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Post by Erica Gordon

The 10 Most Important Milestones For Millennials

Every millennial will experience a series of crucial milestones before they’ll reach their full potential in life. It’s these life experiences in our younger years that shape who we are, strengthen us, and allow us to ultimately become the best versions of ourselves. Each of these turning points in our lives will carry a significant role in our pursuit of happiness. Positive milestones can do this for us, but negative milestones are typically the ones that channel the most powerful impact. Here are 10 of the most important milestones millennials experience and why:

  1. Your first big solo adventure

Although it might be a scary thought that no one will be with you to stop you from eating that sketchy street-vendor’s germ-infested free samples, traveling solo for the first time is an extremely important milestone. You can’t be the best you until you’re comfortable in your own skin, happy being independent and literally in love with your alone time. You’ll say “table for one” more times than you’re comfortable with, and you’ll be hyper-aware of your forced independence, but there’s a ton of benefits to traveling solo. When you’re alone you can do everything you want to do and see everything you want to see without abiding by anyone else’s schedule, and you’ll be more engaged with your surroundings when nobody’s forcing you to take a selfie with them. Just saying.

  1. Hitting rock bottom

Hitting rock bottom is one of the most important milestones in your life (maybe even the most important) because it literally forces you to find different avenues to achieve fulfilment. This is the world rejecting you, swiping left to you and making you feel like shit. But some of the most remarkable achievements we make in life are the ones we accomplished after hitting rock bottom, because of our sudden determination to lift ourselves back up – and finally having the drive to do so. If we’re able to be resilient and turn the negativity in our lives into motivation to make a change, it’s a blessing in disguise to experience those all-time lows. You need those lows before you can really appreciate life’s highs.

  1. Figuring out what you’re gifted at

Discovering your gift and figuring out what you’re good at is a crucial milestone for every millennial. Once you realize where your unique skills lie, an infinite number of opportunities will open up for you. Life will pretty much start throwing you stacks. Seriously. You can now reach your full potential by maximizing your niche skill set and even start a side business utilizing your gift. For example, if you discover a talent for writing, you can start a blogging business, and if you discover a gift for interior design, you can start a side business in interior decorating. Perhaps your newfound talent could further you in your current career, too. All you have to do is find a creative way to show your boss that you’re a total boss, and you could land yourself an exciting title change or a promotion. Whatever your gift is, make sure you use it, nurture it and share it.

  1. Realizing your passion

Realizing what you’re truly passionate about is one of the most important milestones for achieving self-actualization. Sometimes, like a light bulb (or a slap in the face) it’s realized when we least expect it. Not only are others attracted to those with strong passions, but it’s also your passions that drive you in life and keep you going when the going gets tough. The problem is, sometimes we don’t know what our passion is. One of your best milestones will be the moment you realize what your passion is, and if you’re lucky, it will be within the same category as your gift. Once you discover this about yourself, you’ll be excited to wake up in the morning – and not just because Starbucks now has coconut milk.

  1. Losing a dream job

Perhaps you lost your dream job because you’re fired – or because you were never hired in the first place since another candidate had just a smidge more experience. Either way, losing a job that at the time seemed like your dream job can be really tough. You need to remind yourself that everything happens for a reason, even if at the time it feels like your life is over. You must be destined for bigger and better things, and that’s why the universe is pushing you in another direction. If there are any lessons you can learn from the experience, make sure to take them with you to your next job. Not only will you not make the same mistakes again, but you will use what you learned at the job you lost as a means to propel you forward. You learn what to do and what not to do, how not to piss your boss off, and most importantly how to be resilient in the face of a difficult situation and learn from it. The next thing you know, you’re being promoted or being offered your dream job elsewhere, which leads us to our next major milestone.

  1. Landing your dream job

The notable milestone of landing your dream job is a bigger deal than graduating and landing your first real job. When you land your dream job, it’s a high because you’ve had enough experience out in the field by this point to know what you’re passionate about, and you’ll be confident you’ve found the role you truly want. Whether you landed a promotion or you were offered a job several other candidates applied for, you should be poppin’ bottles like its NYE in Vegas because this is an incredible achievement.

  1. Losing the friendship of someone important to you

You’re never too old to throw a temper tantrum because you weren’t invited to a friend’s birthday party. In all seriousness though, sometimes friends grow apart, and yes that does mean that you might find yourself getting excluded from the invite list from time to time. But when it feels like you’re losing the friendship of someone close to you, consider this an important milestone in life to learn from. Take a step back and re-evaluate yourself and your character. Are you a good friend? Is there a reason why this person is no longer making an effort to maintain your friendship? Learning how to be a good friend is very important, and learning how to keep good friends is essential for a fulfilling life. It’s crucial to have friends who bring out the best in you, and as you get older you’ll simplify things by being more selective with who you give your time and energy to – and you’ll know which friends you truly care about keeping in your life.

  1. Experiencing unrequited love for the first time

When you’re a single millennial navigating the toxic and confusing dating scene, it seems that finding love is one of the most difficult pursuits of all. If after dating a series of deadbeats you finally date someone you really fall for, what happens if they don’t feel quite as strongly about you? A milestone many of us will experience is the pain of loving someone who doesn’t love us back. If this happens to you, it might cause you to take a good hard look at yourself as you ask yourself why wasn’t I good enough? Never question your worth, but instead focus on yourself for a while and use this rejection as motivation to better yourself.

  1. Surviving a major betrayal of trust

Millennials are constantly making new friends, meeting new people and dating around – and it’s not uncommon to trust the wrong person and get betrayed. Perhaps you invested in a friend’s business that turned out to be a scam, you were cheated on, robbed, or you were too naïve at the time to realize someone’s bad intentions. Getting burned is a good thing, though, because you’ve learned not to let your guard completely down so easily. And hey, one day you’ll laugh about that time you actually thought it was a good idea to invest in that doggy umbrella company.

  1. Falling in love

The magical feeling when you meet that special someone is worth the wait – even if it feels like it took forever to get there. You’ll kiss some pretty awful frogs along the way, but that bad taste in your mouth will be forgotten when you meet the right person. Timing is everything when it comes to falling in love, in the sense that love is the ultimate reward and it’s definitely worth the journey to get there. You need to be Mr. or Mrs. Right before you can meet Mr. or Mrs. Right, which is why you’ll likely need to experience most of these milestones and grow into the best version of you before you’ll find true love.

Erica Gordon is a Psychology Major who works in the dating industry and moonlights as a freelance writer and journalist. Check out more of her articles on her advice column for millennials The Babe Report or follow her on Instagram @the_babe_report for inspiration and advice.