verb 1. doing adult things; becoming an adult
“Wow, I got a full time job and a savings account. I am adulting so hard right now”
Life after college is weird. Any grad will tell you they leave college feeling unprepared for life in a full time 12 month cycle. Goodbye summer break, goodbye student discounts, and hello adulting. It would be great if college did a better job at preparing you for life after graduation but I guess that is part of the process; figuring out what to do next, where to live, and what you want in life.
After graduation I immediately started a new full time job at a marketing agency. I was thrown into the 9-5 lifestyle at an online agency, got married, and bought a house two months after. I made a swift change from college student to adult with the guidance of my husband and parents. If you are a senior in college, just graduated, or in the limbo between college student and grad, I highly recommend preparing for adulthood with the following steps.
Intro to Adulting
Make a 5 Year Plan
So you’ve spent the last 4 years of your life deciding your major, trying new things, and finding out who you want to be. Well now is the time to put your next steps on paper for the following 5 years after college. Sure the plans may change but having some sort of game plan will give you more ambition to be more and do more than if you live your adult life on a whim.
Start Dating Winners
You dated the hipster, kissed a jock, had a thing with that guy in a rock band, now it is time to get your sh*t together. You are in a crucial time in your life where the people you date greatly affect your future. Date someone who has a job, is going places, and inspires you to do the same. Marriage isn’t too far off and honestly why waste time dating someone who you couldn’t imagine marrying someday.
Create a Budget
Money management is one of the hardest things to learn after college. You don’t get any more student loan money, your parents don’t wanna give you any money after your graduation party, and you probably only have a part time job. Start setting a budget with your current income and set yourself up for financial success. If you don’t have an income, it’s time to start job hunting!
Learn to Cook
Knowing how to sauté an onion, grill a chicken breast, and cook a complete meal without anything from a box is crucial. Learning how to cook will save you money, improve your diet, and help you become a stable healthy adult who doesn’t eat out at a restaurant for every meal. Cereal and ramen may have gotten you through some tough times in college, but you shouldn’t eat that way for your entire adult life.
Clean Up Your Social Media Profiles
College is full of late nights, fun memories, and nowadays there are lots of photos of those memories all over Facebook. Now is the time to go through your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn to make sure you are showing yourself as a responsible adult (even if you aren’t). Get rid of any photos you wouldn’t want a future employer to see, and make sure your online presence is presentable.
Make Saving a Priority
You may not have a steady income or a full time job, but starting the habit of saving some part of your paycheck makes you a more financially stable person. When payday comes, put aside a small amount of money immediately before you spend it all. You will need your savings for important things in life, like wedding dresses duh.
Build Credit & Eliminate Debt
If you have graduated college without a credit card, shame on you. You really need to start building your credit so you can buy a car or house someday. If you have graduated college with a large amount of credit card debt, shame on you too. Start building your credit, paying off debt, and being responsible with your credit cards.
Work Out Regularly
Even if you did not work out or do some physical activity in college, it’s time to start. Commit to at least one hour of exercise, three days a week. If you don’t work out now, you never will. If you never workout, you will likely be overweight, unhappy, and end up with some sort of obesity related disease. The freshman 15 excuse doesn’t work anymore.
Adulting may be one of the most difficult times in your life, but it is also the foundation for you as a person. I hope you’ve found these tips helpful and if you have any other to add, please share in a comment below!