When I was a teenager, I was always desperate to be rid of school and skip to the part in my life where I was an adult with a job, a partner and living on my own. I never liked being a teenager because I hated being out of control of my own life and it honestly felt like it was never going to end.

Fast forward a couple of years and I’m 23, I’m in a long-term relationship and in the process of buying a flat and I still don’t feel like an adult. I remember being at school, looking at 23-year-olds and thinking that they were so grown up and old. But, now I’m here, I don’t feel a day over 16.

Of course, there are some differences and I’m happy to be rid of the control of parents, teachers and other adults, but I often feel stuck in a limbo between child and adult — not an uncommon feeling, I’m told.

Anyway, 2018 was the year I decided to start taking steps to be more adult and after two short months, I feel like I’m getting into my groove and discovering what it means to me to be an adult. I would like to share those with you today.

Updating your wardrobe

No, it doesn’t take being an adult to spend your pay-packet on ASOS, but hear me out. When I was 17/18, I used to order clothes every other day and I had real personal style. Once I went to uni, I lost that style in favour of comfy leggings and oversized tops.

Ever since, I’ve felt like I still dress like a sixth former. I had old clothes that no longer fit me and no longer represented how I really wanted to dress. So, in a bid to feel like a badass, I stopped spending all of my money in McDonald’s (why the clothes didn’t fit me) and started replacing everything — from socks and bras to coats and jeans.

Getting rid of all of the clothes I no longer liked and filling my wardrobe with clothes that I feel confident in and aren’t littered with holes has had a massive impact on my headspace.

Pamper yourself

I’m not one for face masks, but there is something about having a bath and changing into cosy pyjamas that makes me feel so grown up. This might be second nature to you, but I’ve never made time for pampering. When I was a teenager, I  was too busy running around the place and never slowed down to take a breath.

Taking time out on a Sunday to look after myself is something I would have never thought of doing in my teens. Now I look forward to the last few hours of the weekend making sure I feel like a put together woman for the week ahead.

Look after your finances

Being reckless with my money is something I’d very much like to leave in my past. I’m pretty good at saving, but I sometimes dip into my other bank accounts when I just need those Harry Potter and The Cursed Child tickets.

Since deciding to buy a flat, I’ve been more conscious of what I’m spending my money on — mainly vanilla iced lattes and Sainsbury’s meal deals — and cutting the unnecessary purchases out (sorry EAT). I’ve also made a monthly budget and being honest with what I’m actually spending instead of only noting the top line stuff.

Your financial health is the second most important thing in your life to look after (after your actual health) and it can have the biggest consequences if you don’t. Getting familiar with budget tools such as Spendee or even making your own spreadsheet makes a massive difference to how far your money goes.

Going to bed at a reasonable hour

Yawn, I know. I used to live for Fridays, excited to stay up until 3 am after drinking a lot of alcohol and chatting shit for hours. The only downside — I was perpetually tired.

I’ve stopped being so desperate to stay up as late as possible and actually enjoy going to bed at 10 pm and waking up early, sans tiredness.

Making sure I get my 8-9 hours of sleep a night, even on the weekends, means that during the week my 7 am starts aren’t difficult and I can be productive in those hours I’m awake.

What do you do to feel like a grown up? Let me know in the comments or tweet me @amyjmcdonnell 🐦

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