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Becoming an Adult

Learn how to make becoming an adult easier.

There are things in life that are cheaper if you learn to do them yourself. From laundry to changing a tire, there are things you might not have had to do yet, but life in the future will be a lot easier and cheaper if you learn how to do them. Here’s a quick list of things you should know before heading out into the world and where you can learn them.

Waking uplaundry

Getting up might seem like a pretty simple thing: the alarm goes off and you get out of bed. It doesn't always work like that, though. Finding what works best for you is important. Some people do great with sound, others, light. Some people like a gradual wake up, others a blaring alarm.

Find what works. If you need to set a half-dozen alarms, try moving your alarm across the room. Using your phone as an alarm might not work for you. If you don’t know how yet, figure it out now.

Laundry

Maybe laundry is one of your chores already. Great! If not, it’s time to learn. But even if you’re already doing laundry, it might not be a system that works for you. You might not need to separate all your colors. Or you won’t have a place to hang things to dry.

The way you first learn to do laundry is usually what works for your family. But what works for one group might not work for you when you’re on your own. Find a system that works for you.

Plan a trip

After graduating from high school, you probably don’t have much money to travel, bou should still know how to plan a trip. How to book and cancel a hotel. How to book a flight. Will you need to rent a car? How will that work for you? Are you driving? What route are you going to take? How often are you planning on stopping? What are you going to do when you get there? What’s the budget?

There are a million questions to ask. Learn some of them by helping plan a family trip. Or if there isn’t a family trip coming up, make up a fake plan. Run through all the steps, figure out where you might need to refine your plan.

Public transit

Public transportation is not always easily found in the U.S. Outside of large cities, and sometimes in them, there just isn’t public transit. College towns usually have something, even if it’s a large van. Next time you’re someplace with public transit, grab a map and figure it out, whether it’s on a vacation or a college visit. Knowing how to get around without a car is invaluable and can save you a lot of money.

Cooking

There is the ability to make food that is edible and then there is knowing how to cook. Understanding the difference between a chop, dice, and puree are signs you know how to cook. Knowing if different proteins are cooked by sight or touch will take the guesswork out of your meal and you’ll never cut into an undercooked piece of meat again.

Learning to cook the basics well opens up a world of healthy options that can be cheaper and more flavorful than anything that’s pre-made.

Growing up isn’t all that fun. A lot of what you need to know to be a full-fledged adult isn’t really taught anywhere. If you don’t know where to look, ask family, neighbors, or older siblings.

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