Tips For Real World Adult-ing After Graduation

You spent roughly 22 years of your life counting down the days until you could be considered an adult and have complete and utter freedom. You spent the last four years of your life living a cozy lifestyle of paying for rent, food and living away from your parents. Obviously you are ready to be a full blown real-life adult, right?


Unfortunately, the comfy, cozy walls of the university campus do not prepare you for what real life adult-ing looks like. When you enter the real world, you will learn really quickly – like a volcano just erupted and is coming at you full speed type of quickly – that you don’t actually have it figured out at all and there are a lot of adult-ing lessons you still need to learn.  

1. You probably don’t actually have it all together.

You spent 18 years being told you needed to figure out what to do for the rest of your life, and then four years studying for what you chose.

Suddenly, at 22 you realize that actually, you don’t want to do this for the rest of your life. And you know what? That is absolutely okay. Maybe you haven’t landed your dream job yet, and the thing is: you still have time.

Maybe your idea of a dream job changes constantly, just like every other human being who is growing. Go with it!

2. You become a pro at budgeting

Sorry to break your heart, but mom and dad can’t be your back-up bank account for the rest of your life. Your living expenses aren’t built into your tuition anymore and having Kraft Dinner and ramen noodles every meal is no longer acceptable – or good for your body.

Suddenly you need to pay for:

  • Rent
  • Parking
  • Gas
  • Phone
  • Internet
  • Insurance
  • Gym memberships
  • Groceries
  • Emergency car expenses
  • Clothes for work 

3. Your party days come to a sad (but necessary) end.

Remember how in university you didn’t want to miss any parties and being out four nights of the week was totally the norm?

When you enter the real world, if you keep going at that level, you can kiss your career away. Try explaining to your boss that you’re just not going to work very hard today because you’re too hungover.

4. You now need to own your own shit

You aren’t a child anymore. You don’t get to blame your age, alcohol or anyone else for what is happening in your life. It’s time to grow up and take ownership over your own shit.

5. Your health matters most

You are resilient. You are not immune.

Calling in sick every week not feeling well isn’t going to fly with the big boss anymore. You’re also getting older and you need to take care of yourself. Booking yourself a doctor or dentist appointment is up to you, and no one else’s.

6. Your friendships change

Remember that friend from university that was going to be your best friends for life? The one who you were always going to live near no matter what? Well sadly, life takes you separate ways most of the time.

Your interests change and so do theirs. You friends might not grow in exactly the same way as you. The next three years will be some of the largest growing years you have faced so far.

7. You need to figure out all of your own paperwork.

Suddenly there are tax forms, and work forms, and insurance forms, and health forms, and forms forms forms forms. Do your taxes people.

8. You need to take time to yourself

Life is suddenly insane. Saying ‘no’ to outings and taking time for yourself  becomes extremely important.

You need this time alone to figure out who you are as a person and who you are away from school. Taking time to be alone does not make you lame, it makes you strong enough to be alone.

9. You are your own advocate

In the real world, you no longer have your professors, parents and peers advocating for you. You are your own advocate.

Graduation means that society trusts you enough to know yourself and to know what you need. Not to mention, you know how to stand up for yourself. You are an adult. You get to decide how you’re going to be treated and how you are going to allow those around you to treat you.