Young people think that adults have it all figured out, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, most adults are just overgrown kids that have a job and (maybe) a savings account. Most of us are always in the process of learning and improving ourselves each day. When it comes to having things “all figured out,” it’s a harsh realization that this idea might never happen. Working on yourself — and becoming more adult in the process — will never end.
Learning how to be more adult comes naturally for some. But even independent thinkers and ambitious young professionals will need the occasional reminder to file their taxes on time or take their car into the shop. At the end of the day, there’s no such thing as being the perfect adult. Luckily, you can learn how to be more adult over time.
Are you ready to learn how to be more adult? Rely on these tips to become a more responsible, put-together adult person.
Take care of your health
Taking care of your health is one of the most adult things you can do. After all, kids have to rely on other people to tell them what to do and when. They don’t get to pick their dinner or choose their bedtime; being responsible for your health — and taking it seriously — is one of the best ways to become more adult.
When you’re on your own, everything you eat and how much exercise you get is up to you. That’s why countless new college students pack on the Freshmen 15 through their first semester. They’re not used to eating unless it’s on a schedule and the freedom to buy what you want when you want it can be overwhelming.
Start taking care of your health by eating healthy. A balanced diet consists of plenty of fruits and vegetables, proteins, and fibers. Remember that carbs aren’t the enemy and portion sizing is among the top ways to reign in your eating habits. Ice cream is fine every once in a while, but try to limit it to a single scoop.
Keep in mind that your diet might have to change if you encounter health issues later on. It’s not uncommon for young people to get diagnosed with gallstones or other dietary issues that could impact your health. Consult your doctor to learn about what diets are best for your specific issue.
Exercise is just as important as diet. This is because exercising isn’t just meant for losing weight or maintaining that number on the scale; exercising is also about keeping your body strong and limber.
Exercising can be difficult for many people because it’s boring and hard to do. If you fall into this thought category, try joining a recreational sports league or exercising with friends to take the pressure off of the activity. Even doing something simple, like buying a pickleball shirt, can encourage you to try a new sport or give you the motivation to work out more regularly. If you’re able to disguise exercise in the form of fun, this is all the better for non-athletes. You might just uncover an activity that will last you for the rest of your life.
Don’t neglect your appointments
Along with exercise and diet, attending your appointments is a great path to becoming more adult.
Visiting your doctor regularly and going to the dentist twice per year is a part of being a responsible adult and taking care of your health. The occasional dental treatment can work wonders when it comes to maintaining your dental health in the longterm, especially as you grow older and bad habits (like smoking) start to wear down your oral health. Attending these appointments are key because they enable you to correct small issues and identify problems before they get too out of hand. It’s much easier to fix something small than to wait until it blooms into a bigger issue.
As you grow older, you might want to consider visiting eye doctors for adults, too. Most people will maintain the same basic vision between their 25th birthday through their early 40’s. However, our vision can change drastically if you work in front of a computer all day or if you have a family history of vision issues. How to be more adult? Search for the right medical professionals before an issue gets too serious. Getting glasses now will stop your vision from getting worse a few years down the line.
Even though we’ve talked primarily about medical appointments, all appointments are important. Being on time and prepared for any scheduled event will make you a more responsible person. Try to set your watch a couple of minutes ahead to ensure that you’re not late for special events or appointments. If you fall into the pattern of being late, your brain will tell you that this is okay to do in the future. This is especially true if you didn’t deal with any repercussions for missing a previously scheduled event. Whether you’re setting up a meeting with your doctor or going to the bank to talk about mortgages, get there early to prove that you’re responsible and capable.
Invest in a home that works for you
One of the most “adult” things that we do is moving into a new home. Whether it’s a house or an apartment or a townhome, “home” looks very different from person to person. The American dream was once about buying a house and building equity. But as more people put off marriage and children, a growing number of people want to travel and move when it’s convenient for them. Buying a house is still a great idea for many. However, the idea that apartments and rental homes are pools where you drain your money is starting to change.
