10 Adulting Skills You Should Learn Before Graduating
Adulting skills are the new catchphrase for what used to be known as “growing up.” Unfortunately, the need to learn adulting skills is no longer something that you, as a college student, have to worry about alone.
Many adults don’t know anything about it, or could be a lot better at it anyway. Don’t wait until you’re in the throes of adulthood to discover the things you aren’t good at doing.
In this article, we will share the 10 biggest adulting skills that you need to know (or at least have experienced) by the time you cross the platform and collect your degree. Let’s begin!
1. Financial Planning
Financial planning can entail everything from paying bills to saving for retirement. Well, maybe not retirement. At your age, there is a little bit of space between now and the end of your career.
Still, it’s never too soon to save your money. Building an emergency fund can help you pay cash for things and avoid credit card usage, which cripples a number of adults every year.
Also, you want to think about your future. Now’s the time to get enrolled in insurance policies as they’re more affordable when you’re younger. Later, you may not even qualify.
Lock in those good rates now! Other financial planning things you need to learn include saving for a car, putting a downpayment on a house, or paying the deposit on your apartment.
2. Conflict Resolution
Not everyone is good at conflict resolution, but successful people are. It’s important to know when to bend and when to push back. Not every opinion from someone else needs a response.
Sometimes, it’s the response that pours gasoline on the fire and leads to a full-scale argument. Instead of jumping right in, learn to realize when you’re losing your cool and finding a path forward.
3. Listen to Differing Viewpoints
Of course, conflict resolution is not possible if you’re a bad listener. What makes people poor listeners? A desire to be heard over everyone else.
Unfortunately, social media usage has exacerbated this. As a result, you think you’re being heard when you’re really just screaming into the void, where all the other opinions from everyone else go to die.
College, if nothing else, should teach you how to deal with difficult people. It should teach you to be challenged by other viewpoints so you can either change your mind about what you think or edify your existing beliefs. You won’t be very strong mentally otherwise.
4. Take Care of a Child
The act of caring for a child for a 2-4 hour stretch is one that everyone should experience. That’s true even if they have no desire to start a family right away (or even at all).
Caring for children on your own takes a lot of work. It takes a willingness to do things you otherwise wouldn’t. Sometimes nasty things if you’re like us and not into changing diapers.
Why should you subject yourself to this? Because it will a) prepare you more for when you do decide to start a family, or b) give you a little more understanding of the things your parents went through raising you. It’s a wonderful way to increase empathy and appreciate the freedom you currently have.
Yes, self-driving cars are going to be a thing one day. Well, they already are, but you don’t see many of them in widespread use. One day, they will be.
But it’s still a good idea to get behind the wheel and drive yourself. For starters, it gives you a much-needed life skill and a taste of independence. Secondly, it’s something that comes in handy for emergencies.
6. Market Yourself
We mean being able to market yourself to employers or movers and shakers in your field. The primary way you do that is social media, but so many people don’t put the best version of themselves out there for the world to see.
Start looking at your social media profiles as a Resume 2.0. Don’t include anything that an employer might get their hands on. Even if your privacy settings are locked down, who’s to say that one of your existing followers won’t throw you under the bus with a carefully taken screenshot?
You want to operate your social media accounts like your worst enemy could get ahold of it at any moment. It makes things a little more boring, but boring is good when it comes to the job market.
7. Live On Your Own
Whether an apartment or a dorm room, you need to experience the thrill and responsibility of taking care of yourself free from your Mom and/or Dad. Put yourself in the situation where you have to do the wash or risk wearing dirty clothes.
Learn what goes into getting and up keeping your own place. Adjust to being alone and setting your own schedule. It’s something you’ll never regret once you learn how to do it.
Last but not least, resist the urge to go home every weekend. That just delays your ability to do all the things for yourself that you should know how to do right now.
It doesn’t have to be an overtly serious relationship, but you should try your hand at committing to someone. Get a sense of the things you will accept and won’t accept in a relationship.
We phrased it that way — “will accept, won’t accept” — because no relationship is perfect. Finding a great one is as much about knowing your personal tolerance levels as it is finding someone with whom you have important things in common.
Be willing to experiment at this stage, but do so with an eye on the future. It will help you out in your future as you get ready to settle down.
Every month, you should have a listing of the income and expenses that you expect. This will give you solid guidelines for what to expect.
However, don’t let it end there. You never can tell what unexpected expenses might come your way. Furthermore, the same could be said for windfalls. Maybe Aunt Martha met you for lunch and slipped you a $100 bill you weren’t counting on.
Track your earnings and expenses as they change during the course of the month. This will help you feel more in control of your finances, and that’s one area where exercising control is a great thing.
10. Good Nutrition
Good nutrition should be taught to you by your parents, but going by the obesity rates across the globe, there’s a very good chance it’s not being taught well. You are an educated generation, though.
You know the dangers and diseases that can arise from eating lots of processed foods or having no clue about the macronutrients that are going into your boy. It’s time to put that higher learning to work.
Use mobile or web-based applications to track the calories you’re taking in. If you’re overdoing it, adjust your exercise routines accordingly. It all starts with nutrition, though. Getting a handle on that will ensure you never get out of control.
These Adulting Skills Will Add to Your Quality of Life
We hope you feel more prepared now to face the challenges of life after college. Incorporating these adulting skills into your routine as early as possible will give you the familiarity that you need to get good at them before the demand becomes too great.
Now it’s your turn, readers. What are some adulting skills that you still struggle with? Which ones are you proud of yourself for knowing? Sound off in the comments section below.
[Featured Image by Flickr Creative Commons]