As a rising senior in college, I’ve started to take more of an interest in activities that would be classified as “adulting” . Getting that first credit card, working a real job, and filling out those tax forms – all of that stuff. Since I don’t live in a dorm, I haven’t had to deal with rent and utilities. However, working two jobs has sure made me realize the importance of money. When I see a $15 selfie stick, I think back to the hospital, where I worked my butt off cleaning up a c.diff patient for that hour. That $15 I made, dealing with the seemingly endless and terribly smelly poop – gone. Gone in an instant to something that is essentially, a stick. When I think of it like that, it makes it pretty easy for me to put the selfie stick down.
That brings me to a key concept in adulting – BUILD. Not only do you build financially but socially as well.
If I had my way, I would be perfectly fine with using a debit card forever. However, building credit is important for many things. Some apartments won’t let you rent without a history of good credit. If you need loans for grad school, you need that credit. Honestly, I still don’t know all the ins and outs but one way to start learning is by becoming an authorized user. If your parents have good credit, they can add you as a user to their credit card which helps you build yours in turn. I found a great resource that goes in-depth about using responsibly. (Side-note: Sounds like I’m talking about a drug but not using a credit card responsibly can have horrible repercussions as well so I’ll leave it like that)
Next is building your relationships. In many industries, knowing the right people can have an advantage over just having the skills required. With everything needing recommendations or references, it’s good to talk to people. Putting your professional self out there on the internet, using sites such as LinkedIn, shows people that you’re serious. Is there a conference going on near you about a topic you’re interested in? So what if it seems like it’s for all old people with years of knowledge on that issue? Inquire, attend, and meet those experts. Who knows, maybe they’ll have an opportunity for you someday.
Above all though, adulting is about getting tired of doing all those things. Which is why it’s OK to take breaks. Adults aren’t perfect either. If you want to spend $2 buying incense to catch some Pokemon in a free game app (cough cough Pokemon Go) because you’re stuck at home, go for it! If you see that Spongebob-shaped mac and cheese you haven’t had in forever? Try it out again.