Everybody has some image in their head about what they will be like at 18. They often picture moving out and getting away from their parents. Or, they picture staying with their parents and focusing on college. Some have no idea what they want to do, so they decide to stay dependent until they figure it out. Either way, there is a lot of expectation vs. reality when it comes to being an adult. If you choose to move out at 18, you get your freedom. But you also get bills, taxes, responsibilities, and pressure to keep food on your table. If you live with your parents, there's the pressure of college, whether you want to vote, and/or living up to your parent's expectations.
Adulting can be hard, but almost everyone gets the hang of it eventually. Adulting is like high school in a way. It's hard at first, but you eventually find your rhythm. You eventually find a system for tracking your bills, keeping up with college, and your job. But there's also grocery shopping, keeping your place clean, keeping your pets alive, etc. etc. etc. All the things you found useless at home suddenly become useful information.
Even the smallest things become huge. The new vacuum you got. Your Netflix got cheaper. You have a coupon for the restaurant you always wanted to go to. Your mom buys you dinner or gas when money is tight. The smaller things start to become important. And you realize that education will be very useful in the future because most people don't want to stay working at fast food their whole life.
Anyway, you are facing adulthood, you just gotta think about how you would like to live your life. But also kinda staying in survival mode while on a budget.
10 Days Later
I turned 18 on September 30, 2019. Since I was 15, I knew I wanted to move our right at adulthood. And I made that happen. I saved up money for a very long time. I went thrift shopping for kitchen essentials. I started packing at the beginning of the summer. I was so ready to get out of my parent's house. In September, a few days before my 18th birthday, I met with this couple who had put up a room for rent. I interviewed with them and got accepted for the room. 10 days after my 18th birthday, I moved into my new place. I was out of my parent's reach. I could make my own decisions. I was still in high school, but it was an easy semester. I worked full time. I paid my bills on time. I was bossing it.
But, while I escaped the stress of being at my parent's, I gained the stress of being an adult. There was suddenly the pressure of real deadlines. There was the threat of losing my place to live if I didn't pay my rent on time. I was paying for a Hulu subscription. I had to pay my co-pays for prescriptions and doctor appointments. There was pressure to vote a certain way. I suddenly had to remember by myself to do my laundry and clean up. I had to make or buy all my own food. I had to make my appointments on my own. Pay credit card bills on time. Etc., etc., etc.
I actually faced the most stress in adulting in the very beginning. I lost my job and had to scramble for a new one. I was behind on rent payments. I faced eviction. But eventually, I got a new job and made my way to pay back my rent. I was then able to focus on the last bit of my school and my job. I was able to focus on my needs and my sleep schedule. It all ended up working out for the better.
You have routines whether they are conscious or subconscious. The most common routine is your school one. You eventually create a routine for yourself in adulting too. You figure out when payments are due. You make a time slot for school. You make time for your hygiene and your free time. And you also try to get more than 6 hours of sleep. But you get in the swing of things pretty quickly.
There are more bills than people realize. Me personally, I have Hulu, CBS All Access, car insurance, phone, rent, gas, and credit card that I pay monthly. But you also have medical bills, prescriptions, car repairs/maintenance, food, clothes, hygiene products, etc. And you have to figure out some sort of budget with your income so you don't end up going into debt. You also need to prioritize your bills from most to least important. It's a process, but you'll get the hang of it.
It's Hard, But Good
Everyone has a fear of the unknown. And adulting is one of the greatest unknowns out there. While adulting is hard and stressful at times, it's one of the biggest rights of passage out there. The moment you take your last box out of your childhood room. The moment you drive off to your college dorm or apartment. Your first overdue bill. Your first time voting. Your first all-nighter for school. Your first double shift at work. Your first nap in weeks. Your fifth time eating ramen this week.
All of that is part of the adulting process. And all of this work now will only create a better future later. Like getting your degree. Or finally having enough saved up to buy a house. Marriage. Kids. Your first drink. Your first road trip.
You have to hit all the milestones before you can feel complete in your life. And turning 18 and officially being an adult is only the beginning.