Now that you’ve begun to solidify your college plans, you’re excited about moving out and gaining some independence. But before you take that leap into adulthood, make sure you’ve brushed up on your “adulting” skills in the following seven areas.
Time management. Getting up and going to bed at the same times every day will keep your schedule regulated (and your body healthier). Prioritizing tasks, planning events with a calendar, and moving efficiently between long- and short-term goals will help you successfully manage your time.
Employment. Getting a job is a job in itself! Make sure you know how to create a resume, search for jobs online, fill out job applications, and email or call potential employers to follow up. Practice your interview skills and learn etiquette techniques. Once you’ve gotten the job, showing up on time, remembering work gear, and correctly interacting with co-workers or the public should be top priorities.
Housing and daily living skills. Learn about leases, deposits, and rental guidelines. Make sure you know what happens if you break a lease, or if your landlord violates their end of the agreement. Learn money management and bill payment skills, and basic maintenance tasks that should be performed.
Daily household tasks are a whole other matter. You can begin to practice these now, by doing your own laundry, dishes, cooking, and cleaning if you don’t already. Make sure you pay attention to some finer details now, before you’re on your own, such as how to care for delicate fabrics and basic guidelines on food expiration and safety.
Financial skills. Filling out your FAFSA is a good start. You also need to know how to file taxes, balance a checking account, and manage a credit card. Learn how interest is calculated, so that you can make wise spending decisions for many years in the future.
Healthcare. Review your health insurance plan with your parents, so that you know how to utilize the benefits when you move away to college. Also, make sure you know how to interpret the instructions on medications, and how to handle medical emergencies. Practice preventive healthcare with solid nutrition, exercise, and avoidance of harmful habits.
Getting around. Most young adults drive these days, but that’s not all you need to know. Learn how to read bus and train schedules, and plan around those times and pickup locations. If you will be attending college out of state, it’s time to become familiar with airports.
And perhaps the most important “adulting” task of all: Learn when, and how, to ask for help. Even people many decades older than you sometimes ask for help! No one truly knows it all at any age. But if you know when and how to access help, you will thrive.