Raysha Duncan Purdue University Student and Peer Counselor
Does the idea of becoming a real, certified grown-up human being scare anybody else like it does me? I feel like once I graduate college I have to start doing (and knowing) a bunch of things that just don’t sound that fun. Even though I’ve (almost) made it through college, paid off a car loan and now own that own car, lived on my own for a year, got engaged, and pay for my own things I don’t always feel like I’m entering the grown-up stage of my life. And everywhere I look there are lists of things that I should be doing as an adult and I’m constantly reminded that “being an adult means making adult decisions.” So, after obsessively reading these lists, I’ve condensed them down into a number of things we should all be prepared for:
Watch the News
As depressing as the world can be sometimes, you no longer have the excuse of papers and exams interfering with staying informed. You don’t have to be tuned in to CNN and Fox News every second your home and have NPR on…but at least skim the headlines every day and read what interests you. A side effect of staying informed may be mild depression, but give it time, you’ll get used to the adult world soon enough. Staying informed on your local news will also keep you up-to-date on important things like food festivals and technology in the local schools.
…and Watch What You Eat
This doesn’t mean stop eating Doritos or pizza…just maybe stop eating them SO often. Balance your fruits and veggies and make sure to start taking a vitamin. Try to move around regularly too, 30 minutes a day is recommended. But, now is the time to start adapting better health habits: drink water, cut out pop, don’t eat as much sugar, etc. You don’t have to go Jillian Michaels crazy with a workout regime, just start making small lifestyle adjustments.
Learn to Budget
Grown-up life comes with grown-up bills and you don’t want to fall behind on those. Creating a budget, and sticking to it, is a great way to make sure you know where all of your money is going. You can download some really cool apps on your smartphone to help keep track of you money on the go too.
Stick to a Schedule
Once you get a job after college you’ll be expected to show up EVERY day. You can’t skip because it’s raining, snowing, or you stayed out too long last night. You’ll be away from your home for at least 8 hours every day with no time to nap or do laundry in the middle of the day. You’ll have to learn to prioritize your spare time to get everything done that you need to outside of work and to make time for free time on the weekend. I know, scheduling free time sounds awful, but it sounds like it might be necessary once we’re all grown-ups.
Clean & Do Laundry Regularly
This goes along the same lines as a schedule. Keep your place clean because nobody else is going to do it for you. You can get away with a grimy bathroom in college because you’re a college student, but once you’re an adult you just look lazy and dirty. You’ll need to keep your clothes clean too because that’s expected when you’re a professional and you can’t wear sweats to work when you run out of nice clothes.
Dress Like a Grown-Up
And make sure you look like an adult at work. It’s the only way to gain any respect and move up the ladder.