Adulthood can be a tricky thing to navigate. Most of us are launched into it without any preparation. What are these government papers for? How do I earn a living? Is there anything I can do right now to help?
The good news is that there is so much to look forward to in adulthood. From starting your own business to purchasing your apartment to starting a family, your life becomes something you can determine with your choices. These milestones may need some preparation, and you can prepare for them even before you graduate.
As soon as you can (and for as long as you can), start saving up. Like all things, money can be a tool that could help you prepare for adulthood…if you let it. Being irresponsible with your resources won’t only be a waste, but it will hold you back from experiencing things like paying by your means or even helping others. One good way to save up is to “pay yourself first” or to set aside a specific amount before you spend every paycheck for bills and other expenses.
Check your attitude
Like it or not, when you get older, you will be working for and alongside other people — often, people you don’t necessarily like or agree with. What makes you stand out from the rest is attitude. This may require some honest self-reflection, but when you can assess your strengths as well as your weaknesses and improve on them, you don’t only become an asset to those who work with you, but you also become a joy to be with in and outside the office.
Keep tabs on your debts
If you or your family has a debt to take care of, keep a personal document to track it. Monitoring your debt can not only help you manage to pay it off but can also help you when you apply for a loan. Most finance institutions, like banks or mortgage companies, will ask for your financial information, depending on the type of loan. Loans for larger amounts will require you to build trust with these financial institutions, so make sure you are on top of paying off your debts.
Ask for help
If you have the option to ask for help from your parents or guardians, do so. Financial help seems like the most obvious, but advice can also be a powerful form of help. If you don’t have that option, you can ask for help from your friends or your local librarian or even resources online. There are plenty of advice columns, tutorials, and self-help videos about all kinds of “adulting” topics, from job preparedness to taxes.
Nobody can be fully prepared for adulthood. The true learning comes straight out of embracing adulthood: owning up to your responsibilities, working within your limits, and assessing what works for you and what doesn’t. The real measure of maturity is how you use your abilities to help yourself as well as the people around you.