At what age do you consider yourself an adult? When you finish school? When you have a job? When you have a mortgage? When you’re 18 or 21?
Nowadays, age is a relatively small indication of how mature and "grown up" we are in the world. While some 18-year-olds have already achieved worldwide domination, international business acumen, marriage and babies alike, there are also 30-year-olds who have yet to make some of the big steps that moving toward adulthood requires.
Perhaps being a grownup doesn't rely on our age, but rather, what we’ve done, what we’ve experienced and how we think. For any young women working to become sophisticated grownups, here are a few things you need to knock off your to-do list in order to get there:
1. Have A Daily Skincare Routine
It’s the only skin we’re ever going to have. As such, now is the time to start taking care of it. You can’t get away with sleeping in your mascara anymore (except for a Saturday night when bed and a late night burger is far more important than face wipes.)
It doesn’t have to be a lot, but taking off your makeup before you go to bed, investing in a skin cream and looking after those pores is what will keep you looking fresh faced during the stresses of adult life.
2. Invest In Professional Makeup
This goes well with the skincare routine. It doesn’t have to be from big, expensive beauty counters, but it’s time to ditch the free samples from your magazines and invest in something more suitable to your needs.
If you have time, visit a professional makeup desk in your local beauty store and ask to be made up in the best products. You'll learn what works within your budget and you’ll be surprised at what deals you can get when selecting a range of new products.
A lot of modern foundations have SPF protection in them (skincare bonus!), as well as colors that will work for both your sophisticated evenings out and in your cosmopolitan offices. Plus, shopping!!!
3. Proper Footwear
Unfortunately, you can’t keep wearing your Converses forever. Again, this isn’t a reason to throw out all your flats in favor of some funeral worthy court shoes, but realizing you cannot wear Uggs all months of the year is the first step toward accepting the feminine formal wear.
Make a trip to any formal footwear supplier to get some real leather boots or a pair of staple black heels upon which to rely for upcoming interviews or boring business meetings. They’ll go a lot further than those fake suede ballet pumps you’ve had since you were 16.
4. Visit A Professional Hairdresser
This goes along the same line as having a skincare routine. Your hair will only last so long, so treat it with as much love as you can. Along with your regular conditioners, treatment masks and repair oil, take time for yourself and book regular hairdresser appointments.
Not only is it a good idea to have a professional cut and give your hair a regular boost, it is a joyous bit of pampering, too.
Being waited on hand and foot, with the latest magazines and a cup of coffee, is just what you need for an hour or so while someone else brushes the impossible knots from your ends.
5. Make Regular Doctor Appointments
You’ve got a new pain here or an inappropriate itch there, and now, you don't have Mommy and Daddy to make regular appointments for you.
It’s time you make sure you make time to get these lumps and bumps checked out to keep that body in tip-top shape.
You’re not wasting anybody’s time, it won't take up your whole day and yes, you are allowed to take time off work for medical reasons.
Also, don’t forget to keep on top of breast cancer checks by regularly feeling your boobs for anything abnormal. You have a great pair — look after them!
6. Know Your Contraception
Come on ladies, we had this conversation at age 15. You’ve had the leaflets and the sexual clinic chats, so now it's time to know your contraception.
If you’re happy with condoms, great; be brave enough to walk into a shop and buy them with pride, rather than not-so-subtly hiding them under a magazine.
If you favor the pill, make sure you’re into your routine, and keep a reminder on your phone to make sure you don’t miss anything.
If you’ve thought about an IUD or taking contraceptive injections, make an appointment to get it sorted while we’re young enough to get all this stuff thrown at us.
You’re old enough to know better than to just rely on pulling out or relying on emergency contraceptives. You don’t want to become a parent before you’ve even made it to adulthood.
7. Accept Your Periods
Yes, we all hate them, yes they hurt and yes, they come at the world’s most awkward time. But, they’re going to happen every month for the couple decades, so if you haven’t accepted them by now, get on with it.
Have your hot water bottle and your emergency supply of chocolate on hand, a regular stock of tampons and resist the urge to sit and cry for the week about it. Be one of the women from the ads and keep enjoying life knowing you’re baby free.
8. Restrain Your Social Media
From now on, your social media will be the basis of your future jobs and future friendships. Please learn to stop whining across the Internet.
Keep your Twitter account private and stop complaining about your workmates on Facebook. Share some happy pictures and keep in contact with those you love, but know you’re not a teenager anymore, and you can’t get away with listing Candy Crush as a résumé skill.
9. Start Saving
Student debt, loans, credit cards — it’s all coming. As soon as you get your first paycheck, split it between your checking and savings accounts. It doesn’t have to be much, but if you save $200 a month, that’s $2,500 a year just in savings.
Every little bit helps towards building up a mortgage deposit, rent for your first apartment or any other exciting things you have planned.
Start building up a credit rating by financing new electronics or a car, or get set up with a mobile phone contract. By starting now, you’ll have more than a few years of history to help you sustain your busy and expensive adult life.
10. Discover What You Want To Do
It’s totally fine to have no idea about what you want to do in life. It’s also totally fine to be stuck in a gap job while you decide what you want to do in life, too. But, now is a good time to try and start forming an idea of what you want to do for a career.
Start investigating dream jobs, look at job applications and see what skills and experiences are required to get to where you want to be.
Read books about your chosen field, build up your LinkedIn contacts and start networking so that when you finally decide to make the leap into your dream job, you have the best foundation possible.