Getting started as a college student can be a daunting task, but having to be an independent adult for the first time can be worse. But have no fear! College is the perfect place to hone your adulting skills. Keep reading for a list of 15 responsibilities to start doing in college.
1. Be on time
Whether it’s for class or for an interview, an adult will prioritize their day in a way that ensures they are always on time for their commitments. Not only does it give off a great first impression (who couldn’t use more of those, right?) but it also means others respect you as a reliable person. Punctuality is key, so add on those alarms!
2. Create your own food
Now that you’re officially an adult, you can’t rely on the same old coffee-croissant-Subway routine, and definitely not on the mom-where’s-my-food method. Being a grown-up means you need to learn how to feed yourself, and whether that’s through meal-prep videos or buying a cookbook, you should probably start practicing. (With a fire extinguisher nearby, of course).
3. Actually shop for groceries
In order to make your food, you should probably have ingredients. Make a pact with your roommate to alternate going grocery shopping, and be sure to buy things you need. As a college student, understanding the difference between needs and wants can save you from over-drafting your account. (Trust me, you don’t need any more debt than you already have).
4. Budget like it’s the end of the world
It might as well be. Being in college is one of the most expensive things you’ll be doing in your life, and while it may be fun to splurge a little, make sure it doesn’t become habitual. Remember that most adults have debt, but none try to increase it unless absolutely necessary. Prioritize what you need over what you want, and you’ll be good to go. And TBH, Felicia, do you really need that pair of thigh high boots?
5. Explore yourself
Don’t stick to the status quo! College is the ideal time to be exploring what you want to know about yourself. Your experiences shape you as an individual, and they have even more of an impact when you’re an adult. Twenty years down the road, you’d rather regret having done something rather than regret not having done it because you’ll have had that experience regardless. So don’t box yourself into what you think is best; try new things!
6. Keep up with the politics, people!
With freedom comes responsibility, so no longer can you live in ignorant bliss. As an adult citizen, it’s now your obligation to be up to date on what’s happening in your country, so change the channel from KUWTK to 60 Minutes. The more you know, the more you’ll be able to have a say in the political climate, so educate yourself!
7. Be comfortable being alone
This one’s an absolute must. Part of the college experience is going out of your comfort zone, so go ahead, meet new people that you don’t have mutuals with, sit down in that restaurant by yourself, go to that event on campus even if your friends are busy. Embrace the awkward situations head on!
8. Stop fiddling with your skin
TMI, maybe, but true. Since you’re entering the adult spectrum now, chances are, your hormones will die down a little and your acne will go away. So stop messing with it. The more you aggravate your skin, the more breakouts will occur and the more scarring you’ll have. Let your skin figure itself out, and take confidence in your appearance!
9. PLAN, PLAN, PLAN!
As a student, your schedule is probably all over the place, and if you’re working, then there’s only so much time you have to yourself. So learn time management! You won’t have time to make impromptu decisions without giving up on one of your other engagements, so make sure you know what fits into your schedule where. Create a weekly plan, and follow through on it.
10. Have an effective work-life balance
The stress from school, family, friends, work, relationships, and more can be detrimental to a new adult. Work for your highest potential, but learn to unplug and give yourself some time to just experience a moment. Meditating is extremely effective; take as little as 15 minutes out of your day to reflect on your life, without any disturbances. Mental health is just as important as your work, so treat it as such! Your work will be there when you get back.
11. Be open to others’ perspectives
Now that you’re out in the real world, you’ll quickly learn that it’s so much more than the bubble that you’ve lived in for eighteen years. There are others out there with so many different experiences, from so many different walks of life, that you will not always agree with their views. That, however, does not invalidate them. Learn to accept this truth, and be willing to agree to disagree in a respectful, dignified manner; it’ll expand your horizon as well as the other person’s!
Unless you are deliberately planning on being unhealthy, take care of your body as you do your mind! As a college student, it’s tempting to give up that slot of free time to sleeping, studying, partying, or working. But make sure to prioritize your physical health as well. Remember, aim for fitness and not numbers!
13. Keep your personal and social life separate
Up until now, chances are, your parents protected you from the harsh realities of life. Truth is, as an adult, you’ll experience a lot of things – both in your personal life and your social life – and not everyone deserves to know everything, so don’t be too trusting. That said, take what people tell you with a grain of salt, because when it comes down to it, almost everyone’s out for themselves and their closest people. Keep people you don’t trust with your life on a need-to-know basis, and definitely don’t go around spewing details of your personal relationships to your friends. That’s some high school shit, bro.
14. Don’t give up.
Cheesy as it is, this is the one guideline you must follow in order to be a mature person. As a grownup, there are no do-overs, no people watching your back even if you don’t want it watched. So don’t screw it up! College is as demanding as it is fun, and the one reason you’re paying all that money is for you to have the certification to prove that you can be someone. You’ll definitely face challenges along the way, but that’s your test to be a fully functioning adult, to keep grinding. Keep working towards your potential at your own pace, and things will fall in line!
15. Break up with procrastination
It’ll be difficult. It really will be. But you can do it. Break up with your on-again, off-again lover, Procrastination. Do what you need to, and do it as soon as possible. Think about it: the faster you finish that assignment, the less time it’s in the back of your head, and the more time you have to do other things. Even if it’s all piled up and the urge to push it off is irresistible, fight it! Start with something, anything, and, in the words of Shia LeBouf, just do it!