Living in an apartment or another form of a rental home is great for people who aren’t invested in maintaining a home or coping with the ups and downs of a housing market. Just like people buy repairable SUVs for sale with the intention of fixing it up, a home will need regular work to stay in good condition (even if it isn’t your classic fixer-upper). If you’re not good with your hands, relying on a property manager to maintain your home or apartment is a better choice.
While you still might need to call a professional HVAC repair company during the hot summer months, bigger issues like plumbing, water damages, and garage door repair will be left up to your property manager. Renting a home means that you also won’t have to worry about finding a buyer before you move to that new job across the country. When it comes to flexibility and stability, the benefits of renting a place instead of buying can’t be beat.
The face of the American dream has started to change. Getting your own place, whether it be a house, an apartment, or a condo, will ensure you’re on your way to become a better adult.
Realize that marriage can wait
When you’re in your late teens and early 20s, you might feel like you have to find a partner immediately. After all, you need to fall in love before you’re 30 so you can start raising kids, right?
Wrong. Just like the housing market has started to shift, so too have the ideas of young people who are interested in dating. Studies have shown that most Millennials and Zoomers are putting off marriage, if they get married in the first place.
According to a recent post by Business Insider, Millennials are getting married later in order to pay off their debts and avoid marrying the wrong partner. They’re cohabiting a space before tying the knot and truly seeing how well they mesh before putting a ring on it. The term “prenup” has a negative connotation for many, but now, more Millennials who get married are investing in prenuptial agreements to protect their assets. Divorce is increasingly common so ensuring your assets are protected can make all the difference when the wedding bells break. This type of agreement is even more important if the duo leads an independent life on their own before merging their lives. Successful 30-somethings with an established job will be more sure about their financial situation and their future goals; they want to ensure they’re marrying a partner who’s on this journey with them instead of following in someone else’s footsteps.
But many Millennials are forgoing marriage in the first place. Couples are buying homes together before they even get engaged, proving their commitment to each other in different ways. They’re adopting pets and even having kids before tying the knot. The study reported by Business Insider notes that as many as 25% of Millennials will likely never get married.
You don’t have to get married to learn how to be more adult. The most adult thing you can do is realizing when it’s time to walk away from a relationship. Date around. Meet new people. Try out dating apps, even if you think they’re terrible. The wedding rings can wait until you find the right person, whether that be a year from now or a decade down the line.
Know when to hire a lawyer
Do you know what to do after a car accident? No one wants to be put into this rough situation. Hiring a lawyer and talking to them about what to do in this situation can make all the difference when you’re actually in this situation. Even if you already have insurance, finding an attorney and talking about what to do can help when you’re in a stressful situation like this.
You will also want to make sure you search around for the best insurance companies for the best deals. New drivers will often have higher insurance rates than more experienced drivers but there are many different options out there. Don’t settle for the first insurance company you see and be sure to hire an attorney if you think your rights aren’t being protected following a serious car accident. The best way to stop a car accident is to practice defensive driving and by getting regular car tune-ups twice yearly.
Getting a lawyer might be necessary for other reasons too. Crafting a will or establishing a prenuptial agreement with your future spouse demands the presence of an experienced lawyer. You might also want to hire a lawyer if you’re starting your own business or encountering a workplace dispute. Just like a doctor is there for advice, so is your lawyer. You will need them in times of intense stress, but you can also rely on them as an ally when you’re trying to get your life figured out and protected. How to be more adult? Find an attorney in your area whether you are in desperate need of one or not.
How to be more adult: Never stop learning
Not everyone knows how to be more adult, which is why guides like this are essential. As humans, we should always be trying to better ourselves and invest in our future. While making time for play is important, working hard to secure your safety and comfort is just as vital. That’s why so many parents are invested in sending their children to private education classes. These classes won’t make your children more adult, but they can certainly help lay the stepping stones to achieve greatness as your child grows older.
Whether you had that private education or not, just about anyone can rely on these tips to learn how to be more adult. For more tips, don’t hesitate to reach out to counselors, life coaches, and your older family members. No one has it all figured out, but relying on help can make the process a little easier.