‘Have I grown up yet?’: 17 things to tick off before I’m 29

As children, we put this idea into our head that anyone over the age of about 18, or even 21, is a ‘grown up’. Well, yep…ish – at 18, you can legally drink in the UK, place a bet at a betting shop, and even get a tattoo; and at 21, you can even supervise someone learning to drive (given you’ve had your license for 3+ years)…

But I’m 20 now, and still go for Happy Meals at McDonalds…

 

Is there an upper and lower age limit to being a grown up?

In 77 days, I’ll be turning 21. I had never really given ‘growing up’ much thought, and in many ways, I think the majority of us put growing up right up alongside the idea of finishing school (and then university) – which considering that I now want to do a Masters/PhD, might be for a while now…

That moment when you don't have the correct candles for the cake…#brunch #batman

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Well, what can you do at the age of 21? – Well, adopt…

A few days ago, I found out that at 21 (aka, the age most people graduate in the UK), one can actually adopt a child (…and before anyone says anything further – no, I am not currently planning on doing so for MY 21st birthday).

I’ve met my fair share of 21 year olds. I went on a semester abroad; I lived off-campus; and I’m in my second non-consecutive year of living back on campus. We all know that when exams approach and when deadlines stress us all out we inevitably just run back home into the arms of our parents. We eat ALL the food from our our family fridge; we phone our parents all the time at work…all-in-all, they are basically our rock.

 

And stereotypically, students, like myself, just seem like a bit of a mess all the time. But knowing that out there, there are 21 year olds who are actually financially and mentally ready to adopt a child, has made me determined to make the most out of what I have right now, and venture into all the opportunities that I can grab hold of before it’s too late.

And now, I’m finally ready to add to my bucket list! Let’s go!

 

1.  TO BE DECISIVE

I love being spontaneous. I can quickly adapt to last minute plans, and I can actually thrive in chaos believe it or not. But I love being organised and love to plan ahead.

Unfortunately, we can’t really predict what is going to happen in the future. We say we want to do one job in so many number of years, but then will the company still be there? Well, hopefully – but we can’t know for definite.

At 29, let’s hope I’ll have decided my career path, and be on track to earning some dolla.

 

2. HAVE A POSITIVE NET WORTH…

Such pretty views at the Gardens! #London #hornimangardens #park #family

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Just because you want to go travelling, it doesn’t mean you have to spend all your life savings on it, enter overdraft and be broke. Having spoken to many people who have already graduated, one thing they regret most is not having saved ‘enough’.

Student Finance is definitely not everyone’s best friend at the moment. But I had the luxury of choosing to go to Keele for my UG studies, where living costs aren’t as heavy and as painful as maybe living in London could be.

With the money from SFE and summer work, I calculated that I could spend up to £150 a week (about £70 after rent). But surely it doesn’t mean I have to starve myself to save up, and it definitely doesn’t mean I have to spend £69.99 of it either!

Compromising might have to be the key here…

 

3. OWN A HOME!

WOAH WOAH WOAH.  Yep. I’ve gone there. A lot of people, young couples even more so nowadays, rent their homes from people because house prices are ridiculous right now.

Such a beautiful day outside #sun #clouds #studying

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By 29, I want to own a house. Strictly speaking, I don’t even need to be living in this house. If the opportunity comes by and I can afford to buy a place of my own, I’d love to be able to rent it out to others until I’m ready to settle down myself. It’d work money-wise right?

 

4. RUN OUT OF INK…

Another one of my ‘what is Nat on’ random moments… Whenever I’ve bought a pack of biro pens, they generally go missing after a day or two. Yep. Friends out there…I know you’ve taken a few off of me.

Even when I’m at lectures, going to meetings or just at the office, my pens just disappear into the unknown…

Goal before I graduate? Actually finish using a pen from its birth from the packet, until it runs out of ink.

