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Who Tells You How To Properly Be An Adult?

Being an adult sucks. The worst part about it? Bills. The other bad part, transitioning from 3 month summer vacations to the real world, 2-3 weeks. But of course there are the good parts like the events you’ll attend, turning your hobby into your job, finding "the one,” starting a family and owning your car and/or home.

But who’s responsible for answering all of the questions we semi-adults have like how late can you really pay a bill after it's due date? And are you aware that late payments negatively affect your credit score, which one day you’ll need for just about EVERYTHING.

What about apartment leases? Yes, you should read the whole thing. But how do you properly fill those things out and do you need a witness present?

You know on job applications when they ask you if you’re a 0,1 or 2? I never know!

And cosigners! You need a cosigner for damn near everything. What effect will your negligence have on the person who signed for you?

Should you consolidate your student loans?

You know when a job or school asks you for a reference? I was told at a pre-law conference that the best people for those are the ones that can hire, fire or flunk you.

Car notes? Registration and titles? Mortgages? Life insurance?! 401ks and Roth IRAs? I’m 24! Well, if you haven’t started investing in your life insurance, you might want to start now. The earlier you save the more you’ll have for later.

When you think about it, no one tells you how to be a real adult. They warn you about certain things or give you pieces of advice long before you need them, but normally you find out after something has already happened or just when it’s about to happen. You either have to ask a lot of questions or just figure it out.

I told my mom to stop going to the dentist and doctor with me when I was 20. No big deal because at 20, you would think I would know what to do, say, ask.. but like most wise-asses, I did not and it was because she had always been with me so in my eyes, I was just a kid winging it.

When I got home she asked me if I had to told the doctor about my other symptoms, the ones not as jarring as the important ones but still enough to be bothersome, or about the side effects of the medication or if the meds would conflict with whatever other meds I was on at the time. To me, these were all grown up questions she would’ve asked if she had been with me. When I told her "no, no, no” she laughed at me. “All this time I’ve been going with you to the doctor and you didn’t pick up on any of my questions?" I realized it was my fault that I hadn’t been paying attention, I wasn’t learning.

What I should’ve done with her was first go over the right questions to ask, not believing I knew it all. I’ll admit that I have a bit of a pride issue and at times, that can get in the way. But the smartest and simplest thing I’ve learned is to never be afraid to ask a question. Easy right? But believe it or not, not as many people follow this as you would think.

Easy lessons: If there’s something you don’t know, go to someone who does so you can learn the proper way to do and handle things. Talk to people who have been through what you’re currently going through, whether its with a job, a significant other, your kids or any other problem you’re having. Lost in life? So many of us are! Consult with your parents or an aunt or uncle. Get a mentor. Talk to someone older and more experience than you— that way, you’re not out here taking extra steps for no reason at all. Sometimes, through trial and error, we want to teach ourselves. But learning by mistakes can sometimes teach you harder lessons than necessary. There is no adult handbook so realize you can’t know it all. Being an adult is hard, but it doesn’t have to be so hard if you take guides a long with you. So just ask. What’s the worst thing that can happen if you do?

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