As a kid, society tells you all about growing up, becoming an adult, and what to expect from all of that. You know all the basics – get a job, get a house, pay your bills. It all seems relatively simple, or at least you think. Adulthood seems like freedom when you're at a young age, but I've come to find that it's, in fact, the opposite. And, throughout all the things that society and your parents and whoever tries to prepare you for, there's always going to be some things that you'll never be ready for, and I learned that the hard way. In light of that, I felt it was important to share the hard obstacles and bitter truths I've had to overcome that were more than unexpected in my journey through adulthood. Although you may never find yourself truly prepared until you go through it.
1. Losing your childhood bedroom will hit you hard.
This is one of the most inevitable things about growing up, yet one of the most unexpected. Whether your parent or parents move into a new home, turn your bedroom into a gym, an office, a storage closet, or otherwise, finding yourself without your own bedroom can be a bit of a shock. You may think that this is no big deal, or that it won't affect you – and maybe it won't – but when you think about going 'home' and realizing that your home is now somewhere else instead of where it has been your entire life, can be a bit polarizing. Personally, I've found that making sure that the space I'm in away from my parents feels like home is helpful – this allows you to acclimate to being somewhere else and making a home for your own now or in the future.
2. Not having your parents at an arm's length will be an adjustment.
Growing up in a single parent household, my mom is my best friend. Leaving her is one of the hardest things I've ever done, and I miss her every single day. It's hard not having her to come home to on the days when you really need her, and she might not always be available to pick up the phone – maybe even one day, after you're settling down, she decides to pick up and move further away. That's been really hard to cope with since moving away to college. But, even though she won't always pick up the phone, she'll always call back when she can – even if it's two a.m. and you woke her up (Sorry, mom!). So even though your parent or parents aren't close distance-wise, they'll always be there when you need them.
3. Time management is everything!Brad Neathery
The biggest obstacle I've encountered since entering adulthood has been without a doubt not prioritizing my time or multitasking adequately. Balancing work, school, a social life, sleep, and also taking time for your mental health and well-being can be difficult. Taking the time (no pun intended) to prioritize, think about how much time you should devote to everything, and acting upon those accordingly is very important to reaching your full potential as a young adult. Trust me when I say that things will only get messy and chaotic if you don't.
4. And money management too!Sharon McCutcheon
Filing taxes, applying for credit cards, opening your own bank accounts, investing and stocks – these are all things I was definitely not prepared for. Learning the who's, what's, when's, where's, and why's of handling your money is more important than you may have ever thought. As an adult, having a credit score is like having money, to begin with – you can't do much without it. Having your financial commitments in order will not only reduce stress, but it will set you up for a potentially more stable future and allow you to progress financially at a younger age.
5. Lastly, and most importantly, your needs will ALWAYS supersede your wants.Alexis Fauvet
Remember when you were a little kid and your parents wouldn't let you get ice cream at the grocery store? You swore up and down when you grew up that you'd buy yourself all the ice cream in the world and eat it for every meal. Well, that may not be as achievable as six-year-old you thought. When you have bills and other sorts of responsibilities, you can't spend a large amount of money on frivolous things. Ice cream for every meal sounds great until you realize it's five dollars a gallon. Making sure to keep your recreational spending down to fit the cost of your bills and income you have is essential to emerging into what it's like to really be an adult.
No one can ever really prepare you for adulthood completely. Everyone's adulthood experience will be different, and nothing is really guaranteed. But, you can never be too prepared for what you might encounter on your journey into adulthood. Never be afraid to ask older influences for advice either! I wouldn't be here or know half of this if it weren't for the people in my life who've helped me grow to where I am now, and hopefully where I'll grow in the future.