It’s true that school doesn’t teach you what you need to know as an adult.
Here are 5 adulting things I wish someone told me:
1. Help vs Rescue
People are willing to help you like giving you advice, connecting you with someone (networking), or funding a charity or business idea (be grateful if people are willing to donate or invest money). However, don’t expect someone to rescue you by solving all of your problems. You have to be willing to save yourself. I understand the feeling of wanting someone to rescue you when you’re in a low point, but expecting a rescue can lead to you getting scammed or making stupid mistakes.
2. Based your Career off of your Ideal Lifestyle
Figure out what type of lifestyle you want first because it will help you see which career path to follow. For example, if you just want to travel the world whenever you want, consider getting a remote job or developing a universal skill, like cooking or programming.
If you want the penthouse and Mercedes, consider a career in a lucrative field, such as finance. But, be warned, don’t complain about having to work the long hours. It’s no secret that lucrative positions are demanding.
3. Get Familiar with Real Estate
Whether you rent or buy a place, you should get familiar with an area’s real estate to make sure you get a fair deal. Even in an expensive city like New York City, people either overpay for a place or fall for a scam. When I was looking for a place of my own in Denver, a manager was so generous to inform me what to watch out for when viewing places and what price range was normal for different neighborhoods.
Bonus tip: Knowing a local can better guide you on where to find a deal.
4. Create Genuine Relationships
I’ve lost touched with most people from college. Now, I now see a lot of those friendships were out of convenience.
It’s lonely after college at first, but you have to be willing to go to new places and interact with people. I’ve made friends randomly. For example, I became pals with a girl I met at a writers meetup.
5. Be Responsible with Money
Money can be a taboo topic or overwhelming area. Either people refuse to talk about money or nag you about having an emergency fund, credit, and zero debt.
I had no clue how to manage my money until I listened to Freakonomics’s interview with Harold Pollack who wrote a personal finance book with Helaine Olen called The Index Card. The simple advice in the book helped me establish a budget on the app Mint and establish a debt avalanche approach to my student. I also read Broke Millennial Takes on Investing and that taught me what investing was, important terms to know, and how to begin investing.
There are a lot of things I don’t know how to do, but I’m slowly learning.