School’s out for summer. Or, if you’re at a certain life stage, FOREVER. Thank God, right?
Maybe you’re so thrilled you could pass out from excitement, kind of like those fainting goats that do just that sometimes. Or maybe you’re absolutely petrified, so much so that you could also pass out like... a fainting goat (they also pass out when they’re scared, you see).
But never fear! We at Villainesse have created a handy guide to adulting, the product of years of sleeping on couches, plunging into credit card and student loan debt, failing to manage time properly or look after ourselves, moving to places where we didn’t have somewhere to stay or even know anyone, and generally struggling to hold things together. We got you.
The Villainesse guide to surviving adulting:
- Ice cream for breakfast is a brilliant idea. Until you decide you never want to touch ice cream again. Too much of a good thing can be a bad thing. Except cereal for dinner. That’s perfectly OK.
- Eat fruits and vegetables. Ever heard those stories about university students getting scurvy? Turns out there’s a reason our parents forced us to eat greens all those years.
- Drink a glass of water between each glass of alcohol. It will keep you hydrated and slow you down just enough that you hopefully won’t wake up on the bathroom floor.
- Moving away from home and heading off to another city? Enrol with a GP. It’s probably the last thing on your mind… until you get sick and end up paying more than $100 just to see a doctor. Medical costs are waaaaay cheaper if you’re actually enrolled as a patient of a doctor’s surgery.
- Schedule regular dentist’s appointments, even if you’ve never had a filling in your life. It’s better to catch a cavity when it’s still small, rather than having to fork out hundreds or even thousands of dollars later. If your budget will allow, get your teeth cleaned by a dental hygienist every year too.
- If something is making you miserable, get out if you can. Don’t like your job? Start looking for another. Not happy in a relationship or the city you’re in? Do what you think is right, but there’s no point sticking with it if it’s making you feel bad. We all have one life.
- That said, sometimes jobs can suck at first, then get better in time. Give it a chance. If it still sucks after a certain amount of time, however, feel free to abandon ship.
- No matter how much money you earn, make a weekly budget for yourself, and try your hardest to stick to it. Allocate how much you plan on spending on rent, food, transportation, entertainment, etc. Not only will it do wonders for your financial health, it’ll also do wonders for your mental and emotional health. If you can, put a little bit away each week into a savings account.
- Pay for things up front if you can. No-one wants to still be paying for a car they’ve had for years that’s falling apart, or a holiday they went on months or even years ago.
- Don’t fall for credit cards. They will lull you into a false sense of security then charge you fifty thousand billion per cent in interest. It’s not worth it.
- That must-have thing? You don’t have to have it. There’ll be another “must-have” next week. And the week after. And the week after that. Ad infinitum. Trust us. We have wardrobes full of must-have things that are now must-get-rid-ofs.
- Keep reading. Sure, you don’t HAVE to, but don’t you want to keep learning about the world, or even worlds beyond?
- Keep in touch with your family. We know. You’re an adult now. You want to spread your wings and fly from the nest. But sometimes it’s nice to head home and be a kid again. Even if it’s just to do your laundry.
- It might sound boring, but if you can afford it, take out health insurance. While we might enjoy a pretty good public health system, if things go pear-shaped and you need specialists and surgery FAST, having private cover will pay for itself.
- Before you do that, however, make sure that you have at least third-party car insurance (if, that is, you have a car, obviously). Your rust bucket might not be worth anything, but if you crashed into a Lamborghini and didn’t have third party insurance… well… yeah… You’d be pretty fucked.
- Find a good, solid group of friends who love you and will tell you both that you’re awesome and when you’re being a bit of a dick and stick with them.
- Take risks. You don’t want to look back on things when you’re older and have regrets. If you can afford it, go ahead and take that overseas trip with no plan whatsoever. Life’s an adventure. Even if you find yourself sleeping in a squat in Berlin, or living with 25 other people in one flat in London, or negotiating a meal and a bed with a non-English speaking villager in a remote hillside village in Cambodia. They make for interesting stories, at least.
- Remember that none of us have a fucking clue what we’re doing, really. We’re all just muddling along, making mistakes, repeating them, and sometimes learning from them. Are you alive? Congratulations! You’re winning at adulting.Support Villainesse