be considered a full-fledged adult, ask yourself if you’re exhibiting these key behaviors.
1. You’re confident in yourself.
You used to try to impress others and do what the “cool kids” were doing. You don’t care about that now, because you realize you’re awesome just the way you are. And trying to be someone you’re not is a tiring waste of time.
2. You value a few great friends over a million acquaintances.
Life used to be more of a popularity contest, but now you realize that friendship is about quality – not quantity. You have your tribe, and they’re awesome. They’re also all you need.
3. You don’t waste time dating the wrong people.
You were once a lot more forgiving when it came to relationships, but now you know how to spot a jerk. You realize they aren’t worth your time, and that every minute spent with them is keeping you from meeting “the one.” You won’t settle for anything less than what you deserve.
4. You think about the future.
It used to feel as though you had forever to think about the future. Now you realize the importance of planning and knowing what you want, because you’re not getting any younger. You set goals – career goals, family goals, retirement goals.
5. And you work towards those goals.
You do everything you can to achieve what you want to achieve. This means cutting down on meaningless spending and putting cash away for the future. And using your time productively, instead of watching Real Housewives marathons.
6. Drama is no longer interesting.
You realize that stirring up trouble is a pointless exercise. You’ve bid farewell to toxic people who spend their time trying to create problems for everyone else. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
7. Christmas money goes towards boring stuff.
Remember when you used to receive a crisp $20 bill from Grandma at Christmas? You probably went straight to the mall and blew it on something stupid. Those days are over. Any extra money that comes your way now goes to bills, credit card debt, or savings. Or towards buying something super practical, like shampoo or socks.
8. You value a good night’s sleep over all-night partying.
You used to be an expert at staying out until 5am, and hangovers were a foreign concept. Now you enjoy having a few drinks with friends and being in bed with Netflix at a sensible hour. And you most certainly know that hangovers are real.
9. Brunch is your favorite meal.
You realize the benefits of brunch. You get to sleep late, hang out with friends, get day-drunk, and be home by 4pm. It’s an amazing thing.
10. You tell it like it is.
If your friend is being stupid, you tell them. If your boss is piling an unfair amount of work on you, you tell them.
11. You pay more for quality food & ingredients.
Gone are the days of the $1 value menu at McDonald’s. You now realize the value of investing in good food and quality ingredients. You know that organic tomatoes cost a lot more, but you also know they taste so much better.
12. You love staying in.
Your home is your castle. It’s your space. You can do anything you want within those walls, and you love spending time there.
13. You know how to cook.
You may not be the next MasterChef, but you know how to make at least a few great dishes.
14. You enjoy learning (more than you ever did in school).
Skipping your college classes used to be something you did regularly, but now you regret taking your education for granted. You enjoy learning and enhancing your skills, because personal development is sexy.
15. You’re genuinely interested in domestic & global affairs.
You used to flip through the news channels without stopping, but now you actually care about what’s happening in your country and the rest of the world. Being ignorant isn’t cool, and you know that.
16. You understand politics & have an opinion.
You have a good grasp of the difference between political parties, and you know where you sit on the political spectrum. Words like “bipartisan” and “congressional hearing” make sense to you now.
17. You realize you aren’t invincible.
You used to do some really stupid, dangerous stuff. You thought you were untouchable, but now you realize how dumb you were. You think before you do things now, because you’d like to remain alive.
18. You know the value of quality clothes.
You leave “disposable fashion” to the teens. You no longer by a $5 sweater which you know will unravel the first time it’s washed. Instead, you buy quality clothes that will last you for years to come. This may mean a smaller wardrobe, but you’re okay with that.
19. You give back to the community .
Remember when community service was something you were forced to do after getting a speeding ticket or being caught with an open container? Now it’s something you’re happy to do, because you truly want to make your community a better place.
20. You understand what good coffee tastes like.
You no longer think the muddy water served at your local diner is “good coffee.” Your tastes have become more refined, and you know what you like. You may even grind your own beans.
21. You’re more picky about the alcohol you drink.
The mysterious blue alcohol concoction served in a test tube at the bar will no longer cut it. Neither will watery beer. You prefer craft brews, good wine, and custom-made cocktails.
22. You enjoy reading.
Reading is no longer a chore you associate with English class. Now it’s a way to appreciate good literature and get lost in a really good story. You may even take it to the next step and join a book club.
If you exhibit these behaviors, congratulations. You’re a grown-up. Go celebrate by doing something really sensible. But remember to be back home at a reasonable hour.