Most of the time, being aged 26, I feel like a child pretending to be an adult, trying not to get caught out. However, there are a few things that once they begin start to make you feel like a real grown up. Here's my top 3 of things that make you feel like an actual grown up. I've only included things I've so far experience, but I'm sure once I buy my first house or have a baby, those things would make it onto the list too.
1. Earing a salary
There's a real difference between earning as you work, and knowing you are receiving a salary. Having a set income every month helps you to make plans, but also feels very serious. When you're younger you tend to put in the hours knowing they mean extra money. As you grow older, although you earn a higher amount, extra hours don't make more pay. At that point it's up to you to decide how hard you work for that money. Staying an hour extra after work may mean you are more organised, but doesn't equate to more money. It's about having a different approach to work and taking responsibility for your own career. Saying that though, it's a shame that employers in the current work climate are almost expecting extra time from employees without financial rewards. Most people I know work harder than they would have done ten years ago in the same poistions but without a comparatively higher salary.
2. Being able to drive
There's nothing like hearing those two little words "You've passed!" after your driving test (although my examiner actually said "I'm going to give you a pass", which isn't quite as snappy). Being able to drive opens so many more doors for a person: being able to work in places that aren't on a bus route, visiting friends that live further afield. Being able to drive, and actually owning a car is one of those transitions that makes you feel more grown up and is actually really exciting. Can anyone say 'Road Trip?'.
3. Having bills to pay
I'm constantly being asked for money. Sky TV, rent, electricity, water, gas, car insurance. It's endless. Not being able to spend your money on clothes, new make-up and shoes is one of the things that has recently made me feel very grown up. Every time I feel like going clothes shopping, I remember all my money has gone on food, petrol, rent or house items. It's not a hugely bad things, but it does make me miss the times when I was so excited to buy a new outfit that I was sure would change my life and make me a whole new person. Now I do like getting a new item, but it tends to fit into my 'work-style', nothing too extreme.
I don't mean this to my a depressing post. Growning up is a fact of life. These are all things I've grown to accept, and my prioritys have changed since reaching my mid-twenties. I am spending a lot on a Psychology masters in order to redirect my career slightly. In terms of my priorites now, I would rather have more education that a great wardrobe of clothes. In some ways that's a shame, but once I'm doing the dream job I can update my wardrobe with 'flirty-thirty' outfits that make me feel classy and stylish. Either that or spend all my money on baby clothes and nappies. We'll see what my priorities become in my thirties!!