Things Every Adult Should Know

Growing up is optional, Things Adults Should Know

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Growing up is a complicated process of ups and downs filled with school-girl/boy crushes, acne and the overwhelming feeling that you know it all and have nothing left to learn. Wrong! That’s just proof that there is so much more to learn than you can even imagine.

Troy and I have befriended a younger couple who is just starting out in life and in love. They married right out of high school and skipped some of the important steps in learning how to be an adult, which has led to some unwise decisions such as buying a carΒ  they couldn’t afford and not haggling for it. They didn’t even know they could negotiate during the car buying process. The car has now become a financial burden that they greatly despise, but it was definitely a learning experience.

None of us graduated high school with all the answers. However, now that they are expecting a little bundle of joy, I can’t help but want to give them a crash course in adulthood. They are still so naive in many ways, but ultimately it will be up to them to finish growing into adults. It’s a process we all must survive. Hopefully, with minimal damage.

Watching our friends endure the difficult process of growing up made me think of all the knowledge that is essential to being an adult. There are so many things we learn along the way or that we may consider common sense, but to others they are still very much a mystery. Since I am now at the ripe old age of 28, I feel that I have a duty to share my screw ups wisdom with all of you. I mean, I’m basically getting ready to yell at the neighborhood kids to stay off my lawn, so that totally qualifies me as an expert on life. Okay, maybe not, but I have learned a few things on the road to adulthood (which I’m still on).

Β THINGS EVERY ADULT SHOULD KNOW HOW TO DO

1. BUDGET

A part of growing up means finally learning to comprehend the age old adage, “Money doesn’t grow on trees.” And once this unfortunate reality sets in, you begin to realize the importance of creating and sticking to a budget. After all, paying those overdraft fees are never any fun.

2. FEED ME, SEYMOUR

Being an adult means that your mother is no longer around to cook your meals for you. Though I’m totally up for it if you are, Mom! I know you are the world renowned pizza ordering champion, but constantly ordering takeout definitely doesn’t help you stick to your budget. It will eat into your bank account faster than you can eat that entire pizza.

Plus, eventually you will actually get tired of eating out and ordering in. It sounds impossible, I know, but it does happen after the 100th time. So I’d recommend having at least one or two go-to dishes in your repertoire. Or at the very least you should know how to pop a frozen pizza in the oven. (You’d be surprised at how many people don’t even know this.)

3. BE THE LONE WOLF

Being alone often gets a bad rap, but learning to enjoy and utilize your alone time can be incredibly amazing. You can focus your energy on self-reflection, relaxation, enjoying your favorite hobbies, or merely binge watching Netflix. It’s these moments alone that let you reconnect with who you are and who you want to be. And honestly, learning to be alone can be quite freeing. Want to catch that new movie or check out that new restaurant? Well, now you can be your own company. So take yourself out for a solo date or enjoy a nice relaxing night at home alone.

4. NEGOTIATE

Negotiation is a large part of life from haggling your way into a good deal to working out the kinks in your salary or raise. Hell, I bet you sly little devils even negotiate with your family. I’ll think about letting you go to the movies, if you clean your room. Becoming adept in the art of negotiation just might land you the deal of a lifetime and get you out of kitchen duty at home.

5. BUY A HOUSE/CAR

Purchasing your first home or car can be exciting, overwhelming, and confusing all at the same time. So instead of waiting until you are actually ready and able to buy a house or car begin researching the process now. It will make things much simpler and a little less overwhelming when the time comes to put that research to use. And you will be much less likely to be duped into taking a horrible deal.

6. MAINTAIN YOUR CAR

You don’t need to know a lot about cars, but it is important for you to know the basics – when to get an oil change, how to change a tire, how to jump start your car, etc. In the past couple of months alone I’ve encountered two women who didn’t know how to pop the hood of their own vehicles, let alone how to get their batteries started again. Luckily, my boyfriend and I were on hand to not only help, but to teach them a thing or two about jump starting their batteries. One of the women had her teenage daughter along for the ride. The poor girl was almost in tears over being stuck in the Wal-Mart parking lot at 1 AM. Don’t let that be you. Be prepared.

7. INTERVIEW

Everyone should know how to write a kick-ass resume and rock an interview. I mean, how else are you going to land that dream job? Just don’t forget to make your cover letter shine, as well. Sarah from Venus Trapped in Mars has some fantastic tips for nailing it.

8. HAVE FUN

It’s so easy for you to get so wrapped up in work, school, and chasing your dreams that you forget all about fun. But becoming an adult doesn’t mean you have to abandon all forms of enjoyment. It’s okay to take a time-out to enjoy a night out dancing or to have a few drinks with your friends. It’s okay to indulge in full on belly laughs, video games, sports, or whatever strikes your fancy. In fact, it’s good for you. Never forget to remain a kid at heart for you are only as old as you feel.

