What I Learned After My First Year Of Adulthood

What I Learned After My First Year Of Adulthood

I would be lying if I said nothing has changed.

This month, I will be turning 19. I am no longer an adult novice nor yet an expert to adulthood. It is a time where I get to enjoy the last few drops of childhood and say "Hello world, it's Pareena Sharma".

You will always be able to find me watching Disney princess movies, singing "Let It Go", and studying to the soundtrack of every Pixar movie. But, there is no hiding it; I have my own credit card, a job, a car and I no longer have to put Mister or Miss before the name of every adult I encounter.

I have inevitably transitioned a lot this year. So during this time of reflection, I would like to share what I have learned about adulthood during my first year of being an official 'adult'.

1. You gotta toughen up and start calling the shots

When you were a kid, most likely other people were making decisions for you: what to eat, when to sleep, maybe even what to wear. It is easy to forget that you are the one calling the shots now and just follow along with others. But when you are an adult you gotta make decisions for yourself. You have to remember that your opinions are of value and that you and your health come before all else.

2. Take initiative, but be mindful of other ideas

As much as you should learn to take initiative for yourself, you should also learn how to mindfully consider other ideas. Being a young adult can be empowering and sometimes this empowerment can turn into stubbornness. One great part of becoming an adult is that people are willing to listen to you, and with that comes the responsibility of listening to others. If you come across a disagreement, rather than being determined to prove the other side wrong, open your mind to all the possibilities.

3. Respect is earned by how you carry yourself

After reaching adulthood you may find that people respect and notice you more. It feels fantastic when other adults consider your input and presence for a change. But do not give all the credit to your age. As you get older, it is not just the number you have been assigned that deems you this new street cred. It is the experiences you have gained and the actions you present that convey that you have reached true adulthood. People respond to how you carry yourself. So, be confident but not conceited. Be humble but not dismissive.

4. Mistakes are a-okay

This is a lesson I keep learning again and again. Mistakes, as cringe-worthy as they are, are not the end of the world even as an adult. Growing up is a messy process and there is no final grade or evaluation to worry about failing. So, go out and don't be afraid to make mistakes, they are a part of life. In the words of John Green, "The test will last your entire life, and it will be comprised of the millions of decisions, that when taken together, make your life yours. And everything- EVERYTHING - will be on it"

5. There is no end to adulthood

Unlike your childhood, adulthood is seemingly endless. There are millions of types of adults at different places in life with different responsibilities. You may or may not feel like a true adult right now but as you get older your duties and role in life will change and expand. So, don't try to grow up too fast unless you really have to. Being a child is a luxury and you have your whole life to perfect the whole 'adulting' thing.

6. Everyone is a child at heart

Truthfully nobody asks to become an adult, it is just something that happens. Adulthood is liberating and exciting but is also a lot more complicated than being 'just a kid'. You will find that it is hard to outgrow things like being silly for no good reason and irresponsibly eating pounds of sugar. So do not be worried if you find yourself indulging in the simple pleasures of your childhood.

Cover Image Credit: Pixabay

Popular Right Now

50 Things to Do When You're Bored and Completely Alone


For people like me, spring break is a time where you come home and have absolutely nothing to do. You're parents work all day and you're either sibling-less or your siblings have already moved out. Most of your friends are on the semester system, so your breaks don't line up. You're bored and completely alone.

Although while being alone sounds boring, sometimes it's nice to just hang out with yourself. There is a plethora of unique and creative things you can do. Netflix marathon? That's overdone. Doing something productive or worthwhile? You do enough of that in school anyway. Whatever the reason is for you being alone, I have assembled a list of unique things to do to cure your boredom.

SEE ALSO: 50 Things To Do Instead of Finishing Your Homework

  1. Have a solo dance party.
  2. Teach yourself how to do an Australian accent (or any accent for that matter).
  3. Learn how to play harmonica (or any instrument for that matter).
  4. Buy an at home workout DVD.
  5. Bake a cake (and eat the whole thing for yourself).
  6. Take a rollaway chair and ride it down the driveway.
  7. Paint a self-portrait.
  8. Plant some flowers in your backyard.
  9. Become a master at air-guitar.
  10. Perform a concert (just for yourself).
  11. Write a novel.
  12. Become an expert on quantum mechanics.
  13. Give yourself a new hairdo.
  14. Knit a sweater (if you don't know how, learn).
  15. Make a bunch of origami paper cranes and decorate your house with them.
  16. Make homemade popsicles.
  17. Reorganize your entire closet.
  18. Put together a funky new outfit.
  19. Make a short film.
  20. Try to hold a handstand for as long as possible.
  21. Memorize the lyrics to all of your favorite songs.
  22. Create a website.
  23. Go on Club Penguin and troll a bunch of children.
  24. Become your favorite fictional character.
  25. Become your favorite animal.
  26. Practice your autograph for when you become famous.
  27. Create a magical potion.
  28. Learn a few spells.
  29. Learn how to become a Jedi.
  30. Put the TV on mute and overdub it with your own voice.
  31. Make paper hats with old newspapers.
  32. Become a master at jump roping tricks.
  33. Create music playlists based on random things, like colors.
  34. Find a chunk of wood and carve something out of it.
  35. Find something that doesn't have a Wikipedia page and create one for it.
  36. Create a full course meal based on whatever's in your kitchen.
  37. Teach your pet a new trick.
  38. Take a bunch of artsy photographs.
  39. Make a scrapbook.
  40. Learn a bunch of new words and incorporate them into your speech.
  41. Try to draw the most perfect circle without using a compass.
  42. Make your own board game.
  43. Memorize some poetry well enough so you can recite it.
  44. Build a fleet of sailboats and float them in your bathtub/pool.
  45. Write a song.
  46. Practice picking locks.
  47. Make a drum kit out of random household items and play it.
  48. Draw a tattoo on yourself.
  49. Give yourself a new piercing.
  50. Figure out the meaning of life.
Cover Image Credit: Josh

Related Content

Connect with a generation
of new voices.

We are students, thinkers, influencers, and communities sharing our ideas with the world. Join our platform to create and discover content that actually matters to you.

Learn more Start Creating

High School Seniors Should Be Excited For College, Not Scared

Even though it seems stressful and it is a big new place, it will be some of the best memories you will have for life.


Going into the summer after my high school graduation, all I could think about was college, and how I was going to prepare to go to a new school and move away from home. Just know, it is not as stressful as you prepare yourself for it to be. You don't need to worry about not having any friends or not knowing how to get to all the different buildings because you have to remember everyone else on campus has been in the exact same position you are in, and there are tons of people on campus to help you.

One of the things I was most worried about was classes and how to know which classes to take. My advice is to go to counseling and plan out your classes before you register. Planning out classes will drastically help you stay on track and the counselors will help you make a balanced schedule that you can actually handle.

Another piece of advice would be to not bring as much stuff for your dorm as you think you will need. By all means, bring the essential things that you will need, but remember a dorm room is very small and you share it with another person. You won't have a ton of space for extra stuff and you want to have space to move around and actually live in your dorm.

Finally, if you are concerned about meeting people and making friends, just try and be as outgoing and open as possible. Everyone else in the dorms is just as nervous as you are too meet people, it really helps to try to branch out. Joining clubs or greek life also helps you meet people around campus with common interests as you.

College is not something to be scared of. Even though it seems stressful and it is a big new place, it will be some of the best memories you will have for life.


Related Content

Facebook Comments