Lately, we’ve all being hearing, seeing and using the word “adulting." No one really knows where it came from, but we all know exactly what it means. It popped up around 2014, but became a huge thing in 2016. Urban Dictionary defines it as a verb meaning “to do grown up things and hold responsibilities such as, a 9-5 job, a mortgage/rent, a car payment, or anything else that makes one think of grown ups." For millennials, adulting is a thing, and it’s hard. Sympathize with us! We weren’t exactly given instruction on how to do this correctly, so some of us are struggling a little. Some of us are even struggling a lot. Not sure where you fall on the spectrum? Check out these reasons you suck at adulting and see how many you can relate to. If it’s more than half, you have some serious adult adjustments to do.
18 Balancing personal, professional and romantic relationships
Like most adults, you probably have a job, friends and are fairly close to your family. Sometimes, it can get overwhelming having to deal with work issues, talk to and hang out with your friends, make sure your family ties are still there and making time for everything. Don’t want to end up having to cancel on friends because of work or tell your family they won’t be seeing you another holiday? You might even have a significant other somewhere nagging you to spend time with them as well. Yeah, it gets crazy, but it doesn’t have to be. You can seriously give time and energy where it’s needed by figuring out the best days for those family moments, friend hangouts and date nights with bae. Using a planner works wonders here. Talk to your loved ones and see what days work out best for them and work it into your schedule.
17 Bills overflowing, but Starbucks is in hand
Money is something a lot of us millennials get flack for, and it’s warranted really. A majority of our generation does not know how to figure out our own personal finances. We let bills stack up, credit plummet, but are never short of a coffee retreat. There are ways to deal with the dreaded money management woes. There are apps (yes, apps) that are great with helping us figure out where our money is going and how often. IOS and Android applications such as Mint, Monefy and Spending Tracker all allow you to see how you’re spending your money, how to budget for bills and pay money, and even if you should invest. These apps (and many more!) offer advice, credit checks (we’ll get to that soon), and let you know where you should financially be. So maybe put down the Caramel Macchiato for today, and hold onto your money.
16 Savings? What are those?
Living paycheck to paycheck doesn’t have to keep you in a rut. Adulting is all about being responsible and saving your money is a responsibility. A savings account is not for that pair of shoes you’ve been dying to buy; it’s for actual emergencies. Making a savings account and not touching it, gives you a solid chance to make big changes later in life when it’s absolutely necessary. Are you looking to buy a car, own a house, make a huge renovation, retire early? These are savings-worthy ideas. If you don’t know where to begin saving, there are guides that can give you ideas on how to spend less (clip coupons, go thrifting, eat in instead of out) and save gradually, so your savings grow without you even realizing it.
15 Prioritizing your time
You may be in your 20s, but that doesn’t mean you have to party like a 21-year-old college student. Adults have real things to do during normal work hours and you, my friend, are now one of those people. You have to get stuff done, and sleeping two hours before the big meeting will not help you. Prioritizing your responsibilities will make you more efficient and show off your ability to be a boss! Don’t lay around when you have tasks to do and errands to run. Sometimes, we get caught up in our impulses and don’t think about what is more important. We’re pushed by what we want to do, not what we need to do. It sucks, but we can’t always have fun. Work hard, play harder, but get your work done first.
14 Flaking on friends (without notice)
No matter how much your friends love you, flaking on them is not okay. If you agree to be somewhere at a certain time or do something within a time limit, your friends hold you accountable on your agreement. No one likes someone who is not reliable. It shows you are inconsistent, undependable and overall an untrustworthy person. These are not qualities you want to keep in your personal life because they will spill over into other areas of your life. If you find yourself never being able to commit to an agreement, do not make the commitment at all. Not making the commitment altogether makes you look more solid instead of being that person that no one can count on. Keeping your word is a trait that almost anyone can agree shines well on an individual’s personality.
