Posted On July 1, 2014 By In Girlzone, Lifestyle

45 Milestones Toward Becoming a True Adult


Ever since blowing eighteen candles out on a perfectly frosted cake, we’ve all been in the limbo that is emerging adulthood. We may proudly parade around calling ourselves “adults,” when really, we are still discovering what adulthood truly entails.

As we soon observe, being an adult means at heart, not in physicality. Sure, we may legally be over the age of eighteen and eligible to vote, but it takes a while for the mentality and maturity of to solidify firmly. These milestones of adulthood don’t all happen overnight.

Ultimately, being an adult doesn’t mean we’re already “grown up”—it means we’re consciously in the process of growing up.


  1. Doing your own laundry
  2. Cooking your first meal
  3. Writing your first check
  4. Paying your first month of rent
  5. Traveling by yourself for the first time
  6. Switching over from Natty Lite to wine
  7. Successfully wearing white for a day
  8. Wearing clothes you feel comfortable in, not ones you know are ill-fitted to your body
  9. Saying “yes” to food, ideas, and experiences you’ve never tried
  10. Saying “no” to another overpriced, unnecessary online purchase
  11. Putting that paycheck into the bank instead of spending it immediately
  12. Knowing when to put work over Netflix and YouTube
  13. Stop ignoring the chores, or the bill, or that work email in your inbox
  14. Stop checking social media every 5 minutes when you’re out with friends
  15. Stop sub-tweeting
  16. Holding back that insensitive remark or backhanded retort building inside your head
  17. Feeling comfortable sitting alone at the bar
  18. Feeling comfortable dancing solo on the dance floor
  19. Feeling comfortable being alone sometimes
  20. Deciding for a night to stay in instead of go out
  21. Taking care of yourself first when you’re down
  22. Taking care of a friend when he/she is down
  23. Knowing when the appropriate times are to put others first, or to put yourself first
  24. Cutting out the people in your life who make you feel too often unhappy
  25. Letting go of that grudge held since high school
  26. Quit calling that ex from two years ago when you’re intoxicated
  27. Quit talking about “accidentally” calling your ex when everyone knows it wasn’t an accident
  28. Breaking up with a toxic relationship
  29. Standing up for yourself and your beliefs
  30. Finally admitting you’re wrong when you know you are
  31. Apologizing and meaning it
  32. Not apologizing if you don’t mean it
  33. Stop speaking and acting superficially to please others
  34. Learning that you are the most important person to please at the end of the day
  35. Learning to speak and write about things you truly don’t have knowledge about (aka mastering the art of bullshitting)
  36. Learning that you don’t need to spend effort speaking and writing about things you don’t truly have knowledge about
  37. Learning that it’s okay not to know
  38. Stop demanding answers and start living in the questions
  39. Telling the truth
  40. Telling your parents “thank you”
  41. Telling yourself “I forgive you”
  42. Telling someone you love them, and meaning it—not only in romantic relationships, but for everyone in your life
  43. Failing—failing and falling hard
  44. Picking yourself up after the fall, and carrying on a better person
  45. Stop letting lists like this dictate what adulthood means. Stop letting another clueless emerging adult give you advice she knows not too much about herself.

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Karen hails from Boston, but she now hails to the University of Michigan, where she pursuing degrees in English and psychology (otherwise known as a career as a starving artist). Although she is still waiting on her Hogwarts acceptance letter, she aspires to be a writer or journalist. You can usually find her at the nearest Panera, discussing good films, good art, and perhaps the meaning of life.