Now, you might be thinking, "But, I've got this covered!" or "My kid is a whiz at [insert activity here]." Well, that's fantastic! But let's be honest, we could all use a little extra guidance when it comes to mastering the art of adulting. Trust me, it's not as easy as it looks in the movies.
So, let's dive into the top 10 essential life skills every young adult should have under their belt before they fly solo. We'll explore everything from time management and budgeting to cooking and networking. And hey, even if you're a seasoned adult, there's no shame in brushing up on these skills yourself. After all, adulting is a lifelong journey, and we're all in this together.
01 | Time management
Prioritizing tasks and setting realistic goals
Why? Well, one of the biggest time-wasters is spending too much time on stuff that doesn't help you (Binging TikTok, anyone?). You can avoid this by focusing on the important ones first and saving the less important stuff for later.
And here's a pro tip: be realistic with your goals. Don't expect to become a time management ninja overnight. Baby steps, my friend, baby steps.
Creating schedules and to-do lists
Why? Because having this structure and plan in place will help you achieve your goals faster while helping you to stay on track. So make sure to take a few extra minutes each day to review and adjust your schedule accordingly. It won't only save you time in the long run, but it'll also help keep your motivation levels up.
Balancing work, school, and personal life
02 | Budgeting and personal finance
Creating and maintaining a budget
It's also a great way to figure out whether you can actually afford that apartment you have your heart set on. Or that car. Oh yeah. That phone plan too.
Saving money and managing expenses
Understanding credit and responsible borrowing
Why? Because your credit score is a reflection of how you manage your money and it's used by banks, lenders, landlords and potential employers to decide whether or not you are trustworthy.
03 | Cooking and meal planning
Basic cooking techniques and kitchen safety
Why? Because food.
Planning nutritious, budget-friendly meals
Grocery shopping tips and tricks
04 | Laundry and housekeeping
Doing laundry, including sorting and stain removal
Basic cleaning and organization skills
Creating and maintaining a tidy living space
05 | Self-care and mental health
Recognizing and managing stress
Setting boundaries and practicing self-compassion
Establishing a self-care routine
Why? Not taking care of yourself can lead to physical and mental exhaustion. Taking time for yourself gives you the chance to enjoy life, reconnect with your inner self and make sure you are in a good place before tackling your responsibilities.
And don't forget to prioritize sleep and maintain a healthy diet. Your body will thank you.
06 | Communication skills
Mastering the art of active listening
Pro-tip: Ask everyone you talk to questions about themselves. Not creepy ones like, "What color are your underwear?" but if you try to get to know people by asking questions about their passions, experiences, or beliefs, you'll come off as more interesting and approachable. And people will adore you.
Assertiveness and expressing yourself clearly
Why? Because when you handle communication with assertiveness, it's more likely to bring about a win-win situation where both parties feel respected and understood. Plus, it helps build relationships, improve self-esteem and lead to better outcomes in the future.
Decoding and using non-verbal cues
Polishing your written communication skills
Context is everything here. If you're texting a friend, go ahead and speak in acronyms and emojis. But, if you're writing something that will be public, or is intended to be read by someone you wouldn't invite over for a slumber party, use full sentences.
07 | Problem solving and critical thinking
Identifying problems and analyzing situations
Generating creative solutions and weighing options
Implementing solutions and learning from mistakes
08 | Networking and building connections
Building and maintaining friendships
Mastering the art of small talk
Networking for professional growth
09 | Navigating public transportation and travel
Mastering local public transportation
Why? Knowing the ins and outs of your transportation system will give you the freedom to get from point A to B without relying on others or having to ask for help. This can be especially important if you are living in a foreign country, where language barriers can present an extra challenge.
Don't be afraid to ask fellow commuters or transit staff for help – they're usually more than happy to assist. And, of course, always remember your manners and practice good transit etiquette. Nobody likes a seat hog!
Venturing out on regional and national rail
Soaring through the skies (aka air travel)
Make sure to arrive early, have your travel documents handy, and follow all security guidelines. Signs are posted everywhere in airports. And don't forget to always read the fine print when you are buying tickets. Stay calm and patient, even when faced with delays and long lines. After all, you're about to embark on an amazing adventure. Unless you're travelling for work, of course.
Planning and budgeting for travel
10 | Goal setting and personal development
Setting SMART goals
Why? Because SMART goals allow you to break down your grand plans into smaller manageable tasks that can be accomplished over time. Each goal should have a clear target, timeline, and measurable outcome so you know when it has been achieved. This helps keep you on track and motivated to continue working towards your goals. Say goodbye to vague resolutions and hello to concrete, actionable goals.