A Guide To Adult Life for College Students

A Guide To Adult Life for College Students
  • Opening Intro -

    If you've just graduated from high school, or you're a college student nervous about beginning the next stage of life, there's a lot of pressure out there to get it right.

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People see becoming an adult as a rite of passage that includes heavy expectations, so it’s natural to feel some apprehension. If you’re hesitant to enter this next phase in your life, here are some tips to help you enter with more confidence.

Take Time To Think

In today’s fast-paced world, everyone needs to be doing everything all the time. Everyone needs to have the answers, and youth and success is prized across industries. This is an enormous and unnecessary amount of pressure for a young adult.

Far too many people rush into careers they think they want, or other people tell them they want, when they haven’t even taken the time to figure out who they are yet. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with taking a step back and thinking about your options.

You may ask, why take a gap year? Because taking time for yourself to figure out what you actually want can save you money and stress in the long run. Plus, there are lots of ways to spend a gap year, from traveling to volunteering, and you’ll have those experiences for the rest of your life

Try Anything

Society may say this is the time to settle into your career, but many people struggle to pick one purpose in life when they’ve barely experienced all that life has to offer. This is the time to try a little bit of everything.

Even if you don’t change your mind about your dream career, you may discover new hobbies and friends you’ll keep well into adulthood.

Find a Job, Any Job

Unfortunately, most people don’t land their dream job right out of high school or college. When you need the money, the reality is that any job will do, at least for a time.

If you’re still in school, this is a chance to get some valuable experience, if only for your resume. Society also has the unfortunate habit of romanticizing work in that everyone should pursue their passions as a career.

This makes it easy to burn out and can ruin the experience for good. It is also perfectly acceptable to find a job you simply like, or at least don’t hate, that pays you enough to spend the rest of your time doing exactly what you want with less stress.

Be Real About Your Finances

If you’re planning on going to school, or buying a house or car, you need to know what your financial situation looks like. This is true for any phase in life, but the younger you start, the easier it will be in the future when you have more on your plate.

It’ll also be easier to plan your financial future if you start saving early. Things like large student loans and excessive credit card debt can make it difficult to secure a mortgage or plan for retirement, so keep this in mind when choosing careers. Not everyone needs a big house or a career that pays six figures, but it’s worth noting average income when picking a field.

No One Actually Knows What They’re Doing

As you navigate this new chapter, take comfort in the fact that no one actually knows what they’re doing. Your parents stumbled through life as you’re doing now, and they still come across things they don’t know how to do.

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There are adults so intimidated by my taxes they refuse to consider doing them alone. There are adults who hate talking on the phone or making appointments.

They still make mistakes, and you will too. There’s no magical age where things just start to make sense, so don’t feel discouraged or like you’re failing because there’s always some new challenge.

You’re living through a transitionary period, so it’s natural to feel overwhelmed. Never be afraid to take a step back and breathe. The responsibilities will be there when you decide to come back. When you give yourself some space to think, you can create a life you’re proud of.

Image Credit: guide to adult life for college students by twenty20.com

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