9. MAKE YOURSELF HAPPY

Β Many people place the fate of their happiness in the hands of others, but you alone hold the key to your joy. When life’s throwing curve balls at you from all directions, you have the ability to choose joy and positivity. On days when nothing is going right, you can do something to turn it all around and make yourself smile. And when your shoulders are weighed down with the stress of work and life, you know how to lighten your load, whether it be a glass of wine, a nice long jog or a hot bubble bath. So take the time to learn what works for you and what brings joy to your life.

Did I leave anything out? What do you think every adult show know?

  • Brooks @ The Handey Way

    I absolutely adore this post. Unfortunately, not every adult knows this, but they should! I would have to add knowing your limit, from alcohol to team spirit. As an adult, you should be aware of what is too much.

  • kathy @ vodka and soda

    i love all of these!!! they’re 100% true. there are some bloggers on here that are younger than i am and i have this incessant need to always give life advice but i don’t so i bite my tongue (even though it kills me!!).

    -kathy
    Vodka and Soda

    • Haha! It’s always hard to stay quiet when you see people making mistakes, especially when you’ve already been there and done that. You can feel free to throw a little wisdom my way. πŸ˜‰

  • yes to all of these!! It has taken me a long time to get to where I’m at, and I’m almost 30….a lot of trial and error, and falling down before I learned how to be an adult. Heck, I’m still learning every day. I would tell young people to not get stuck in the credit card web. That was my biggest mistake.

    • We all definitely need to learn to walk before we can run, even if we do just want to sprint right out of the gate. And that’s great advice. Credit cards can be so tempting and soooo troublesome! Thanks for the input. πŸ™‚

  • Don

    Loved #9….so many adults forget that!!

    • I completely agree! It becomes so much easier to blame everything else for our unhappiness, but we can always turn it around. πŸ™‚

  • Amanda

    #3 is HUGE! I’d go insane without my alone time! haha

    • Seriously! Me too! But I know a couple who wants to be together 24/7 and even spend hours talking on the phone while they’re at work. And I’m like… I would go crazy!

  • carla

    Spot on, on all of these tips! Being one’s own company is something every young adult should learn to embrace. Self-reflection is important for self-development. Being adult is also being able to tell who is a true friend versus a foe. πŸ™‚
    Carla @ love cartista

    • Yes! I completely agree. And being able to tell friends, foes, and frenemies apart is a wonderful skills to possess. πŸ™‚

  • Great pointers! Where was this post when I was 23? I was broke and lonely. Learning how to be an adult came at a high price for me (that’s a story for another post). Wish young people would heed adult advice. I wish I had. Hope it all goes well for your couple friends.
    Oh and now I own a house and a car I can afford πŸ™‚ Growing up is tough, but once you learn-it’s all great!

    • Haha! Yes, I was completely broke at 23 too. I think learning how to be an adult is often a very difficult process. I’d love to swap stories sometime. πŸ™‚ And yes, the world would be so much better if all the youngins actually listened. LOL.

      Yay for affording your house and car! It’s awesome once you finally reach that point. πŸ˜€

  • Kate

    Great points! I particularly agree with point number 2 about food, fortunately, I knew how to cook quite a few things before I left home but a lot of my friends did not and they struggled a lot more after moving out than I did.

    • Haha! Yes! A lot of my friends did not know how to cook so Ramen was definitely their go to meal. I knew basic things, but learned so much more along the way. Plus, I always dated people who could cook. πŸ˜‰ lol

  • Growing up is so hard, though! I think knowing how and when to ask for help is important. And how to delegate and divide responsibilities. Your spouse is not going to care for you the way your parent did and your marriage is different from your parents’. I think so many people get married young and expect it to feel like their parents’ marriage and it just doesn’t work that way!

    • This is such great advice. Growing up so hard and even harder when you’re already married. Thanks for the amazing input. πŸ™‚

  • Oh man, I’m totally crap at being an adult.

    I still don’t know how to feed myself. I leave my housemates to that. Sometimes I don’t see them for days and I almost starve to death.

    Corinne x

  • It’s amazing how many people I know that haven’t exactly accomplished this list. It isn’t easy, but still… it’s all so true! It’s such great advice, it really is! Something else people need to keep in mind is that even when it’s bad you need to treasure the small victories – even if that’s just finding a penny on a sidewalk.

    • Awesome advice! It’s always good to look on the bright side of things and find that silver lining. πŸ™‚

  • I have been surprised by how many adults I know who can’t cook! I don’t exactly know everything that goes into buying a house, but I know I could figure out the process if the time came. Car knowledge is incredibly helpful, I’ve learned a lot from my husband, who knows a little more than average about changing brake pads, alternators, struts….everything that had needed to be fixed on our cars! (perks of driving an 18 year old vehicle) πŸ™‚

    • It’s so nice that you were able to learn so much from your husband! My car is 10 years old and has also need a thing or two fixed from time to time. I’m hoping to learn more about them! πŸ˜€