Okay here are the facts! Adulting is far from glamorous. Being a teen, adult life seems perfect. Freedom to do literally anything your heart desires. Looking back at my teen years, I honestly thought adult life was easy and just so convenient. As a teen and even now, I love the idea of things just being so convenient. My last years in high school I honestly did not take the whole “growing up” thing too seriously. Now let me just say I was pretty mature for my age so by “growing up” I am referring to my career path. I just could not wrap my head around what I wanted to do after high school. Lets be for real here, I just wanted to graduate! Literally all of my focus was on getting the heck out of high school much less thinking about college and my future career. Now going back to the topic of “adults”, I associated that with no more school and dumb rules that made no sense. I pictured my life after high school as exciting and I was ready to enjoy what my adulthood years would bring me.
WRONG! After graduating high school shit got real. Being an adult comes with more responsibilities than the teenage mind can fathom. I’m sure everyone can relate when I say “credit and money” rules everything. High school does not teach you the importance of having good credit, or how “getting paid” does not mean you instantly have all the things you desire. High school does not tell you that every decision made from there on out counts. Reading this you might say to yourself that you knew majority of that but did you really? I thought the same thing also. Like it was just common sense that responsibility came with adulthood. However no one truly understands the extent and how cruel the real world can be. Life does not have a principals office to go and bitch about your teacher or having your parents bail you out of detention. The things I’ve learned in my young adult years so far are so valuable I figured it would be selfish not to share it.
LETS TALK CREDIT
That word ruined my life at the age 18 and if I could, I would be a spokes person about credit. Credit is sooooo important that I literally cannot stress that enough. Credit determines the life you will live. If you have good credit, anything you want is possible to have. That car or fancy apartment you want will be so easy to get because your good credit vouched for you. Credit is important because lets be honest, when life gets tough credit loans you a hand. Having bad credit means you cannot and will not have financial freedom. Simple things such as renting a car for your birthday trip will not and cannot happen without the help of a parent (so much for being an “adult”) or someone cosigning for you. Good luck with finding a cosigner by the way. Then there is having “no credit” which is impossible to build at first. Having no credit is the part that teens run into which is also the part of adulthood that baffles me. How do people expect you to build credit if no one gives you the chance to develop such thing? (something high school should teach) So if you’re reading this and you are in high school take notes.
- Start by saving. Saving teaches you how to manage your money effectively. Put away at least 20-50% of whatever you earn. This will teach self discipline.
- To build credit I would suggest starting with a secured credit card. This way you will not have the urge to spend money you technically do not have. A secured credit card only works if you put money onto it. So for example, if you put $200 on your credit card, its like borrowing money from yourself because you do have to pay it back.
- Pay your bills on time if you have the money. That dress can wait, I promise.
- Prioritize your responsibilities and by that I mean, Finances.
- Write down everything you purchase. Keeping track of where your money goes gives you a visual map of your wallet. This is important because by the end of the week if you realize you have a negative balance in your checking account, you can refer back to what you actually spent money on and see where the problem is.
- Save for major purchases. Do not blow your entire paycheck on one item just for the heck of it. Life does not work that way. You will end up shorting yourself in the long run. If you know you have your eye on a purchase that is pretty expensive, save up for it. This teaches you how to budget and not break the bank.
With these simple steps, by time graduation comes around you will be on your way to college with good credit. Just remember to continue these steps through college so you can maintain that score you worked hard to get.
Dating/ Relationships/ Love
Okay, so why is this even a topic? Because love screws everything up in your young adult life. Lets face it, teens and even young adults fall hard when it comes to love. Dating never makes sense. On top of that, the first chance at love we find we literally dive in head first. This is so distracting that years are spent crying and wasted over someone who you won’t care for ten years from now. It is so normal to lose sight of your self when dating which is horrible in your early adult life. Our twenties are important in determining how life could possibly turn out for us. Addition to that, your twenties is the time to enjoy all that life has to offer. Who wants to waste that on someone who you’ll hate two years later? Now lets just make this clear, I am NOT saying to ignore dating and love completely. I am simply saying to be cautious of who you dedicate your time to. Will it be worth it in the end? If you are one of those people who can date and still get ahead in life, then go ahead and date on. I personally lost a lot of time that I cannot get back because of a relationship that went nowhere. I chose my relationship over college. Years later I wish I would have listened to my mother. Your young adult years should be all about you and figuring out what it is you want from life. Period. If you must date here are a few things that could help you in the long run…
- Do not lose sight of your goals. If the person you are dating is with you for the right reasons, he or she will support you regardless.
- Continue to socialize with your friends and network. A lot of times when people start to date, they forget about the people around them. Before you know it, you lost all of your friends and become consumed by your relationship. You stop living.
- Allow each other to miss one another. This helps to reduce arguments.
- Be Supportive and push each other to work on future goals. You can do it together.
- Do not rush into a relationship. Let it form naturally. Often times we jump right into a relationship for the sake of being with someone. This is not healthy.
Making Good & Wise Choices
Everything and I mean everything matters as an adult. Every decision can affect the next twenty years of your life. Decisions are nothing like high school decisions. Deciding what outfit to wear in your adult life will become the least of your worries. I won’t elaborate too much on this because honestly this is pretty self explanatory. Just know that as an adult the things that happen to you most likely stem from a choice you made at some point in your life, so make it count.
Let me just start by saying that it is completely okay to not know what you want to do right after high school into your early adulthood. Many industry professionals did not start off in the industry they ended up in. That is almost guaranteed. The moral of this is to say: IT IS OKAY to not know what you want to do. Figuring out what makes you tick is apart of adulthood. Seeing where life takes you is something you should experience first hand. Explore different career paths that interest you. You only have things to gain in doing so. (Hence the reason I stress not letting your love life get in the way)
Choosing your Battles Wisely
Yes, this is something you learn with age. Getting older life is already full of decisions, puberty, acne, and everything else that arguing or getting upset over the small stuff literally becomes irrelevant. Who wants to argue and fight over who was staring at who? Who cares if your co-worker said something about you not wearing makeup? Being an adult you learn that unless something directly affects you its simply not worth it.
Sleep and Eating Properly
Often the two things that are overlooked and neglected. Nap time no longer exist and eating five meals a day just doesn’t happen. When life gets busy and duty calls, sleep and food becomes a treat almost. However, people fail to realize that it is important to be rested and fed. Over doing it for yourself makes nothing easy. Food and rest helps to fuel the body and your mind. Adulting already sucks, so why torture yourself?
Please share your thoughts below, I would love to hear what works for you.