How to Handle Being an Adult
Written by Christi Given | August 1, 2016
Every week I go through the “Girl Talk” section of Project Inspired and look for those seeking advice and counsel. I want to help answer some questions you may have about living out your Christian walk of faith and any miscellaneous topics! We want PI to be a safe place where you can ask questions and become bold in your faith. We love you, PI readers!
This week on the PI Girl Talk forum, a reader asked a very valid question that many young people are facing:
“I wanted to see if you ladies have any ‘hacks’ for being on your own. I’ve been getting ready for college this summer, and there’s just so much adult stuff I have to do, like paying bills and getting financial aid and working a lot. I just don’t want to get so absorbed in it that I stop doing what I really love…”
To read the full post or to join our Girl Talk forum, click here.
Wow, what a great question and one that most young adults and new college students are facing!
First, it’s important to ask for advice from those who are older and wiser than you. Do you have a parent, guardian, parental figure or older type of sister who can give you some advice on how they managed?
Next, of course, is to ask God for His wisdom, and God says He shall give it generously. We all need to learn, grow and be teachable. God is always willing to speak to us if we are willing to listen.
Third, you can use different budgeting apps like Mint to help you be financially organized and to set reminders for certain savings goals or for bills. Using the calendar and notepad on my smartphone helps me, as well as having my own personal notebook and planner. (I’m kind of old-school when it comes to wanting to write things down on paper.)
Making a to-do list always helps me stay organized and goal-oriented so I can tackle my tasks for the day. This is the most efficient way I tend to get things done, and it’s good to actually see what you need to do for the day versus just aimlessly trying to remember your responsibilities.
After you acknowledge your to-dos for the day, pursue the things at the top of your list first, as this particular PI Girl mentioned. Prioritizing your life is so key as an adult because the older you get, the less time you want to waste and the more efficient you want to become. Do the most important and vital tasks first and the less urgent things afterward.
I would keep up with current news and media as a young adult, so you’ll be caught up on what’s happening in society and knowledgeable about current affairs when you speak with others, either in your workplace or socially. You don’t need to watch the news every night per se, but it’s wise to catch up with these topics so you can have a mature and educated conversation with other adults.
As a student, you’re probably already accumulating college student loan debt (unless your parents are paying your way or you’re getting a full ride with a scholarship), and there are bills to pay and rent to take care of. Don’t let bills grow—pay them on time, and also avoid credit cards if at all possible. Work hard and stay faithful with the small things, and just as the Bible says, then you can be ruler over many things. How can God trust in His Kingdom if we can’t pay bills on time? Sometimes, yes, there are trials, but we need to try to save and be wise with how we sow into the Kingdom. If you put God first in finances, He always provides…always!
Remember, as much as you may need to be responsible and as much as you need to work, you must realize we need each other in the body of Christ and it’s important to make time for fellowship. You don’t want to overwork yourself into burnout or avoid gathering with other believers, because then you will feel alone in life and that things are too overwhelming. God created us for community, and when we discuss our convictions, make requests and give praise, we are strengthened and sharpened knowing we are NOT alone and that there is the family of God where we can help each other.
This leads me to my next main point: serve others. It’s easy to get wrapped up in “life” and we can start to get self-absorbed when things get stressful or things seem to be happening at the same time unexpectedly. We need to remember that when we refresh others, we shall refresh ourselves.
How to Transition From Being a Teenager to Being an Adult
1. Ask for a mentor’s advice: Seek out advice from those you want to glean from or become more like in the future. Ask what they did to get where they are.
2. Ask God for wisdom: God says in the Bible in the book of James that when we ask for wisdom, He SHALL give it generously…just ask! (You won’t know every answer, but you will be guided in a more godly way than if you never asked Jesus to step in.)
3. Manage your money: Use budgeting and money apps like Mint that help you organize your financial responsibilities and goals.
4. Write down your goals: Prioritize your to-do list and follow through daily. Keep checking up on your weekly progress and organize your tasks in a calendar or notebook.
5. Current events and news: Keep up with the latest world news so you can be educated on what’s happening in the world and so you can have an informed conversation. You don’t need to watch the news in the morning and the evening, but generally keep up with what the current events are.
6. Acknowledge your priorities: Look at the most important things you need or want to do, and make the list of responsibilities in order from the need-to-dos to your personal goals and dreams and, at the bottom, the “not as vital to-dos.”
7. Don’t let things pile up: Whether this is laundry, bills or homework, just try to not let things stack up. Don’t ignore what needs to be handled, addressed or paid. For example, a unpaid parking ticket can double and triple and cause even more problems. Just pay it and case closed. Another item off your to-do list and less worry on your mind, amen?
8. Tithe: Put God first in your finances and He will always, always provide.
9. Serve others: Giving back reminds us that we all have needs and we all need to really bless and treat others as we would want to be treated.
10. As much as you want to serve, have balance and learn to enjoy life: We need to take care of work and other responsibilities and serve others, but we also need to use wisdom in having balance and enjoying life, too.
PI Girls, do you have any advice for young adults who are stepping into the adult world? Comment below!