Adulting is difficult – it isn’t as glamorous as the movies make it seem. There is no Chandler who is going to pay your rent as you struggle with your job, there is no absolutely no job that let’s you chill with your friends and flatmates in a coffee shop or bar on most nights, more often you won’t get along with your flatmate and would want to see them as less as possible, there are no rent controlled apartments in NY just waiting for you and losing your job is traumatic and not funny! I love FRIENDS but why, why these lies? The ONLY real bit is the title track! 😀
Adulting is hard no matter which part of the world you are in! Honestly our education system as well as our families very rarely teach us about how to adult. So if you are in your late teens-early twenties, here’s a list of things you should learn or know about –
HOW TO DO TAXES
Boy, was I confused during my first job about what and how to do taxes. Each country has different rules and all of them are CONFUSING as hell. India has a dozen of different exemptions and allowances and I seriously don’t get it all even now. So before your first job, make sure to gather basic knowledge about doing taxes – the exemptions, how to, when to, documents and forms you need to fill, dates etc. Talk to your parents, research online or talk to an older sibling/friend who is filing taxes to get some basics sorted so that you aren’t overwhelmed later.
ABOUT POLITICS AND VOTING
It is important and imperative to be political! Read about the different political parties, their policies & the leaders. Please don’t pick a political alignment based on your parent’s choices – have an open mind and explore all options before settling in on one. Question everything – don’t blindly follow anyone or anything. and ALWAYS VOTE. I can’t stress this enough. If you are in a democratic country – please exercise the right to vote because it is one of your few rights that can change yours and millions of other’s lives.
HOW TO LOVE YOURSELF
Put yourself first – there is no obligation to anyone else. Use your 20s to find yourself – instead of following the crowd – break free, find your direction and motivation. Don’t be afraid to follow your heart even if other’s don’t approve! Love yourself before trying to find love outside. Focus on yourself in your 20s – your health, your career, what makes you happy, your friends, etc. Don’t be afraid to be uniquely yourself. And don’t be afraid to set boundaries!
HOW TO TRAVEL ESPECIALLY SOLO
You have your 30s to worry about saving money and mortgages – spend your 20s travelling the world! There is nothing else in the world that compares to the feeling of being in a new place and experiencing a new culture. I don’t mean be completely reckless with money – definitely save for a rainy day but spend the rest on only travel. Travel is both fun and therapeutic! And if you can’t find someone to travel with – go ALONE! Instead of postponing plans waiting for a friend or partner to go with you – go on your own. I’d recommend that atleast once in your life you should experience solo travel. Solo travel helps you be absolutely comfortable on your own, in your own skin and makes you more independent.
Check out my guide on ‘HOW TO PLAN YOUR SOLO TRAVEL’.
HOW TO SAVE & INVEST MONEY
I know everyone says ‘save money’ but no one tells you how, how much and what to do with that money. My thumb rule has been – save+ invest 50% of my salary and the rest is spent on living expenses and enjoying. About savings & investing – you need to find what works for you depending on your risk taking appetite but definitely keep some portion liquid for emergencies or big expenditures and the rest invest in the stock market, cryptocurrency, bonds, fixed deposits, mutual funds, futures and options or whatever works for you. But read up and learn about these now and start investing early.
I wish someone had told me about these when I was a teenager – could have saved me a lot of confusion in my twenties! 🙂
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