The best part about becoming an adult is…well you don’t have to be a teenager anymore. In that sense, in my opinion, going to college and getting a real job was a step up from the teenage drama, angst, and hormones.
Is adulting easy? No, and the learning curve is pretty steep. As of now – at the ripe age of 27, I am a self-designated veteran adulting expert…oh and I also put in a bunch of memes at the bottom of the post just for fun.
Here are some of the things I wish I knew when I was younger.
To start this post on a lively note. Although it’s hard to start adulting…no one should stay a child forever. That would be a little embarrassing for good reasons.
Our goal in life is to develop and grow as a human being. Tackle the journey and embrace life in all its beauty.
1. Defend yourself verbally
The best part about growing up is being able to talk back. I don’t even talk back actually. I stare at them with dead eyes until they realize what they said was tasteless.
Try practicing being assertive; do not react angrily. Screaming and profanities won’t add much besides giving them the joy of a reaction.
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2. Protect yourself physically
It was not until the very end of my senior year of college did I take a fighting and self-defense course. Unfortunately, many of us don’t know self-defense basics or have the time for a defense class. That is why picking up a whistle, pepper spray, and pocket knife could save your life someday.
3. Learning when to apologize
I wish I learned this much earlier than I did. This ended 2 or more of my interpersonal relationships regretfully. For some reason, the “sorry” word didn’t come to me even when I knew I was wrong. One day, I was confronted on my inability and a bell went off in my head. I did not understand how or when to apologize.
4. Learn to comfort someone
This is a very important inter-human skill to learn. Please don’t say anything that resembles: “I’ve had it worst, look what happened to me” or “yeah I know how you feel” because most likely, you don’t know how they feel. We all respond to stimuli differently. Learning how to comfort requires empathy. Read more in-depth here on how to help a person who is grieving.
5. Change a tire
Changing a flat tire seems like a masculine chore but automobiles that break down do not discriminate against their owners. A smart woman knows how to pump gas, change a tire, shop for a good deal on a car.
6. Cook 3 good things
You don’t need to spend your life in the kitchen but everybody needs to learn 3 basic recipes by heart and cook it well.
Just picture a real-life scenario like this:
“Hey Terry, can you bring something for the potluck?”
“Yeah sure Sam, I make a mean Quiche.”
-At the potluck-
Super cute, smart millionaire doctor at the potluck asks:
“Who made the Quiche? It’s great!”
Bam, just like that, wedding bells.
7. How to remove stains and launder
The science of laundry is in the formula. It comes down to the enzyme properties of stain removers. Some stain removers only treat a specific kind of stain with specific kinds of enzymes such as blood, ketchup, grease, dirt etc.
Most commercial cleaning agents do not disclose specific enzymes.
The best stain removers on the market are Zout and Oxyclean because they can break down more enzyme whereas other stain removers only cover two or three types of staining.
PS, “Shout” (Zout’s market knock-off) is completely worthless! The popular TIDE to-go pens only treat one type of enzyme so it’s pretty worthless too.
1. How to start a side hustle
Balancing work and life can be difficult but thanks to the Internet, lots of side hustles can be fun. Having multiple income streams is a way to feel in control of your life. It’s a multi-level backup plan to sustain both yourself and family.
2. Acing a job interview
Interview practice makes a huge difference believe it or not. An old schoolmate of mine took an entire day off school to prepare for her summer job internship. The next day, I asked her if she ditched school that day to do something fun because I thought it was ridiculous she needed the entire day to practice. It turns out she did spend the entire day drilling herself on all interview questions. She aced the interview (I did not!). For that one day of school she missed – it was made up with $3,000 and summer work experience in her pockets.
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3. Quitting a job gracefully
Traditionally employers appreciate a 2-week notice for employees. “Don’t burn bridges. You’ll be surprised how many times you have to cross the same river.” It’s important to keep social ties positive when moving forward from a job or position. You can never know when a reference call or work favor is required.
