Your early 20’s are a very mixed up time of your life. Back in my parents’ day this confusing time took place in your teenage years whereas now this seems to have extended that little bit further because of the changes to every day life. There are more options for young people. They are not expected to be out of the house and married at 21 like my mum and dad were (that thought quite frankly terrifies me, and terrified my mum when both my brother and myself reached 20/21).
Yes times were different and people will have their own views and opinions on which time is better. Personally I think the added choices for my generation is a great thing, however with it comes different pressures because it also makes those of us that do not have a clear cut plan of our future feel a little bit like we’re drowning at times. We see friends get engaged or buy a house or move abroad while we still live in our childhood bedroom saving money for our next holiday rather than our forever home.
With this comes my idea of the proud “adult” moments that we 20 something year olds should give ourselves a pat in the back for because it might just make you feel a little less helpless and a little bit more prepared for what your future may bring.
Saving money on your car insurance – in fact running a car in general! It’s easy to take for granted how much of an achievement this is after you have most likely been doing it since you were about 18. But in a time where our generation is allowed an extended childhood and adolescence thanks to our parents and also due to the external factors like the cost of living and ugh expectations for certain jobs we should count this as a definite adult achievement. Not only do I make sure I keep everyone safe while I drive, I also make sure it is filled with petrol and has regular MOT’s as well as up-to-date tax and insurance. I even managed to save myself around £70 on my insurance this year by making a phone call – something that seems to be a particularly difficult thing for young people now.
Booking a holiday – Yes even booking your lads holiday or girls weekend counts towards something adults do. Remember you are now responsible for your own passport and getting yourself to the airport on time for your flight. You are also then responsible for yourself while you are away on holiday unlike those family holidays from childhood where you just got taken on holiday and only ever had to worry about getting to that pool you saw early enough.
Making your own dinner – Ok this one I am stretching a bit but considering the amount of people my age I know that genuinely can’t manage to make themselves a meal I will count this as an achievement. No I don’t care if it is just getting things out a freezer and putting them in an oven because I know people that end up eating cereal for dinner because their partner is working late and can’t make dinner for them. I am by no means a chef but I can make myself pretty balanced meals that taste pretty good if I do say so myself.
Getting to work – Remember it was most likely your parents that got you up and ready for school, even when you were in your final years at high school. My mum certainly had to be my alarm clock. So if you are managing to get yourself up and ready for work and then find a way to get yourself there, whether it be by bus, bike, car or even walking then you are on the right path to actually being more of an adult than you think.
Your bills are paid – This is a particularly difficult one these days for people because it has become far too common for people to almost live in permanent debt. So if you have managed to pay all your bills on time and keep yourself away from payday loans or overdrafts etc then you are being a pretty successful adult.
You scheduled your own appointments – Does anyone else still hate having to phone the doctor or dentist? But as an adult you know these things are actually important so if you need to see a doctor you phone them. If you are managing these appointments yourself then be proud because that is what adults to, especially if you also manage to tell them what is wrong without emotional support from a parent.
Being in bed at a reasonable time – Remember the days when your parents sent you to bed and you just had to go. I wish I could still have that happen. Being an adult means taking responsibility for yourself and so trust me when I say if you are getting yourself to bed at a reasonable time rather than staying up till 2 in the morning when you have work the next day that means you are making a mature decision.
Your clothes are washed and ironed – Now I still live at home so my mum does the majority of this for me, however I know I am capable of doing it for myself. When my parents are on holiday I make sure my clothes are washed and ironed in time for me going to work etc. Also believe me when I say there are far too many 20 somethings that have no idea how to work a washing machine so if you are washing and ironing your clothes (even if it’s only when your parents are away) then you are more adult than a shocking number of individuals.
These are just a few things that I try to remind myself of whenever I feel like I am nowhere near where I should be at 24 going on 25. There are some people that have lived away from home from the age of 18 and have always been fiercely independent, while there are others that are still stuck in limbo by being independent but having to live with their parents. That is just how the world is right now but it doesn’t mean any of us are failing at being an adult. If we can feed ourselves get ourselves to work and make sure our bills are paid we are well on our way.