 

5. MAKE A MARK ~ X

Our parents always compare us to other kids out there (sadly it’s true whether you want to admit it or not). ‘X and Y just got hired by Z, and is earning ££… K just won the HJKL award for being the best XJKLDJ’…

And when you compare normal people (like myself), to celebs…it just gets weirder.

Obviously everyone has a purpose and everyone can achieve anything they want in life. I still need to find a hobby – something that I excel at even more than anything else…- and I want to use this as a chance to be the one who makes a difference and now I have just under 9 years to do so!

A lot of people put their achievements in the headline of their Linkedin profile…what will mine be at 29?

 

6. BE RESPONSIBLE FOR A LIVING BEING (THAT ISN’T MYSELF)

You’re probably thinking… ‘Oh gosh…’

 

Everyone who knows me really well, knows that I love the idea of having children – and the idea of having cute little family outings. I may, or may not, end up living the stereotypical ‘Desperate Housewives’ life that everyone who watches US television dreams of… But if at the age of 29, I end up getting a cute Canadian golden retriever? Well, it’ll be good enough for me!

 

7. TRAVEL A THOUSAND MILES FURTHER

Had such a fun weekend in #Copenhagen! #winterbreak #2016 #snow

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From studying abroad, I learned that you can never really get bored of travelling. Inevitably you will miss your family – but travelling doesn’t mean running away from home! Over the summer, I worked hard to get some extra dosh in my pocket before I graduate – but I missed out on the holidays I could have taken!

Sure I went on study abroad and spent $$$, but sometimes holidays can be good for you to find yourself again. [Will there be a Bhutan 2017 trip?!]

 

8. ATTEND A BLACK TIE GALA

Absolutely loved dressing up for the KCSS Summer Ball last year…surely Black Tie Gala’s are even more awesome?!

Most people go with their ‘other half’, so let’s put that idea into this goal too…

#chemball #dress #secondyear #keele #uni

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#pleaseinviteme #GetNatToGala2025

 

9. TO HAVE INVESTED IN SOMETHING (and gained something or another)

I want to be able to call the shots, and invest in something that’d actually make a pretty good return. Personal Capital do wealth management too…

 

10. BE ELECTED INTO A POSITION OF RESPONSIBILITY

I’ve always wanted to join a committee of some sort (always imagined it’d be the PTA or something) – but why not start with my final year at university?

I’ll most definitely be busy, but when I’m not busy I’m bored – so why not?!

#finalyear #keele #uvicalumna #latenightruns

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11. ACTUALLY WIN A GAME OF BOWLING

I always say ‘fight me’ to my bowling buddies, but I’m not even 5ft 4.

Let’s put it this way: weight of bowling ball > weight of my head. Moving on…

 

12. GET A DRIVING LICENSE

Everyone I know has a license. For parental-rebelling purposes, I never got a license nor do I intend to until dearest daddy bear retires!

But hey, I’m going to need a license to drive my little mini-me’s around in our minivan right?!

 

13. ‘ALWAYS THE BRIDESMAID AND NEVER THE BRIDE’ MOMENT

I’m not sure I suit a white dress, but I’m TOTALLY willing to be a bridesmaid 27 times if it means I get 27 oddly-shaped dresses!

 

14. DESIGN A GARDEN

Random? Sure. Could be pretty awesome though…plus I’d have to try and keep all the plants alive all at once…this challenge might be harder than getting a graduate job.

 

15. Eat a Molecular Gastronomy Dinner

YEP. I had no idea what this was either… I found it on Instagram… I’m a Med Chem student – I’m curious! Stop judging!

 

16. HOST AN ANNUAL PARTY

It might sound shallow or #richkidproblems, but hey – I’m going to dish out a challenge to myself: plan, and host my own house party… good luck me.

 

17. TO HAVE AT LEAST A RETIREMENT PLAN

Last, and hopefully not least, I hope to retire with a worth that will enable me to enjoy EVERY last bit of my life.

Let’s come back to this post in 9 years time…then we can re-evaluate if I get to qualify as a grown up! HA!

 

Best,

Nat

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