“Responsibility, what’s that?” every graduate of the year 2000 sang along to MxPx’ “Responsibility”, quite the anthem for people who didn’t want to let go of their youth just yet. Well, it’s been 16 years since and if you’re still singing the same note, man, you have to get your act together and embrace adulthood. We can’t all be Peter Pans or else Tinkerbell would have to build a pixie dust factory. People lament adulthood as though it were a dead-end to which the journey is littered with bills, strange body aches, and plenty of changes. Yes, being an adult entails a heaping of responsibilities and making safe decisions that will get you crossing your fingers to no end. At the same time, being an adult has its perks – you get to watch R-movies in the cinema without being asked for identification, you don’t have to feel guilty about clicking the “Yes, I am 18+” button when visiting adult sites, you can legally buy drinks – okay, before you get the wrong idea about these perks, let’s talk about the biggest perk of being an adult – you call the shots (and not just the alcoholic kind). If you find yourself scratching your head at the thought of adulthood, here’s a little guide to help you move along.
1. Get a job.
Not to sound like your mother, but she’s right. Money is one of the most important tools you would need in order to survive being an adult. Money lets you pay bills, takes you to places you want to see, buys you the life that you want, and takes care of you when you need care the most (e.g. when you are sick). For you to have money, you would need to get a job – or a sizable inheritance or hit the lottery jackpot, which is a much harder feat. The idea of getting a job sounds scary to most people because of the idea of being tied to a desk 9-5, at least 5 days a week – a job doesn’t have to be that. Explore the option of making a job out of something you’re actually passionate about such as crafts, writing, children, fashion, or even the Internet.
2. Get a good moisturizer – and sunscreen.
One of the most obvious downsides to being an adult is that it takes a toll on your skin. All those late nights you spend either partying or working on presentations, all those times you brave the sun and the pollution on your commute to work, and gravity, too – all of those will show up on your face eventually so you better moisturize religiously. Your adult self can’t live on moisturizer alone; it would also need sunscreen – a generous serving of it. The sun is a powerful ball of gas that gives life to the Earth and plenty of damage to your unprotected skin. The last thing you would need when standing in line to pay your bills is worry about skin damage. Wear sunscreen; trust Baz Luhrmann on that.
3. Build a first aid kit.
The thing about being an adult is that you can’t keep on calling your folks to fix your booboos. You have to learn to build your own first aid kit. It’s similar with the ones they asked you to bring on camping trips, but supersized. Your first aid kit must be packed with essentials to help you treat minor illnesses and injuries or provide comfort until you can get adequate medical attention. It should include a first aid book, a variety of adhesive bandages, gauze pads, medical tape, medical scissors, cotton balls, alcohol and alcohol wipes, hydrogen peroxide, antibiotic ointment, thermometer, and over-the-counter pills such as aspirin and ibuprofen.
4. Learn the art of budgeting.
One of the most challenging aspects of adulting is money management. The most common question is, “How can you pay your bills and loans, purchase groceries for decent meals, and set aside some money for emergency use whilst having cash for shopping, trips to Starbucks, and yoga classes?” Financial advisers recommend the 50/20/30 rule. Allocate 50% of your income to life essentials (gas, food, utilities, rent, etc); 20% to paying off debt and future use; and 30% to lifestyle expenses (traveling, yoga classes, shopping, etc). Becoming an adult means having to let go of a lot of things which you thought were essentials back in the day when all you had to do to have money was open your palms.
5. Master at least 3 DIY skills.
DIY skills are handy on several occasions: 1) you’re on a tight budget; 2) you’ve used up all your home improvement rewards points; and 3) you want to feel a sense of accomplishment. There are several areas of DIY that can help you conquer adulting such as beauty and fashion, food (and practically anything around the kitchen), and crafts and carpentry. There are so many sites online that can help you with just about any DIY project you wish to undertake. Pinterest is still the leading site for DIY enthusiasts but you will also find loads of cool projects on Tumblr, Buzzfeed, and Instagram.
6. Learn to make lists.
Making lists is a habit that is often associated with an OCD behavior – totally not cool. However, when you’re too busy being an adult, who has time to worry about being cool? It is easy to get overwhelmed by the demands of adulthood, and making lists is one easy way to cope.
7. Learn to appreciate wine.
Why is wine the universal drink of adulthood? Because it is aged. LOL. Unfunny puns aside, you’ll be finding yourself reaching for a glass of wine on many occasions such as business dinner with a client, celebrating projects, mourning brokenness, and relaxing after a tiring day of adulting. It is only wise to acquaint yourself with the different kinds of wine and learn which goes well with what.
8. Learn to appreciate cheese.
Because, duh, it’s the best thing to pair with wine.
9. Master a signature dish.
Being an adult means making your own dinner, hosting dinners, and complaining about either or both. If you had to pick the easiest but classiest thing to make for either purpose, steak would be your best bet. After all, what food is more adult than steak?
10. Learn to be extra kind.
They say that what you throw out into the universe will eventually make its way back to you, so it’s highly suggested you go with kindness – you’ll need lots and lots of it to survive adulthood.