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Adulting Checklist: 35 Things That Mean You’re a Real Adult

So you’ve finally moved out on your own (hopefully) and you’re well on your way to becoming an official adult. But that doesn’t mean everything is automatically going to fall into place. There is a lot of learning and growing still ahead of you. Here is a list of 35 things that mean you’re a real adult:

35 things to knock off your adulting checklist

Woman holding a growing plan - cover image for adulting checklist post

1. Renting an apartment

This is generally the first step towards independence for most people. It’s a big milestone that signals you’re ready to take on the world solo. Whether you’re living alone or with a roommate, it still counts.

2. Furnishing your own place

Now that you’ve got a place to call your own, it’s time to make it feel like home. That means filling it with furniture, appliances, and other home essentials. Even if you’re on a tight budget, there are plenty of ways to make your space feel cozy and inviting.

3. Making your student loan payments

It might take a while to pay off all of your loans but it’s the process that counts, right? Every month, you’re one step closer to being debt-free and a real adult.

4. Owning a pet

Getting a dog, cat or other pet isn’t the right move for everyone, but if you’re ready for the responsibility, it’s a great way to show that you’re an adult. Plus, pets can provide companionship, love and endless entertainment.

5. Going on vacation without your parents

This is a big one. Whether you’re taking a road trip with friends or flying to an exotic destination, it’s proof that you can handle travel independently. Plus, it’s always more fun to explore new places with friends.

6. Investing in a 401k

A 401k is a great way to save for retirement and they’re only available to adults. If you’re not sure how to get started, there are plenty of resources available to help you out.

7. Saving up for a rainy day

No one knows what the future holds, so it’s important to have some savings set aside for tough times. Whether you’re saving for a down payment on a house or just setting aside some extra cash, it’s a good idea to have a nest egg.

8. Having a will

No one likes to think about their own death, but and important part of the adulting checklist is having one in place just in case. This document will dictate what happens to your assets and things when you’re gone, so it’s worth taking the time to create one.

9. Getting your first credit card

A credit card is a great way to build your credit and establish yourself as an adult. Just be sure to use it responsibly and pay off your balance every month.

10. Filing your taxes

This is another one of those things that adults have to do. It can be confusing to file your taxes, but there are affordable professionals out there that can help you out.

11. Learning how to cook

Cooking is a useful skill, whether you’re feeding yourself or a group of friends. You can also save money when you buy groceries and cook instead of eating out or ordering delivery.

12. Doing your own laundry

Washing your clothes might not seem like a big deal, but it’s one of those things that you have to do as an adult. Luckily, it’s not too difficult once you get the hang of it.

13. Keeping your car maintained

Owning a car means having to keep up with maintenance. It means oil changes, tune-ups, and other repairs as needed. It’s not necessarily fun, but it’s the adult choice!

14. Managing your finances

This is a big one. You have to keep track of your income, debts, expenses, and savings. It’s not always easy, but it’s important to stay on top of your finances as an adult.

15. Registering to vote

As an adult, you have the right to vote. This is your chance to make your voice heard and have a say in the decisions that affect your life. Be sure to register so you can make your voice count.

16. Getting a passport

A passport is required for international travel, so if you’re planning a trip abroad, you’ll need to get one. They’re not difficult to get, but you’ll need to plan ahead and allow yourself enough time to get it.

17. Having a job you love (or at least don’t hate)

It’s not always easy to find a job you love, but it’s definitely worth it if you can. Having a job you enjoy can make a big difference in your life and help you feel more like an adult.

18. Making new friends as an adult

Making friends as and adult is hard. But it’s worth it to put yourself out there and find people you connect with. Whether you join a club, take a class, or just go out and meet people, it’s a great to expand your social circle.

19. Finding a mentor

A mentor is someone who can offer guidance, advice, and support. They can help you navigate your way through adulthood and provide valuable insight into the world. If you can find a mentor, it’s a great way to help you grow and learn as an adult.

20. Learning how to say no

Adults have to make tough choices and sometimes that means saying no. Whether you’re saying no to a project at work or saying no to going out with friends, it’s important to learn how to say no. It’s not always easy, but it’s a necessary skill to have as an adult.

21. Networking

Networking is a great way to meet new people, learn about new opportunities, and expand your professional network. Add it to your adulting checklist. I know it can be daunting, but it’s a valuable skill to have as an adult.

22. Being comfortable with who you are

This is something that takes time and doesn’t always come easy. But it’s important to be comfortable with who you are as an adult. You’re not going to please everyone, and that’s okay. Be true to yourself and accept yourself for who you are.

23. Taking care of your mental health

Mental health is just as important as physical health. As an adult, it’s important to take care of your mental health. This means getting help if you need it and taking care of yourself both physically and mentally.

24. Learning how to manage stress

Stress is a part of life, but it doesn’t have to control you. As an adult, it’s important to learn how to manage it. This means taking care of yourself both physically and mentally. There are many ways to do this, so find what works best for you and stick with it.

25. Accepting that life isn’t always fair

This can be a hard one, but it’s important to accept that life isn’t always fair. You’re not always going to get what you want, and that’s okay. What’s important is how you handle it. Be resilient and don’t let the setbacks keep you down.

26. Being okay with failure

Failure is a part of life and it’s important to be okay with it. You’re not going to be successful at everything you do, and that’s okay. What’s important is that you learn from your failures and use them to make you stronger. Make sure this is on your adulting checklist!

27. Exercising regularly

Exercise is important for both physical and mental health. As an adult, it’s important to make exercise a part of your regular routine.

28. Staying up-to-date on current events

It seems silly but it’s important. As an adult, you need to know what’s going on in the world around you. This means knowing what’s going on in the world and being informed about current events.

29. Reading books for fun

Books are not just for school. They’re for fun too! As an adult, it’s important to make time to read books for pleasure. It’s a great way to relax and unplug from the world.

30. Continuing to learn and grow

Just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean you’re done learning. It’s important to continue to learn and grow throughout your life. This means trying new things, taking risks, and expanding your horizons.

31. Seeing a therapist

This is a great way to deal with stress, anxiety, and other mental health issues. As an adult, it’s important to seek help when you need it. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help when you need it.

32. Getting medical insurance

This is an important one. As an adult, you need to make sure you’re covered in case of an emergency. This means getting medical insurance and making sure you’re covered in case of an accident or illness.

33. Knowing your rights

As an adult, it’s important to know your rights. This means knowing your civil rights, your human rights, and your consumer rights. It’s important to be informed and know what you’re entitled to.

34. Taking care of your health

This means eating right, exercising, and getting regular check-ups. As an adult, it’s important to take care of your health. This means making sure you’re doing everything you can to stay healthy and avoid illness.

35. Planning for the future

This means setting goals and making a plan to achieve them. As an adult, it’s important to think about the future and make a plan for what you want to achieve. This means setting goals and working towards them.

Are you a true adult?

You don’t have to do ALL of these things to be a real adult, heck you don’t have to do many of them. But the more you can check off, the further into adulthood you are. There’s something freeing about not having to do what everyone else is doing and just being your own person.

So if you’re an adult who doesn’t fit into the traditional mold , that’s okay! You’re still a real adult. And if you’re still working on some of these things, that’s okay too! We all have to start somewhere.

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