25 Small Victories for Twenty-Something’s

For millennials, the traditional markers of what it means to be an “adult” are wildly different to the markers used by our parents.

You don’t need to be married to be an adult. You don’t need to own a house (but also you can’t own a house unless you win the lotto), and women don’t need to be mothers to consider themselves a grown-ass-wo-man. Our careers are changing, new industries to work in are emerging and a lot of us don’t make money “the old-fashioned way” (I still don’t know what to write under Occupation on arrival cards at the airport).

So how do we actually know if we’re an adult?

Surely it can’t be measured by a feeling because there are some adults- and I mean real deal adults that are like forty-five – who still claim to be a kid at heart.

If it can’t be measured by marriage, money or motherhood, I think we can probably use the following 25 small victories as a sign that we are heading in the right direction, even without the traditional road map.


Changing a tyre with no help (and no tears).

Using the word ‘alas’ in a sentence.

Not having an overdraft and realising that an ‘overdraft’ isn’t just a fancy word for free money.

Owning a credit card.

Moving out of home (for the last time).

Travelling by yourself.

Having a business card.

Separating your whites and colours in the wash (and not leaving a red sock in).

Being somebody’s “In Case Of Emergency” (even if you’re not sure what you would do in case of an actual emergency).

Successfully negotiating a pay rise (from an entry-level wage to an entry-level wage that pays the rent).

Coming out the other side of a bad breakup.

Owning a label maker.

Buying fancy hand wash for the bathroom.

Claiming your tax return and feeling wealthy for five minutes.


Following a recipe without substitutions.

Baking something from memory (breakfast food definitely counts).

Routinely making your bed.

Arriving on time to a dinner party.

Attending a dinner party.

Hosting a dinner party.

Not living off your parent’s welfare (90% of the time).

Donating money to charity.

Being a Maid of Honour or Best Man.

Switching from a mocha to a real coffee (90% of the time).