Adulting is hard. Everyone knows it, everyone complains about it. And it's one of those things that schools never teach you. So here's a few tips from an in-progress adult who's been trying to figure this adulting thing out for the past few years...
No one teaches you about taxes. Maybe you’ve watched a parent do it, maybe you’ve participated, but as soon as you get your first job taxes are the lovely little sidekick-in-the-pants you receive as a prize for being an adult. The most important thing to know about taxes is to find someone who has been doing them longer than you have that can be your support for when you have questions. There are also many online tax sites that can also be helpful if your tax process is simple enough, but having a person to talk to or answer questions you mght have makes the process go a lot smoother.
2. Job Hunting
Whether it’s your first, second, or third job, the process of job hunting is crazy and can kind of be discouraging after a while if there are no results. Looking through job opportunities that require you to have experience that you can’t get unless you have worked job that gave you experience, but you can’t get that experience because you can’t get the job to give you experience…it’s a long cycle…the most important thing is to be open to anything. Remember that job satisfaction is a choice you make and doesn’t depend on the job itself. So even if you don’t get your dream job the first time, don’t give up. Life is a process. Don’t give up on your dream, but also don’t miss the opportunity to learn from a seemingly inopportune moment…
3. Time Management
Between juggling classes, homework, a job, a social life, sleep, taking care of yourself, and finding time in there to eat somewhere, it seems as though there are not enough hours in the day to accomplish it all. Schools don’t directly teach you how to manage time, they just tell you that you should. The best thing that I have found to work is to set myself three main goals for the day. Three things I want to get done, that can include three items on my homework list, or a combination of laundry, meal prep, and working out. The three-goals-per-day method seems to work and reduces the stress I feel when I have a giant list of TO-DO’s.
Budgeting is something that is taught in some business classes in high school, but if you didn’t take that class or your high school didn’t offer them, then you’re kind of on your own... the hardest thing about budgeting is STICKING TO IT… I think I’ve tried to make about five budgets over the course of the three years I’ve lived away from home and I’ve finally found one that I can sort of stick to… mostly… If you’re not into the category type budget, try setting yourself an amount of money per week that you can spend, (and take it out in cash) that way once you’ve used that money, you won’t be tempted to spend more that you've budgeted for that week…
One of the most important things in the that's often overlooked in the whole process of adulting is taking time for yourself. Whether that means taking an entire day and going to the beach alone, or taking an hour in the morning or evening to do yoga, read a book, go for a run, or draw or paint. Doing something that makes you happy gives you energy to accomplish the things that you maybe aren't as excited about or down-right hate doing. It also helps to reduce the stress and anxiety that can come with learning how to be an adult.
Being an adult can sometimes feel like you're on cloud nine and own the world, and other times it can feel hopelessness itself, but it's a process and just like any other process it takes time. And since we all have to learn how to adult, we can learn from each other. The struggle is real, but we don't have to struggle alone. So happy adulting!