No-one likes growing up, especially grown-ups! We all miss those days when we come home from primary school at 3.15 to milk and cookies (or apparently hula hoops in my case) and go out to play with our bikes and our tamagotchis!
However soon we all face the adult world, whether it be when you first move out or get a job. Still being a student at university, means I haven’t quite hit the bit ‘Adult world’ in terms of full time work and living totally alone, however the jump to living away from my family home and the responsibilities it entailed did hit me. Here I’ve put together a few pointers and things that might come with adulting;
1. Dealing with people
No more can I throw a toy at someones face and sort of get away with it, or run home to mum to bitch about certain people and get a hug. In the real world, there are a lot (A LOT) of people, some amazing, some rude, some just plain weird (often cross over with the amazing ones to be honest) and some annoying af! Part of adulting is learning and practicing to deal with all these different people and to develop a bit of a thick skin can come in very useful.
Stay true to yourself and stick up for yourself and others, obviously, but it’s helpful to learn how to ignore and not be affected by certain people otherwise life could get quite awkward and difficult.
2. Bills and Housing
The bain of my life, for the good first half of my second year consisted of these two! I stupidly signed up to be the ‘responsible’ one in the house and deal with bills and admin stuff – not good if you’re a stingy git like me! Advice I’d give to students or people renting a house together would be to 1. try and make an organised file on all the places you visit (you definitely won’t remember the details about each one and it gets very confusing!) 2. Ask LOADS of questions to both the landlord/tenancy agency and to the current tenants – I would also recommend asking them about the companies their bills are with, their prices and if they’re helpful. I found uSwitch quite helpful for finding the best deal, but there are also bill packages for students (that are probably a good idea if you don’t particularly trust your new housemates or don’t want the hassle of splitting money etc) such as SplitTheBills or Glide (however I haven’t used them so can’t say whether they’re good or not).
3. Managing Money!
Eugh, money is definitely my biggest worry most of the time. Constantly trying to find good deals and stop myself buying all the totally unnecessary clothes or cookies (or both), is just part of student life to be honest, but it does hit when mum and dad don’t do your food shop anymore (let alone cook for you!) and it makes quite a big dent in my bank account (probably more than it should, but still, watch out!)
Handling credit can be really confusing and I still know very little about it, but there are helpful links, especially for students. I got my first credit card as a student one (not all banks do them but it was perfect to start gaining a credit score) and I’d definitely recommend making an appointment with your bank and they will tell you all about how to manage credit and what’s best for you. Also sites like Credit Card Insider are great for information on credit management etc and they have a great YouTube page, which I’ve actually found has some useful tips and points to think about that no-one really tells you!
4. Time Management
University particularly taught me how to do this! It’s very different when you move from living at home and doing your homework to then living on your own & working/studying and having to factor in not only studying and assignments, but commute, food shopping, food preparation, doing your washing, cleaning the house, working out/sorting bills, socialising etc etc! It’s a big jump and can be difficult to juggle but best way to start is to keep a good organised calendar (google calendar on your phone is great when you have your university timetable synced too!) and to timetable slots where you can do a food shop and allow extra time for cooking/commute when booking things into your schedule.
5. Feeling like you’re ready
You won’t. Ever. Sorry! (Well I’m hardly much into my adult days so maybe some day) One of the things I have found very hard about turning this age and starting to go about adult-y things like working and living alone is feeling like I’m actually ready and prepared. I mostly just look up to anyone older and think that they think I’m just young and naive because I don’t know a lot of simple things about adulty stuff, e.g. about the points I’ve written about above. However, I think a lot of people feel this way and that everyone is just going through life hoping everyone else can’t tell that they have no idea what they’re doing!
So any advice I can give on this point is just to act confident and know that you’re more than ready for everything that comes your way. We’re all a little clueless and all we can do is help each other through all the scary adult things that we face!