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Youth and Young Adult Competency Quiz

Young adults playing volleyball

What are some of the tasks that indicate that one is evolving into a well-developed young adult? Through our experience over the past 30 years coupled with research about the developmental milestones one should master as they reach young adulthood we have compiled a list of 16 tasks that someone working towards successful independent living would want to achieve. These are in no specific order of importance, but we believe you should be making progress towards all of them to assure you have a strong foundation for successful independence. You may want to take a personal survey of where you are in terms of the tasks:

  1. Demonstrate self-control in terms of addictive substances and behaviors. Over dependence upon social media, drugs and alcohol, gaming, sex and other behaviors diminishes healthy coping skills and can rob one of time to become productive.
  2. Self-regulate emotions to the point where they do not compromise relationships, education, jobs, health, and daily positive habits.
  3. Have ability to self-care through competence in preparing meals. Be able to prepare at least three or four main courses from scratch and to know your way around the basics of cooking.
  4. Be able to consistently maintain healthy eating habits. Demonstrate the ability to “filter” food binges, junk food dependence and over dependence upon one or two kinds of foods.
  5. Demonstrate ongoing habits of regular, orderly maintenance of personal space without cuing from others.
  6. Show consistent ability to interact effectively with different age and interest groups with confidence.
  7. Possess and use of a diverse wardrobe appropriate for casual, formal, occasion-specific activity.
  8. Hold a steady job, volunteer or internship position.
  9. Maintain a personal budget and have a good credit score.
  10. Advocate for self by making your own dental, medial and other appointments.
  11. Show personal strength in relational boundaries by not being vulnerable to short term or casual sexual or co-dependent relationships.
  12. Have competence with basic home and car care skills.
  13. Be able to manage your own transportation needs — both with planning, logistics and cost.
  14. Show consistent investment of time each week in at least three different hobby/interests.
  15. Show that you are conversational in current events and are a regular reader of a variety of topics.
  16. Carry your own weight in family, social, work, and other relationships. Be able to help others by anticipating their needs and pitching in whether you are asked or not.