The first two decades of your life are like a free trial in which you blissfully (and ignorantly) glide from day to day while someone else foots the bill that you didn't even know existed.
Then one day, completely out of the blue, you're hit with a slew of subscription fees you can't opt out of, even if your account bounces.
Welcome to your 20s.
It's a trying time (to say the very least) when you're awkwardly straddling childhood and adulthood, trying desperately to officially make the transition, but no one offers you a leg up.
What gives, you guys?
While there is no defining age or moment in life that officially classifies you an adult, there are a few traits that will make you feel like you're pretty damn close.
Here are four things you need to nail by your mid-20s:
1. Master a meal
While chicken pad thai is downright delicious and even necessary at times (aka when you stumble home at 3 am and need to commit some late-night carbocide), being at the mercy of pre-packaged food or takeaway is not only bad for your waistline but also for your wallet.
And FYI, on the other side of 25, your seemingly invincible metabolism will slow down so much that the mere smell of a Quarter Pounder is enough to pop the button right off your skinny jeans.
(Don't say I didn't warn you.)
You don't need to get all Jamie Oliver (though his 15-minute meals are a good place to start), but having a few basic recipes under your belt, even if it's just a good old spaghetti Bolognese, is an obligatory adult skill.
Nothing will make the lad or lady you're trying to impress swoon more than a good meal.
2. Know your limits when it comes to alcohol
If Champagne makes you throw up, then don't binge drink it at a wedding on an empty stomach.
If rum makes you cry, then for the love of Long Island iced tea, leave it alone
. Hangovers in your late teens are like unicorns: beautiful and mythical.
But by the time you hit 25, the fairytale is over.
From there on out, you need three days, two boxes of Advil and a lobotomy to recover from one night out.
Knowing your limits and what agrees with you will stop you from being the tragedy that turns from tipsy to train wreck and puts a damper on everyone's night (including your own).
3. Sort your finances
Managing your finances is hard, but do you know what's even harder? Living in debt.
When you bust a tire or get slapped with an unexpected bill, don't bury your head in the sand.
Skipping out or defaulting on a loan or credit card payment isn't the same as missing a curfew.
Instead of facing your dad, it's Derek from the debt collection agency you have to deal with, and those sad puppy dog eyes that work on Daddy every time will be as useless as the G in lasagne.
Create a realistic budget that covers the cost of your car, rent, bills, groceries, savings and loan repayments, and don't live beyond your means.
If numbers aren't your jam, there are plenty of apps out there that do the hard work for you.
4. Perform basic repairs
This includes but is not limited to changing a light bulb, assembling Ikea furniture, sewing a button back on, checking your oil, changing a tyre and hanging a picture.
While admittedly you can hire help to perform each of these menial tasks, there's no greater feeling of accomplishment than being a self-sufficient, independent woman who knows how to get shit done.