The journey to adulthood is full of new challenges and responsibilities. And while some people seem to know how to adult intuitively, the rest have to rely on learning life skills the hard way — through mistakes and trial and error.
So, if you’re not quite sure how to adult yet, don’t worry. Here are essential life skills you can learn at any age to get you on the path to successful adulthood.
One of the most important things you can do as an adult is managing your money responsibly. That means creating and sticking to a budget.
There are a lot of different ways to approach budgeting. You can use a digital tool like Mint or YNAB or go old-school with a pen and paper. Whichever method you choose, ensure you’re accounting for all your income and expenses—including savings, investments, and debts—so you can get a clear picture of your financial situation.
Once you have a handle on your finances, you can start working towards financial goals like saving for retirement or paying down debt. And if you find some extra cash each month, consider using it to build up an emergency fund, so you’re prepared for unexpected expenses. Taking this proactive approach to your finances will set you up for a bright financial future.
As an adult, there’s a good chance you’ll have more on your plate than ever before. That’s why learning how to manage your time effectively is vital.
You can use a few techniques to take control of your time. The Pomodoro Technique involves breaking down tasks into smaller chunks and then focusing on one activity at a time for 25 minutes before taking a 5-minute break. Another is time blocking, which involves scheduling specific blocks of time for particular tasks throughout the day.
Find what works best for you, and then stick to it. That might mean setting aside an hour first thing in the morning to respond to emails or taking some time at the end of each day to plan out the next day’s schedule. Whatever it is, making time management a priority will help you stay on top of your responsibilities—and reduce stress in the process.
Being able to cook basic meals is one of those essential life skills that everyone should master. After all, eating out all the time can get expensive—not to mention unhealthy.
If cooking feels intimidating, start with something simple like scrambled eggs or grilled cheese sandwiches. Once you’ve got those down, move on to more ambitious recipes like pasta dishes or stir-fries. Plenty of resources are available online and in cookbooks designed explicitly for beginner cooks.
So, find a recipe that looks doable and give it a try. With practice, cooking will become second nature in no time. As a result, you’ll save money and enjoy healthier, home-cooked meals.
Don’t forget about taking care of yourself. As an adult, it’s essential to prioritize self-care for your physical and mental health.
There are many ways to practice self-care, so find what works best for you and make it part of your routine. That might mean taking a yoga class once a week or getting out in nature every day for a walk or run. It could also involve making time each week to get a massage or read your favorite book.
Whatever makes you feel good—physically, mentally, emotionally—do more of that. In doing so, you’ll be better equipped to handle the stresses of adulthood.
Of course, going to work or running errands isn’t possible without a way to get around. That’s why learning to drive is one of the essential life skills you need to acquire as an adult.
If you don’t already know how to drive, start by getting your learner’s permit. Once you’ve mastered the basics, you can take a driving test to get your license. And while you’re at it, consider taking a defensive driving course to reduce your risk of accidents. After all, the better you know how to drive, the safer you—and everyone else on the road—will be.
So, work on your driving skills and stay safe out there. In doing so, you’ll be able to get where you need to go without relying on others.
Being an adult comes with its fair share of challenges—but it also comes with rewards. If you’re looking to acquire some essential life skills but don’t know where to start, the above are a few good places you can look into. This way, you’ll be well on your way to smooth adult life.