I am no professional adult by any means. But I do feel like I am prepared enough to go through college life and adulting for the first time without too many issues. Nobody is every fully prepared for life, but you can help yourself out by knowing a few simple things to get you going smoothly. Here are some things I think everyone adulting for the first time should know:
1. How to do laundry.
It never ceases to amaze me how many college students don’t know how to properly do laundry. Yes, you can just throw everything you own into the washer and dryer and have clean clothes, but that’s not always the correct way. You should know what temp to wash things on, how to separate them, when to hang dry a garment, how to get out tough stains, how to iron and steam, and when it’s right to dry clean. This seems like a lot, but if you treat your clothes right, they will be around much longer & look way better as they do it. Here are some helpful guides for what laundry symbols mean: here
What steamer I use: Here
And pro tip: just always wash on cold.
2. How to clean your space.
I personally am a self-proclaimed neat freak. I love organization and cleanliness. I believe everyone should have a little bit of germaphobe in them, it will do you good. You should have 3 different sprays: a disinfectant multi surface cleaner (I use this one), a window and mirror spray (windex works wonders) and a spray for all of your bathroom and kitchen spaces (something with bleach like this to kill grime and germs). You should also own a good vacuum, a carpet powder (or just wash it if it is a throw rug), multiple sponges for dishes, and a mop. These are the basic Necessities for keeping your space clean. You should be deep cleaning about once a week, but wiping down all surfaces that food touches and your sink everyday. Wash your sheets and blankets every two weeks, and your makeup brushes every week. Your body and space will thank you. If you need inspiration or help I would suggest following Mrs. Hinch on Instagram for all of your cleaning needs.
3. Have a resume and cover letter ready.
This one is pretty self explanatory. Make a resume and cover letter and save it on your computer. Email it to yourself so you always have it on your phone too. Keep it updated. Now you’re prepared!
4. Know how to cook.
I’m not saying you have to be a professional chef, I certainly am not. But, I know you need to hear this, you can’t live off of ramen and Mac & cheese forever. Shocker I know. You should know how to make basic things like spaghetti, a veggie dish, and how to prepare meat such as pork and chicken. You need to get a better understanding of nutrition and what you’re putting into your body now because we are setting up our bodies for the rest of our lives. Our metabolism won’t be fast forever. If you’re creating healthy habits now, you’ll thank yourself later. It will also help you cut the ordering out habit, knowing that you have the ability to cook good food for yourself.
5. Make a schedule.
Having and utilizing a calendar and/or planner is one of the best productivity skills I have ever picked up. I know exactly when things are due, when I need to be preparing for those things, and how much time in the day I actually have. Time management is a skill you need in every aspect of life to be productive, so get practicing. I use this planner. It is amazing and I am more on top of my work than ever when I am aware of everything I need to do.
Budgeting is a skill that some never master, and yes it is hard, but being in full control of your finances is amazingly beneficial to life. If you have a job and are planning on buying a house or just want to make sure your savings and finances are all on track I would 100% recommend talking with a personal financer to make a budget for how much you should be saving, how much you should be spending on student loans, how much you should put away for groceries, and extra things. Have an emergency fund. If you’re not ready for that much adulting, use an app like every dollar budget app to track how much you spend in a month then use that information to see if you need to cut back and where would be the easiest place to do that.
7. Professional language.
You should understand how to address professionals in person, over email, and on the phone. You should understand how to dress in your workplace. Know what is an appropriate conversation and what is not. These are all important skills for excelling in the professional world and standing out as a respectable professional.
8. How to take care of your hair and body.
Aside from the obvious like eating healthy, going to the gym, etc. You should know when you need to get a hair cut, get your nails done, and what products work best for you. Having a put together healthy appearance will make you feel better in every way. It is important to keep yourself healthy and on top of your health.
9. Go to the doctor.
I hear too many kids my age getting sick too much, being scared to call the doctor, just straight up not going to to doctor or hospital when they need to. You need to listen to your body. You need to check up on your body. You only have one, take care of it. I routinely get blood tests and go get check ups for medical reasons but I also do it so I know I am in good health. I go often enough that if anything was wrong, I could catch it early and fix it. There is no reason to wait, especially if you are a college student and have free access to health care. This is especially true for those of us that are sexually active. Unless you physically cannot or have moral reasons against birth control, I firmly believe it is our job as women to protect ourselves. Go get tested. Go get the pill. STDS are no laughing matter and yes it can happen to you. Be in charge of your own body and make sure it’s running the way it should.
10. Stay educated.
I think as an adult it is important to keep up with current events, do your own research, and form an educated opinion all on your own. Don’t go to twitter for news. Don’t use other people’s opinions as fact. Be as open minded as possible and use reliable sources so you are always kept up to date with important events happening in the world. It’s your world, you should know what’s happening in it.