If you feel like all you see on social media these days are engagements, babies, marriages, and new jobs, you’re not alone. Thanks to the scary-smart algorithms of our favorite social media sites, friends’ life events that get a lot of “Likes” float to the top of our Newsfeeds. Which isn’t totally fair.
Don’t get me wrong; those are amazing milestones that are 100-percent worth celebrating. The only problem is when it makes us feel like we need a ring on our finger or a plus sign on a plastic stick to earn a “Congrats!” Truth is, there are plenty of awesome life accomplishments that deserve double-taps and heart-eye emojis too. Let’s take a look at 14 things you may be working on—or have already achieved—that totally justify a toast, celebration, or just really good vibes.
1. Moving Into Your First Solo Apartment
Leaving behind your days and nights spent with a roommate (or three) can be weird, sad, and eerily quiet. But nothing replaces the amazing feeling of independence that comes with your own place—or the realization that you’re free to pee in the middle of the night and not flush until morning. Sometimes it can get lonely, but taking the plunge and moving into a space to call your own is an accomplishment that’s highly underrated.
2. Achieving a Fitness Goal
Whether you just completed a half-marathon or your first mile, hell yeah, that’s awesome! Plus, for me, crossing the line of my first half was an accomplishment that encouraged me to strive for other things in life that I never would’ve thought I could do. And you don’t have to cover 13.1 (let alone 26.2) miles for it to matter—literally every step counts. (Ready to run a 5K? Here’s how to run your best 5K ever.)
3. Paying Off Your Credit Cards Every Month
Didn’t know this was a thing? OK, first, you’ll want to review the seven things you should know about money in your 20s. Then, start saving and spending wisely enough so that you’re able to pay off your monthly balance in full. Nice! Already checked that off—and you’re contributing to a 401(k)? Congrats, you’ve hit the personal finance jackpot!
4. Doing Something That Scares You
Karaoke. Kickboxing. Starting a blog. Saying yes to that first date. Just taking the leap into whatever it is that seemed so scary or even impossible is an impressive move. And it probably won’t be as bad as you feared. In fact, putting yourself out there will probably feel far more exhilarating than intimidating—and it could turn out to be the best thing you’ve ever done.
5. Hosting Your First Sit-Down Dinner Party
Even if it’s for four people, it counts. Extra points if you used real wine glasses, not Solo cups. You made a cheese board? You’ve knocked it out of the park. If you’re not quite a fromage expert yet, here’s some pro advice on how to throw a killer dinner party without stressing out. Bon appetit!
6. Staying Off Social Media—Sans FOMO
OMG, we spend a lot of time on our phones. (More than three hours per day, according to one report.) I swear, I enter some weird time-sucking, physics-defying vortex when I’m lying in bed scrolling through Instagram. So you deserve a serious high-five if you’ve set your phone to airplane mode or turned it off for a weekend, or even a few hours. (We know, it’s really freaking hard, so here are 31 resources to help you unplug and relax.)
7. Having a Hard Conversation With a Family Member
Ugh, this is the worst. Maybe you’re worried about someone’s health or you need to address someone’s insensitive comments at the holiday dinner table. Either way, taking the time to honestly communicate how you feel to a family member—especially one who’s older than you—takes balls. And regardless of the turnout, know you’ve taken a big step.
8. Walking Away from a Bad Relationship
It’s not easy to break up with someone—let alone accept the fact someone broke up with you. But bucking up and walking away with your head held high is a huge deal, and it’s something that not everyone has the guts to do. Be proud of yourself—and stay proud.
9. Making a Great New Friend
Let’s be real. It’s hard AF to create lasting friendships in your 20s and 30s, especially when you move to a new city or start a new job. So when you bond with a new person you can text to hang out with on the reg, that’s major cause for celebration. Need a hand? Here are some brilliant tips for making friends in a new city.
10. Getting a Raise
We all hit the Like button when someone announces a new job or a promotion, but an increase in your income is a huge deal as well, even if it doesn’t warrant a LinkedIn update. This is probably one you’ll want to share with only your closest confidants, but at the very least, pour yourself a well-earned drink and bask in that “eff-yeah” feeling of accomplishment.
11. Handling a Layoff Like a Boss
There’s not getting around this: Losing your job sucks. Like really, really sucks. But if you can get through those first few days of utter misery and then get back out on the interview circuit, you’ll be stronger than ever in the end, and it may even turn into an unexpected positive. Here’s how one of our writers bounced back after getting let go.
12. Saying No to a Draining Obligation (or Friend)
Not saying you should become a hermit, but becoming a mature person means learning how to take some time off for yourself. From an ultimate frisbee league to a monthly dinner date with a negative friend, turning down something you’re not looking forward to (or even dreading) is a bold, brave move. Struggling to voice those two little letters? Here’s some advice for turning anything down, nicely.
13. Taking a Solo Trip
It doesn’t have to be an epic adventure around the world. Simply booking a flight to that cool city a couple states away—or just driving a few hours to the coast—can be a super-rewarding way to learn more about a new place and most importantly, yourself. In a world of filled with honeymoon pics and wedding hashtags, it’s a really cool thing to #treatyoself to a few well-deserved days away.
14. Saying I’m Sorry
Yes, there are plenty of times you don’t actually have to apologize—like if you ask a question in a meeting or take a couple hours to respond to a text, for example. But asking for forgiveness when you’ve done something wrong (or giving it to someone who’s wronged you) is a huge, difficult step to take in any sort of relationship—with a friend, relative, or S.O. If you’ve had the guts to do apologize (sincerely) for something you messed up, we salute you.