13 Eating like a 12 year-old who's home alone
As much as we love that mommy and daddy aren’t telling us to eat our vegetables, that doesn’t mean that no one is going to tell you. Actually, your body is going to tell you. We’re not saying to become a body builder or try every new diet fad out there, but it is important to stay on top of your health. Ice cream for breakfast every morning is not okay. Eating junk food for dinner is not an option. Learn how to make a grocery list, make meals that fit actual food groups and get on top of your health. The best advice we can give you here: WATER! Drinking water is one, if not the, best choice you can make to keep your body up and moving. About eight glasses a day can save you a lot of stress down the line, so drink up!
12 Doctor? Dentist? What are those?
No one enjoys going to the doctor, but it’s actually a big part of growing up. Your parents aren’t making your appointments anymore and no one’s holding your hand for needles. Going regularly to the doctor, dentist and gynaecologist for regular check-ups can easily catch and even prevent long-term illnesses and diseases. Don’t know where to start to even look for a doctor? There are sites that will show you where to look for local doctors in your area that take your insurance. Just to give you the school vibe, healthgrades.com has grades and rating on doctors and physicians of all fields so you know exactly how they rank up against the competition. Everyone should attempt to go see their regular physician at least once a year, if you’re in decent health. Your dentist cleaning and whitening can be every six months, and your OBGYN visit should be regular as well. Now, you have no excuse.
11 Mooching off friends and family
Mooching off other people looks really bad. You don’t ever want to be that person who everyone knows is going to ask for money or who can never pick up the tab at the bar. If you’re one of those people who are just stingy, then you’re a douche. Taking money from your friends and family to save your own isn’t cool. However, if you seriously don’t have the cash, there are random, odd jobs that’ll help you get money for those everyday needs. A popular site, TaskRabbit, is just for that. Taskrabbit.com allows you to get in contact with people who need random errands done and will pay you to do it. For them, adulting is getting the job done, even if it's not them doing it.
10 Ignoring credit debt
Credit is a difficult thing for all adults, not just us who are sucking at adulting. It’s confusing, but ignoring it altogether will get you nowhere. Adults deal with things and you have to take the time to learn how to deal with the credit card woes. You’ll first have to figure out what is on your credit to begin with. Creditkarma.com is a free website that will check your credit for you. They’ll tell you your score, what’s affecting it and how you can fix it. They’ll even suggest credit card accounts you can possible have to up your credit score. Start paying back those student loans, look into delinquencies you don’t recognize and get a handle on your credit profile. The sooner you deal with the small issues, the easier it’ll be to keep working at it, and even get the score you want.
9 Complaining and doing nothing about anything
We know things can get a little difficult at times, life is hard, but that doesn’t mean you sit around and complain about it all the time. No one wants to listen to a Nagging Nancy. Being an adult means being able to make changes where you see fit. Don’t like how something is going for you, change it! There’s nothing worse than being in full control of something you can change and doing nothing about it at all. Change the things that you can (your weight, career, relationships) and don’t complain about the things you can’t. It’s that simple. This will give you a better sense of control, which is helpful during those strenuous times when adulting becomes too much.
8 Disorganization (lost your wallet...again?)
We’re the generation that came up with “life hacks” so there’s no reason that anything should be disorganized. Your room is a mess, you can never find anything, you missed another appointment and your relationships are hanging on by a string. Breathe, you will get through this part. Organizing and scheduling is really the best way of getting a handle of things and keeping it all in order. Adults have schedules and those schedules are normally in planners. Whether you’re a paper and pen kind of a person, or an app will do, there’s a planner out there for everyone. Once you find one that works for you, start scheduling everything, color-coordinate if needed, and make lists of small tasks that need to be done. You can also clean (yes, you must clean) and label areas so you know where to find things at all times. That’s probably how our parents find things so quickly.
Doing things when there’s no designated time to do them creates too much space for not getting it done at all. Adults don’t procrastinate, and since you’re of adult age, neither should you. Leaving things to the very last moment can create anxiety and fumbling through to get it done won’t produce your best work. Easier way? Make a list ranking what you need to get done from least important to most important. Once you have your list, start at the BOTTOM. That’s right, starting with the most important will get your mind off the big stuff sooner, that way you’re not pushing and pushing to the very end and dreading getting there. Once you start finishing the bigger stuff, getting to the small feels like a breeze. Makes sense, right?
