Ten underappreciated achievements that you should be proud of in your 20s

April 05, 2017
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We’ve all heard the conventional milestones that people expect you to tick off in your 20s – a HD average, a killer grad career and (puke) marriage and babies. But most of us twenty-somethings feel pretty far from any of those things (very very very far from the baby sitch). Instead, these are the small milestones that deserve celebration because hey, being an adult in your 20s is hard.

When you know your drinking limits (and stop before blacking out)

A massive applause to you! We’ve all experienced this night at least once, and yet many of us did not learn from that experience and continued to do it again and again. When you get to the point in your 20s where you know your limits and don’t get black-out drunk, you know you’re kicking goals.

Waking up without hitting the snooze button

I can’t say I’m quite there yet, but I envy anyone who has this particularly talent. When you’re a student, it’s easy to snooze your way through an entire morning lecture. The moment you become a morning person and no longer need to protest against your alarm – well, let me know how that goes.

Creating a budget and actually sticking to it

We're all guilty of saying “I’m on a budget”, only to throw it completely out the window with drinks on Friday and Saturday night. But if you can actually create a budget (in a spreadsheet no less) and know how much you should be spending per week, that’s a pretty big achievement. Say goodbye to povo student life and hello to thrifty student life.

When you’ve learnt to take care of your physical and mental wellbeing

You can’t spend your entire 20s ignoring exercise or the demons inside your head. Both your physical and mental health need to be looked after if you want to be a happy, functioning twenty-something. Making that decision is often a challenge, but 100 per cent worth it.

Going overseas for a purpose

Whether it’s for exchange, a gap year, a short-term study program or a solo trip to “find yourself”, it’s a real achievement to save for a trip that will help you grow as a person. Not just that, but planning an entire trip all by yourself without completely fucking up (minor fuckups accepted), that deserves a pat on the back. That’s not easy.

Handing in an assignment days before the deadline

This probably seems pretty impossible – which makes it all the more impressive if you actually start and complete an assignment well before the due date.

Having a well-stocked pantry

When you move out and start to cook something beyond microwave mac ‘n’ cheese, you’ll realise your cupboard is missing all the things you had at your disposal at your parents’ place. Over time, once you build up your cupboard with staples like sugar, spices and all kinds of flour, you’ll feel like a true adult.

Getting unconventional experience for your future career

Getting internships is great (and very much encouraged if you want to get a job). But in addition to getting that kind of experience, it’s important to think outside the box – are there competitions you can enter that will give you a different kind of challenge, or even an award to add to that CV? That’s an achievement you’ll want to brag about.

Appreciating something beautiful (without posting it to social media)

It’s a challenge, but totally doable guys. This could be anything – a beautiful view after a hike or even a particularly insta-worthy brunch. Whatever it is, appreciate that thing without the photo or the social media commentary. It’ll do wonders to your self-esteem when you’re not relying on how many likes you get to validate how great your day was.

Reading news that doesn’t come from your Facebook feed

Good for you! Since your FB feed is catered to your taste, you won’t be able to expand your knowledge about the world if you don’t read more widely. Read about opinions that are different to yours, even if they make you mad. It’ll make your opinions more balanced and informed.