Welcome to 2021! It’s a new year, a new beginning, even if we are dealing with the same old pandemic. Life is plodding along though, even if the pandemic isn’t. People are graduating, moving out on their own, starting their “real” adult lives. So here’s a list of completely random things I wish someone had told me, or someone did tell me, that has made me a (relatively) successful adult.
Buy a plunger before you need one.
This one should go without saying, but it’s still something I wish someone had said to me before I moved out. Although I did learn a fancy new trick with saran wrap, it would have been much nicer for my guest if I had just had a plunger. Instead, they had to tell me they had clogged the toilet and then watch me struggle with the internet and then the saran wrap. It wasn’t pretty. Just buy a plunger right when you move into your own place.
Pay yourself first.
When you’re working your first real job, it can be so exciting to see the first real big paychecks rolling in. It can be so easy to spend spend spend and not actually put anything into savings. So always pay yourself first. Figure out how much you can or are willing to put into saving each month, and do that as soon as your paycheck hits your account. Then pretend your savings don’t exist. Leave them alone until you actually need them.
Living with your parents is ok.
There is a huge stigma in America that moving back in with your parents after college is a big no no. It shouldn’t be that way. Not only is it a great way to save money, but it adds a layer of stability right off the bat. YOu can always move out whenever you want or whenever you feel financially ready. Of course, there are some situations where moving back home might not be the best for your mental or physical health, but if your family is relatively stable, moving back home is not such a bad idea.
Don’t get a nose piercing during a pandemic.
So you’ve wanted a nose piercing your whole young adult life. The corona numbers start to decline, you think it’s a good idea to go ahead and pull the trigger. Don’t. Especially if you’re wearing a mask all day every day for your job. The moisture and bacteria gets trapped in your mask, making a horrifically yucky environment for your nose piercing. Just say no.
Investing in furniture is a good thing.
It can be so easy to just buy buy buy for your first apartment. I understand. You want it decorated, you want it looking cute quickly and you want it done on a budget. So you go to Target and Home Goods and that furniture website you found online and you get it all done in a weekend. Great, all furnished. However, most of the times, that furniture is not going to hold up. It’s going to be fine for a few months (except for that target couch---it was uncomfy from the beginning.) but then it will start to fall apart. So when you move you’ll have to do it all over again. It’s better to take your time and save up for a few key investment pieces. I bought a couch that maybe isn’t exactly my 100% perfect design style, but I know it will last me at least ten years. I waited until I had been living in my apartment for over a year before I purchased it, making due with my comfy armchairs I’d found on facebook marketplace.
Learn to cook for yourself.
I know that this can be difficult for some, or not the most fun thing to do, but if you learn how to enjoy it, or at least not dread it, it can be amazing for you. Not only will your wallet thank you once you stop paying for takeout and delivery fees, but your health will benefit as well. Unless you live in California or New York, where there are tons of healthy takeout options, takeout normally is chock full of unnecessary ingredients and preservatives. It’s also much easier to add in veggies and fruits when cooking at home and to keep healthy snacks on hand. There are so many quick and easy (and healthy) recipes out there on the internet that there is really no excuse not to have at least a few good meals in your repertoire.
Learn how to communicate.
Ok we’re adults now. It’s time to stop the petty drama of high school and leave the passive aggressive silent treatment type of communication in the past. I highly recommend therapy to everyone, just because I think therapists are really well versed in active listening and can help you learn how to actively listen too. Most times we are listening to someone talk while waiting to reply, so we aren’t really taking in what they’re saying. If we practice listening actively we can avoid all of that communication.
Ok, ok, this one is a little dramatic. No one can truly be fearless. I guess what I mean here is to be afraid, but don’t let it hold you back. Courage is not the absence of fear, just you pushing through the fear. So take that new job even though you feel underqualified, move in with that new roomie, open your own business, take a roadtrip, take a chance on that guy. You’ll fail, and make mistakes, but that is what life is about. You can never fully appreciate the good if you don’t have a little bad mixed in too.