Adulting 101: Things We Wish We Learned in School

Whether you like it or not, once you finish school, the meteor that is adulting hits you straight in the face.

As much as we wish the hours spent on learning Punnett squares and the functions of each part of a cell would help with filing taxes, threading a needle or doing laundry, we are still clueless—especially when it comes to the laundry. There are so many essentials that school neglected to teach us, which is why we're here to teach them to you. Get your notes ready, because class is in session.

adulting 101 canva

Future Planning

1. Interview Etiquette

Preparing for and conducting yourself properly during an interview are vital when it comes to securing the job you want. Hold yourself with confidence and be inquisitive during your interview, and be sure to follow up with a thank you email afterward to help you stand out above the other applicants. Not only does a polite message reiterate your interest and show that you're thoughtful and polite, but it'll help them keep you in mind during the hiring process.


2. Developing a Resume

When it comes to putting together your resume, there is an astonishing amount of conflicting information online. One thing everyone does seem to agree on, however, is that you should keep it to one page—especially when you're first starting out. Unless you've been working for decades, there's no reason your resume should take multiple pages—and no, you don't need to include that band class you attended for five days in middle school.

adulting 101 resume
(via Shutterstock)


3. It's Okay to Not Know What You Want to Do When You're Older

Whether you choose to go to college or not, chances are that you'll feel surrounded by people with a 30-year outline regarding how their life is going to go. We'll be the first to tell you that their life plan is likely to change over and over and over again. Do not put any pressure on yourself to figure out what you want to do when you're older— it will come with time. Focus on what you are passionate about and get smart with ways to potentially monetize it.


Emotional Well-Being

1. You Will Lose Some Friends Along the Way

As much as it would be wonderful to stay friends with all of your childhood besties, that is unfortunately not always the way things play out. People will grow and change, and the same will happen to you. It is wonderful if you are able to grow with your friends, but there will be some times when life will pull you both in different directions. You will not be alone forever. You will find more friends. Give it time and be open to meeting people that you may not have initially been drawn to.

adulting 101 friendship
(via Unsplash)


2. Learn How and When to Say No

Few things are more important than learning to set boundaries and protect your inner peace. There will be people that come into your life and will try to push your limits, but it's critical to stay strong and firm in your decisions and express your needs. If there is a situation your friends want you to be involved in but you feel will not serve you, it is more than okay to say no.


Also read about: How to Respectfully Set Boundaries With a Needy Friend


Financial Wellness

1. Basic Savings and Investing

Roth IRA might sound like the name of someone's grandparent, but it's actually an important investment tool and retirement account you should start putting money into as soon as you can for your future. It may seem strange to start thinking about retirement now, but setting aside after-tax money to make smart investments while you're young can make all of the difference for your future.


Also read about: If You're Confused About Money, Pattie Ehsaei Has THE Best Financial Advice


2. Taxes

The dreaded T word. From how to file to receiving your tax return to everything in between, we are often left in the dark when it comes to figuring out how to navigate taxes. While taxes aren't explicitly taught in school, we highly recommend doing some research, from listening to finance podcasts and getting tax cheat sheets, to educate yourself on personal finance and how the process works. If you're clueless about taxes, you're definitely not alone, and a bit of learning can make all the difference.

Shutterstock: Young woman with a piggy bank on a yellow background

(via Shutterstock)


3. Developing Credit and Preparing For Student Loans

Learning about credit cards and "good" debt versus "bad" debt is crucial to maintaining self-sufficiency. Before you sign up for anything relating to finances, do extensive research. You will find that not everyone offering you credit has your best interest in mind. Feel comfortable about asking any questions you may have when it comes to credit cards and loans. If something doesn't feel right in your gut, trust your intuition—and remember that making small credit card purchases, and paying them off fully every month, can do wonders for your credit score.


Anxious about graduation? Click HERE to check out a high school bucket list or 68 things to do before graduation.