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From Dependent to Independent(ish): How to Transition into Adulthood

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Georgia Southern chapter.

Remember when you were a kid and wished to grow up so badly? Well, I’m pretty sure you’re now feeling the exact opposite. Adulting is hard!

Whether you’re a college freshman or a recent college graduate, the life transition into adulthood is inevitable. It’s essential to not go through this transition blind. Though mistakes are bound to happen, the fewer, the better!

I was raised by elderly parents and grew up around my adult siblings. Fortunately for me, my upbringing somewhat gave me the upper hand in life. I’ve witnessed the downfalls and victories of my siblings. I’ve listened to the proverbs of my mother and father. 

The purpose of this article is to enlighten and/or refresh. We’re on this journey together. I do not have it all figured yet. Nonetheless, I would like to share some of the knowledge, wisdom, and hacks regarding adulting that I’ve learned over the years.

Budget and Save

Most of what I’m about to share, you likely already know. But, I will say it again. Save your money! It is logical to take a long view of life. 

Create a savings account and emergency fund. Your savings account is intended for big purchases such as a home, vehicle, or nice vacation. On the other hand, emergency funds are for surprise expenses like car repairs, medical bills, or other unexpected expenses. Some people have two separate accounts while others combine them. The choice is yours. 

Since it’s not feasible to save your entire check or allowance, you can choose percentages that work with your lifestyle. Foremost, you must have an established budget. You can calculate this by subtracting your estimated monthly living expenses and bills from your typical monthly income. Best-case scenario, you still have a little wiggle room after the fact. If so, you can start off small by allocating 10% to 15% of the remaining money to savings and/or an emergency fund.

It can be hard to tell yourself “no” especially when you no longer have parents dictating you. In moments where I feel tempted, I ask myself questions like “If you buy this, will you have enough money to pay upcoming bills” or “Is this a need or simply a want?” A truthful answer just may be what you needed to put that debit card back in your wallet.

Setting financial goals and checking your progress periodically can encourage you to save and budget.

Self Care

Take your daily vitamins and supplements! We’re young and constantly on the move. It’s not easy to consume 3 wholesome meals a day but it’s important to at least try to. Luckily, those vitamins and supplements can constitute what was missed to an extent. 

Meal-prepping is a good idea. If you don’t know how to cook, meal prepping is a cool opportunity to practice that. It also saves you money and inspires healthier eating habits.

How often do you exercise? Whether you answered “never” or “every so often”, I am not here to shame you. We all have to begin somewhere. 

Regular exercise is essential for wellness. The rapid metabolism that accompanies youth progressively diminishes. With that in mind, unhealthy weight gain can easily creep in. 

As we age, our risk of developing various health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, cancers, high cholesterol, and etc. increases. Exercising consistently can combat such.

Getting adequate sleep is vital for our bodies to maintain their homeostasis. During the state of rest, the body is literally restoring and recharging itself within. It is recommended that adults have at least 7 hours or more hours of sleep.

It’s almost second nature is take medications whenever we’re in pain or feel sick. Medicines are intended to promote well-being. However, it is scientifically proven the best medicines tend to be derived from nature!

Fruits, vegetables, and herbs have an array of health benefits. For example, the combination of citrus juices, ginger extract, and honey can help fight the common cold. Also, herbs like the raspberry leaf can alleviate the pain/discomfort that comes with menstruation.

Taking care of self goes beyond the physical. It is also essential to take care of yourself mentally/physiologically. Your sanity matters. 

If you’re depressed or anxious, you can try journaling, speaking affirmations, praying, yoga, or controlled breathing exercises. If those options are working well for you, it is totally fine to see a therapist or counselor. There’s no need to feel ashamed or fearful. Their professional judgment can help you through it.

Taking care of yourself is proven to contribute to longevity. Plus, can so enhance your mental state of being and physical appearance. Who doesn’t want to feel great inside and out?

Get connected with yourself

Think about it. You have to live with yourself for the rest of your life! This can be either a good or bad thing. It’s up to you.

That ongoing voice in your head echoes what is within your heart. Listen to it carefully. That voice tells you exactly what you’re OK and not OK with and evens conveys your intuition. 

When you become connected with your soul, you can live life as your true self. Society, family, friends, and media, will always try to cast their perspectives upon you – molding you into who they think you ought to be. This can dangerous.

Allowing the influence of negative external entities to overcome you can distort your sense of self as well as infringe upon your ability to execute your God-given purpose.

Strive to become the best version of yourself daily. Note that I did not say “perfect” version of oneself because our imperfections are what make us unique. 

You can become your best self by periodic self-assessment. Be your own mirror. Analyze your own actions, words, and thoughts. Measure your progress. That way, you can learn and grow from your mistakes or wrongdoings.

It is beneficial to not only yourself but the world around you to live by a code of ethics and morals. You become a person with substance in a sense. You can compile your personal code by means of religious practices/texts or even by life itself. 

Living ethically and morally contributes to the greater good of humanity.

Becoming connected to self plays a role in your livelihood. We all have dream careers. The last thing anyone wants to do is work a job/career that is unfulfilling.

Never allow yourself to feel stuck at a job that does not contribute to your professional growth – especially if the workplace environment is toxic. Ensure that you have adequate money in savings, submit your 2-weeks notice, and find employment elsewhere. Somebody’s always hiring!

Pursuing a career that allows you to be your true self and exercise your purpose can make success more attainable. Also, you’re enabled to truly live your best life while doing what fills your cup.

Proverbs/Wise Quotes

If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for anything.

What you do today determines your tomorrow.

Control your tongue. Think before you speak.

Your mind can be your worst enemy or greatest blessing. The choice is yours.

Whoever gives sparingly will also receive sparingly, and whoever gives generously will also receive generously.

We are not responsible for how others treat us. However, we are responsible for how we treat them.

“Respect is what we owe; love, what we give.” – Philip James Bailey

If you don’t work, you don’t eat.

Love yourself and others unconditionally.

“Financial peace isn’t the acquisition of stuff. It’s learning to live on less than you make, so you can give money back and have money to invest. You can’t win until you do this.” – Dave Ramsey

Be grateful! When you appreciate and take care of what you have, you open the doors to be blessed with greater.

Live mindfully and cherish every moment for life itself is miraculous.

“You’ll never find peace of mind until you listen to your heart.” – George Michael

Ciara Childs

Georgia Southern '23

Ciara Childs, CPhT is a Political Science undergraduate student at Georgia Southern University. She is a native of Albany, Georgia. Her hobbies include traveling, learning, writing, cooking, and meditating. Ciara's philosophy of life would be best described by Maya Angelou's quote "My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style."