The tips on growing up for grown-ups
When I was younger I used to look at my older cousins and think how cool it must be to be grown up. I couldn’t wait to go off to college and get my own place.. Having an “adult” job where I made money and could buy stuff (how young & naive was I).
Being an actual adult is weird. You get to stay out late hanging out with friends and drink whenever you want. You have money to eat out all the time, buy what you want, and take spontaneous vacations.. although most of the time you just want to just sit on your couch scrolling through Instagram while watching Netflix.
But being an adult isn’t always as cool as I thought it would be. Look at me, 29 years old and still working on getting myself together. Adulting comes with adult responsibilities. Every time I turn around I feel like rent is due again. Yeah, you can stay out as late as you want but it’s not like college where you could sleep through class and be fine. Now you have to go to work in the morning or call off and use your PTO. And don’t even get me started on filing taxes.
I still look around for an adult sometimes. Then it hits me, it’s me, I’m that adult. When did this happen?! You’ll look around one day and all of your friends are teachers who are teaching the kids in this world. I’m like, damn were all of my teachers getting this drunk and making the terrible decisions like me and my friends? I’m a licensed professional.. I look at myself and my Social Worker friends like WE’RE responsible for other people now?!
But no one actually explains to us how to be adults. What we are supposed to do to actually become a responsible adult. Most of us just figure it out by trial and error… and a lot of us have more errors.
Tips for being an adult for adults
Below I have compiled a list of things I feel it would be beneficial for you to know if you’re struggling at this whole adulting thing.. like most of us are.
- Get a planner or use google calendar.** It’s time to stop forgetting stuff and showing up late to everything. I use my physical planner and my Google calendar. Without both of these, I wouldn’t know what day it is half the time. Juggling so many times at once is asking for something to fall through the cracks. Add all your work meetings, lunch dates, bills, classes, homework assignments, registration days, oil changes, etc.
- Get a regular workout routine. As you get older it is so important that you take care of your body. Find a workout you love. I say this because you have to be consistent. Going to the gym every day is NOT for everyone. But there are SOO many options these days. Go for a run/walk at the park, run around outside with your dog (or kids if you’re into that sort of thing), take a hip hop dance class, Zumba, go swimming, play basketball with friends, join a recreational volleyball team, follow along to a yoga video in your living room, etc.
- Go to the doctor. It’s time to start caring about your health. And by this, I mean your physical and mental health. If we’re sick we understand that we have to go to the Doctor. Get your yearly physicals, stay on top of your screening, and go to counseling. And yes, even counselors need counselors.
- Get enough sleep. I remember up until about 3 or 4 years ago, I regularly survived off 4 hours of sleep. Now that I’m getting old, this is NOT the case. It’s so hard for me to get up in the morning without a full night’s sleep. It makes me cranky and I’m tired all day. Plus, there is no amount of makeup can cover the bags under my eyes.
- Drink water. Just do it. Your body needs it and your skin will thank you.
- Skincare routine. Always take off your makeup, wash your face, and invest in a good moisturizer (if nothing else).
Here is a link to my blog written on 6 Types of Self-Care to prevent burnout 🙂
- Learn to cook. This doesn’t mean you have to become a chef. If you have a busy schedule like I do it is so tempting to grab something easy and quick. But you gotta stop surviving off fast food and microwavable meals (we’ve all been there). This is also nice to use if you’re trying to impress company. I use my air fryer for EVERYTHING and there are TONS of simple and healthy recipes on Pinterest that are so quick.
- Set weekly, monthly, and yearly goals. You’re an adult now. This is the time you need to be thinking about what you want your future to look like. Then you need to be setting goals so you’re actively working towards getting there. I always have an ongoing daily, short term, and long term to-do list on my phone. This makes it easy to check and update when necessary (because my goals are always shifting or I’m thinking of new goals to help me get there. Kind of like a personal treatment plan.