4. How to file taxes
If your tax situation is simple, it’s more economical to do it yourself. For employees making under $66,000 a year, it’s free to file. For the self-employed, it’s a little more complicated. If the U.S. tax system seems complicated, don’t worry it’s not you. Turbo Tax software actually lobby for more complicated tax structures so more people can buy their tax software.
5. Have a resume and cover letter
The cover letter is a short essay on how awesome you are as a person. It took me years to learn how to write a proper letter that was halfway good. I hated writing my cover letter and resume. The great thing was asking and getting help. All schools and colleges will have a career resource center that will lend a hand.
6. Learn public speaking
Public speaking doesn’t come easily to everyone. Public speaking is one of those essential talents that everybody should learn. Learning how to speak effectively to others is the one thing that could boost your salary by 50%.
7. Have 3 good references
The best people to request for a reference include recent bosses, coworkers, professors, and grouped members (church, volunteering etc.)
1. How to budget and save money
Managing money is one of the most important life skills a person can learn. Budgeting is right up there with walking, bladder control, and learning how to read!
2. How to open and close a bank account
Banking is a mandatory part of modern living. We have to transfer money, save money, cash checks, source funds etc. and for little to nothing, banks can do that for us. Many Americans do not trust banks as institutions or see them in a positive light but being underbanked is a very dangerous position because the alternatives are simply not as good as banking institutions (Chase, Bank of America, Wells Fargo etc.) already set up.
3. Building strong credit history
I was surprised (but not exactly shocked) to hear Americans believe that in order to build credit you would need credit card debt. Which obviously isn’t true; no one needs to carry consumer debt in order to build a credit score. That is a myth.
*35% PAYMENT HISTORY – Based on how trusted you are to repay money that has been borrowed. Have you paid your bills on time? How often did you miss payments? How long were you late on those payments? Are there any red flags on your account such as bankruptcies, liens, and foreclosures?
*30% CREDIT UTILIZATION – This part is the funky part and I agree with Dave Ramsey that this is your “I love debt” score. Is it a business yeah? They want you to use your credit line because, at the end of the day, you have to pay it back. It’s your relationship with debt that makes up 30% of this score.
*15% LENGTH OF CREDIT HISTORY – This is simply just how long you’ve had those lines of credit open. After you’ve paid off long-term credit card debt, industry professionals typically advise you to keep the account open even if you feel tempted to close it. This is because of this 15% length of credit history to your FICO score. Credit’sbig business right? They want to keep you as a customer by keeping those lines of credit open so someday, you can return as a customer!
*10% NEW DEBT – This is simply how many lines of credits have you recently opened. When lenders see a dramatic increase in new lines of debt, your FICO score is knocked down because you are now carrying more liabilities without a history on them.
4. Opening a retirement account *yes already*
College students can benefit from opening a IRA or even a solo 401k if you have side income.
If this is confusing, don’t worry, there are lots of resources to help you open and manage a retirement account.
Go to any brokerage (Fidelity, TD Ameritrade, Vanguard etc.) or even a neighborhood bank. Fill out the required paperwork, ID, wait a few days and voilà!
For your 401ks,
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5. How to save money on groceries
Before I visit a grocery store or any shopping, I check Ibotta to see what kind of cash back offers I can score. Ibotta is a popular grocery scanning app, Ibotta gives you cash back and extra savings on purchases. You can get $5 free if you sign up through my link.
6. How to negotiate for your salary
Before negotiating for a new salary, talk to recruiters, organize your arguments, plan accordingly, be kind yet firm, focus on your contribution, do the full homework on what your market price-wage should be. It’s important to have a backup plan and be prepared to walk (and have resources prepared.)
7. Pay your parents back
No, not in money, but pay them back in kindness and call them once in a while 🙂 they did house and feed us for a good 18+ years…for free too!
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I swear they need formal classes for this stuff back in high school or even middle school because I had to learn ALL of this the hard way :[
Lily H. says
Do you remember learning about ‘Imaginary Numbers’ in math class? Literally the most useless 2-day lesson of school life ever.