Hello everyone! I hope the new year has been treating you well so far!
So, I’ve realized that 2015 consisted of a lot of “growing up” and learning how to “adult.” It was weird, and sometimes scary and confusing, but I got through it. And, what better way to celebrate surviving another year than by sharing knowledge in hopes it can help you all survive another year too!
Below is a list (in no particular order) of things I wish I knew before I really started “adulting.” Now, I use the term “adulting” because doing adult things starts at different points of life for everyone. For some, it’s moving away from home to the dorms for college. For others, it’s getting a job after graduation. For me, it was putting on my big girl pants, moving out of my mom’s, renting an apartment with my boyfriend and starting grad school.
Either way, no matter what “adulting” means to you, here are some things that I wish I knew before I entered the “real world.”
Your first apartment is not going to be out of an Ikea catalog.
I’m not sure how important matching curtains and rugs and bedspreads are to you, but to me, as soon as I learned I would be getting my very first apartment, I literally dreamt about the decor I wanted. After all, an apartment of my own meant I was in charge of the furniture and I chose the color palette! It was going to be amazing!
Of course, it didn’t take me long to find out that after putting down the first month’s rent and security deposit and buying the key pieces of furniture I couldn’t steal from family members, there just wasn’t enough to splurge on anything more than a cute bedspread. Sigh. A girl can only dream.
Buying Furniture is stressful. Like, really stressful.
It is stressful not only because it is expensive, but if you are living with another person, the decision on what piece of furniture to buy suddenly becomes this jumbled mess of a group effort! Do you like this one? Can we afford that one? Oh this one is pretty but our bank accounts won’t be happy. It’s endless compromises for things you will either sit on or stuff clothes into!
Also, maybe it was just me, but the minute I walked into a furniture store I almost turned around and walked back out. There are just too many options. What’s the difference between this dresser and that one? This one has different colored knobs and that other one has four drawers instead of three! Also, why does this one cost twice as much? Should it be white? But there’s also this wood colored one…and a darker wood colored one! Ah! I’m feeling the stress just typing this out!
Food is stupidly expensive.
Okay, I’m kind of cheating on this one, because I have had to pay for my own food since college, when they decided I no longer needed free meal swipes. However, to me food feels even more expensive when the food money is coming out of a paycheck rather than financial aid money like it was in my case.
Also, on this note, despite being more expensive, going out to eat is so tempting! This is especially true after a long day of work. After all, who wants to go through their fridge and figure out what to cook after working an 8 hour job? I certainly don’t. Therefore, it feels like every night becomes a struggle of: Do I want to overpay for convenient food that’s made for me? Or do I want to be a good person and eat a (probably healthier) meal at home and save my wallet just a little bit? The struggle, man. The struggle.
I couldn’t buy that cat I wanted as soon as I moved out of my mom’s.
I’ve wanted a cat for as long as I could remember. Unfortunately, my mom never let me have one. Therefore, when I found out my apartment was cat-friendly, I thought, “I’m moving! This is my chance!” I had a name picked out and everything.
I was super excited for Xenon the kitty to come home with me one day. That was until I realized that a cat would not only mean spending money on a pet deposit, but it would also include expenses such as an extra $100 of rent, the cost of pet food and vet bills. Nope. Nope. Nope. Can’t afford that right now. Sorry, little kitty. 😦 I’ll get you one day!
Parallel parking is a must-have skill.
I guess this is less important if you are not moving towards a major city, but I found that knowing how to parallel park decently well saved my butt a few times. After all, I live in the Los Angeles area and it isn’t exactly parking friendly. So, it was either learn how to parallel park or avoid certain places for the rest of my natural life. You can make your own decision, but I chose the former. (Thank you, mom!)
Target/Walmart runs can break the bank.
This one still blows my mind sometimes. It is absolutely insane how expensive toiletries and household products can get. Especially because, as luck would have it, multiple things always run out at the same time. So, now you have to head to your local store to buy the necessities and somehow one Walmart or Target run can be more than a month of groceries! IT’S OKAY. I CAN JUST EAT TOOTHPASTE. Ugh.
Investing in tools is probably a good idea.
Because things break, or things require assembly. Or sometimes, you just need to get creative and the easiest way to do that is with a hammer and some pliers. I can’t really emphasize how needed a good set of tools is. However, I can say you need:
- A Phillps and Flathead screwdriver (the + and – ones), preferably of various sizes.
- Needle-nose pliers
- A hammer
- A wrench (I like crescent wrenches because their adjustable)
- Optional: an electric drill/screwdriver.
Parents aren’t there to make you soup when you’re sick.
I remember the first time I ever got sick away from home. I felt like crap. I didn’t want to get out of bed. I wanted to cry. Yet, I despite my achy joints I couldn’t just lay in bed because there was no one there to give me medicine or make me soup or even wrap me up in a warm blanket and tell me everything is going to be okay. 😦
On the same note, it’s just not the same even if you have a roommate or boyfriend to help you (or if you’re the one helping them). I have seen my boyfriend puke before. I can assure you that I certainly did not ooze that same love a mother gives to a sick child. If I remember correctly, I audibly said ew. Yes, I’m a great girlfriend. Whatever. Besides, I’m sure when the roles were reversed he thought I was a disgusting snot ball as well. This is not, of course, to say that parents don’t think their kids are disgusting snot balls when their sick. However, they at least have the experience in hiding it better.
Go hug your parents, you snot balls!
We got it better than the last generation. We got Google, folks!
So this past month, the light in my oven stopped working. I didn’t even know that was a thing I ever had to worry about! Googled it. Haven’t fixed it yet, but I know how thanks to Google!
Here are some other examples of these past few months:
- Stripped a screw and need to unscrew something? Googled it.
- Garbage disposal is jammed? Googled it.
- Needed to sew a whole in my clothes? Googled it.
- Had to learn how to put together a bedframe? Searched on Youtube.
- Needed to learn about adult things like insurance and paying off debt? Googled it.
- Had to quickly figure out how to take care of someone with food poisoning? Totally googled that.
See? Google! It’s amazing! Though, I guess to end with a “take-home message,” of sorts: No one knows what they’re doing! That’s why the internet exists, duh.
I hope you enjoyed my (hopefully) comical list of things I wish someone told me before I became that dreaded word: adult.
Also, I know I definitely excluded some important things as to not let this post go too long. Therefore, please add to the list by commenting below and help out those soon-to-be adults prepare for the life they will soon be living!
❤ Best of luck!