- Invest in yourself. Investing in yourself is the BEST investment you will ever make. You should never stop learning and growing personally and professionally. There are so many resources online now, that investing in yourself is easier than ever. Learn a new language, learn to meditate, explore your faith, learn a new skill, find a passion, etc.
- Learn to say no. This is going to be a hard one but it will get easier the more you do it. I look back and think about how much time I wasted during high school and college doing stuff I didn’t want to do. Time is so valuable and once it’s gone you can’t get it back. If you don’t want to do something, go somewhere, hang out with someone you don’t like, just say no. I’m so much happier that I get to spend my time like I want to.
- Stay out of other people’s business. This will keep you out of a lot of trouble. Take responsibility for yourself and try to stop judging and criticizing others. And if you have time to be in other people’s business you have too much time. You need to find something to do..
- Learn to listen. People don’t know how to listen to each other. Most people listen with the intent to reply instead of understanding what the other person is actually saying. This is something I’ve really had to become intentional about in the last two years. Pursuing my Master’s Degree and learning how to “listen with my third ear” has really helped.
- Work on building healthy relationships. Stop holding onto toxic relationships. We’re adults now and it’s so important to find your people. Once you do you really need to take the time on fostering and building healthier relationships. Being an adult is hard and it’s really crucial that you have people to support you and stand by you during the tough times. My friends are also great at holding me accountable for growth and working towards my goals (All my friends are teachers or social workers lol).
- Create a budget. You never realize how much money you have to spend if you don’t calculate how much your bills are. It’s important that you put aside money for these so that you don’t cut into your bill money. Dollarbird and Mint.com are two popular apps depending on your need. I highly recommend Dollardbird. They let you add in your income and all the bills you pay monthly so you always know what you have and will have after your bills come out (helps to figure out if I can go out with friends or if I need to keep my as* home).
- Open a savings account. Being an adult you are going to have some big responsibilities. And you never know when something is going to go wrong. Your car could break down, there might be a new opportunity that you need to put down a down payment on, you might lose or need to quit your job. Set yourself up so you don’t need to borrow money or stay at a job you’re miserable at. Every month I just throw a couple hundred in there and forget about it. You’d be surprised how much you’ve saved by the end of the year.
- Work on your credit. I don’t think people stress to young adults enough how important this will be. Start early but be smart about it. Don’t get a bunch of credit cards and rack up a huge bill you will never be able to pay off. Pay your bills on time and look at interest rates.
- Clean up your social media and online presence. If you haven’t Googled yourself already stop and do that now. You should always be aware of your online presence. You want to know what schools or potential jobs are seeing when they look you up. You’re a brand and you need to intentional about what your brand communicates.
- Learn to network. We all hate it but you need to learn how to do this. Today it really is all about who you know. 70% to 85% of positions are filled through networking. This also helps you pursue potential mentorships or build friendships with other like-minded people.
- Keep your resume updated. This will help you focus on what your career goals are. You also never know when you’re going to meet someone or be handed an opportunity. You would hate to miss a chance because you didn’t have one updated. And if you’re working on it on a regular basis it doesn’t take a lot of time. This also goes for your LinkedIn account.
- Learn how to negotiate your salary. You can’t get what you don’t ask for. I can’t even believe I allowed myself to get paid the amount I did at my first “real job.” My pay since then has increased drastically because of my ability to negotiate. Do your research before hand and make sure to factor in benefits. Make sure you get EVERYTHING in writing.
- Stop telling your business to people you work with. First of all this is just very unprofessional. Not everyone you work with if your friend. And they will tell your business to someone as quick as they were to tell their business to you. You don’t want you gossiping or a rumor getting spread to prevent potential advancement in your company.
Being an adult is intimidating. No one is going to come out and let you know you’re an adult now. You just kind of wake up one day and realize there is no going back. These are some tips I have learned over the years that make it a little easier to manage.
But what do I know?
What do you think is the hardest thing you’ve had to start doing as an adult? Let me know below in the comments.
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