As a young, 19 and a half year old
(I'm actually 20 and have been for months, but I'm not willing to accept it), being thrown into the adult world has been a bit of a struggle. There are so many responsibilities and little boring details that cannot go ignored without resulting in "bad" consequences. This whole "adult" thing is pretty tough, but I've learned a few tips and tricks along the way. Here are the five ways I've been staying afloat in this whole "adulting" nonsense.
1. Set up automatic payments for your bills.
I just recently started paying my own phone bill. When your parents pay for everything, you don't always get the full understanding of how important it is to keep track of payment due dates. I learned that lesson the hard way. My phone got shut off. I didn't have any service. When I went to go pay my bill online, their website crashed. I had to pay my bill like it was 2003 or something and type in my debit card information on my grandfather's cell phone. When the automated voice gave me the option to set up automatic monthly payments, I decided to just go for that option. Bills have to be paid or else that service is revoked. If your payments are automatic, it's just one less thing to worry about.
2. Budget, Budget, Budget!
Automatic payments are awesome... as long as you have money in the bank to pay them. When you start paying for things on your own, you tend to learn what things you actually can and can't live without.
3. Learn time-zones.
I've always heard about time zones, but my family never really traveled while I was growing up so they have never really affected me too much. Once you get older and start doing business or communicating with people who don't live near you, time zones can become a huge deal. You never want to have a phone interview at 3 pm eastern time and think you can get on the phone at 3 pm central time. Trust me, it's not the same and it's not a good look if you're that late to a meeting.
4. Master the art of emailing.
Yes, I know it's 2016, but people still send emails. I accidentally dropped a class that I needed to take. When I tried to re-enroll, I was put on the wait list for the course. I thought I was totally screwed, as did everyone else who I talked to about my situation. However, after sending a quick and very polite email to system services, I was back on the course enrollment list in less than a day. If you have an issue, send a quick and well worded email. If you're not sure who to email, then email someone asking who you could email about the issue.
5. Suck it up and make that phone call.
Sometimes, people don't answer emails. They get flooded with a copious amount of virtual mail. It might be difficult getting an immediate response, plus you never know what gets sent to the spam folder and what doesn't. Talking on the phone with people sucks. Human interaction kind of sucks and when you have social anxiety like I do, it can be even worse. Do I wish that I could send a light bulb emoji to the electric company to come turn on my power after a storm? Yes. Is that an option? 2017, I'm looking at you to answer that for me.