6 Being aware on current events
Ever wonder how everyone around you knows what’s going on? You hear conversations about laws being changed, bans going up, taxes rising or even new stores opening up, and you think, “Where did you guys get all this information from?” Well, there’s a reason for that: they read, listen and watch. The newspaper may seem super old-timey to you, so for us desperately looking to adult, there’s websites, apps and even YouTube channels that help keep us struggling adults in the know. We’re not saying you need to be up on all the international affairs America has going on right now, but just an overview of being in the know keeps you aware of what might change and may affect you directly or indirectly. This will also give you something to talk about at work or with your friends and allow you to be that story breaker for someone else.
5 Chores, do them
Chores suck, and they always have, but they need to get done. We’re not talking about letting the garbage pile until it’s about to tip over or not doing laundry for three months (gross!). Chores are those annoying things that need to get done around the house in a reasonable amount of time. Your parents didn’t tell you to wash the dishes and clean your room for no reason. Now that you’re adulting, your chores list is a little bit longer. It can seem time-consuming, but done at the same time every day or week can reduce the pressure of getting it done so it just becomes habit. Ever heard of a chore chart? Well, you can make one! Whether you live alone or have roommates, getting chores completed can be simple and just as fun. There are thousands of charts or boards online to help organize when things need to get completed (and who has to do them). It may seem childish, but clearly we need a little child-like behavior in our days to get through them.
4 Manners, use them, please
Living in New York, you would think you have to be the biggest and meanest person in the room, but honestly you just end up looking like a d*ck. Being firm and stern about your position is one thing, but having common manners and courtesies is another. Holding a door open for someone, saying “excuse me” when you bump into someone, using “please and thank you” when appropriate—these are things all adults should be saying and doing. When you’re a kid, people tend to give you leeway; you don’t know any better, you momentarily forgot, whatever. However, you’re an adult now, and being a rude prick will get you nowhere in life. People enjoy being treated with respect, and how are you supposed to get it if you don’t give it?
3 Not listening to actual adults
You would think this one would make the most sense, but sometimes we just have to put it out there. There are actual adults, who are seriously adulting. They got their stuff together early, figured out all the tricks and secrets, and are willing to share, if you ask. Our millennial mind tells us to just figure it out on our own, but it’s cool to ask for help. Generation X and even the departing Baby Boomers have some gems to bestow upon us, but we’re just too stubborn to ask. When you really don’t know an answer and a simple “how-to” guide just isn’t cutting it, going to the experienced adult who has seen it all can really come in handy. It’s not cheating; it’s being smart.
2 Paperwork, important documents
Listen, it’s time to learn the basics of paperwork. There are a shocking number of adults who do not know how to write a resume, cover letter, a formal letter, an elevator speech, etc. These skills come in handy more often than one would think. Using a basic resume template is great starter point, but don’t leave it there. Find ways to make it your own and stand out from every other basic adults that are still using templates. Cover and formal letters are a little trickier, but trust us, Google works wonders. Find those examples and use your adult words to make your skills, achievements and experiences sound official. Also, talk to your friends and family. Compare with what they use already and see how yours match up (just don’t come paste).
1 Ignoring responsibilities (not opening mail, not reading emails, not checking voicemails)
We know, seeing those red bubbles on your home screen are overwhelming, but that doesn't mean you don’t answer them. People are depending on you to reply to those messages and get back to them at your earliest convenience. Those emails, voicemails and letters in the mail may have some important information that needs to be dealt with immediately. The faster you get through them, the easier it’ll be over time. For your voicemails, get them sent as text messages (if you’re dreading listening to them). Majority of your emails are probably auto-notification from subscriptions or even sneaky spam. Take the time to go through them and unsubscribe from mailing lists you don’t look at. This way, when you check your emails, it’s a shorter list and you know it’s worth looking. Your snail mail, more times than not, is important! Deal with those moments sooner rather than later, it’ll make you feel responsible, you know, like an adult.