I don’t know what I expected adulthood to be like. Independence? Freedom? Whatever it was, it sure as hell didn’t include constant stress, emotional trauma, and a crazy number of takeaways. But it’s a part of growing up (she says hopefully). You make mistakes; some more intense than others, cry, learn and repeat it a couple more times till the lesson finally sinks in!
But some life lessons could have definitely been taught, without the added pain and embarrassment. I took it upon me to list nine key things our adult figures should have taught us as a child, but were possibly busy experiencing themselves.
You will change your career more than once growing up, and that’s okay
You might not know what you want to be at 16, 20 or 25+. You might have studied a major and then decide that’s not what you want to do anymore.
Not knowing, or changing your mind is completely normal and perfectly okay. You’ll be a completely different person in every stage of your growing life, you can’t expect yourself to still like the same things you did a few years ago.
Mental health days are valid reasons to take days off
I’ve had my fair share of calling in sick to work for this reason and have them laugh at me. Sorry, did I make a joke?
Mental health is just as important as physical health. Unless you’re willing to comfort me mid breakdown, I suggest it’s best I leave my tears in my bedroom.
Gain work experience early
If I had a pound for the number of companies that had asked for 2+ years of working experience in a specific skillset from new graduates, let’s just say I wouldn’t be on a job hunt anymore.
Starting early will save you so much stress. Even if it’s just one day a week, or fortnightly over a long period of time. Trust me. Just do it.
Saving a little bit of money every month will come to your rescue
You might be in your late teens or early 20’s (like me) and think you have plenty of time to save. Or think, you don’t earn enough from your retail, barista or whatever job, to save. But you’d be surprised how often life hits you with unexpected tragedies, bills and breakdowns.
Save as much as you’re capable every month, and it WILL come in handy.
You will fall in love so many times
Unless you’re one of the lucky guys that married their first kiss or sweetheart, life isn’t that simple. Catching feelings is inevitable. As you grow, your preferences will change. You’ll fall in and out of love so many times throughout the course of your life, to people that cater to your new needs and personality.
You don’t need to be doing something you’re passionate about to be considered successful
There is nothing wrong with working a 9-5. There’s nothing wrong with working in retail. There’s nothing wrong with working full time in a café or an office. Not everyone wants to revolve their existence around work or having their own business.
A lot of us want to focus more on living than working, or do something that gets them by as they live life to the fullest. Or, just want to live a simple life. Don’t let inspirational career quotes off Instagram make you think your desires won’t make you happy. They’re YOUR desires for a reason.
Listen to your gut instinct, it’s probably right
If you’ve been following me, you’ll see I’ve said this on my @StressedinProgress Instagram page. It’s true. Trust your gut.
Working out achieves more than a sexy body
Tried and tested by your very own. Working out helps with the symptoms of mental health disorders. They reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety, depression, negative moods and ADHD. It sends feel good hormones around your body, helping you sleep better, gives you energy, improves self-esteem and regulates your mood.
Choose your friends very carefully
A 2014 study found that friends often bond by supporting each other in resisting temptation. The same concept applies, through helping each other indulge in temptation. That’s not to say you have no free will to make your own choices. But come on, you can’t leave your friend to make a bad decision on their own!
On another note, choose friends that will encourage you towards the path you wish to tread upon. Your social circle can heavily direct the course of your life and impact your choices.