If you just stepped out of college, Congratulations and Welcome To The Real World!
This segment will be about how to cope with adult life. We want to inspire young adults on how they can make their lives less stressful by knowing what to expect and what to do in certain situations. As a mother, I have dealt with many experiences I would gladly share with you. If you feel like asking for advice, I will respond to them as promptly as possible. I am not a professional psychologist, but having been married for 28 years has molded me into becoming someone who would want to be your light if you find yourself in the dark.
Back in high school, I felt I was older than I was. I feel awkward doing things that most kids my age are doing. With that uncomfortable feeling of being around classmates who seemed to be enjoying their youth, I was stuck in my own space, trying to blend in. And it did cross my mind how I wished I could grow older soon so I could feel more at ease. Thinking about it now, those thoughts were probably brought about by how I was raised. I was pretty much sheltered. I was taught how to behave in the most discreet way possible. (Now, I suddenly remember one person I met about six years ago telling me that there was nothing we could talk about since I look like a nun! LOL) The best word to describe my parents’ expectations of me was to be prim and proper. I did oblige. In my teens, I was coping. I had great friends who never let me feel I was any different from them. And they have remained my sisters for life!
As I was getting older, I did think that I was slowly adapting to how life was after high school. Although there were bumps along the way, they were part of any college student’s life. And gladly, I was able to overcome all of them as I started my life as a young mother. Even during grade school, I see children younger than me and have the inkling of caring for them like a younger sibling. Yeah, my motherly instinct kicked in quite early. Imagine me, a child of probably six years old, mothering a classmate?! The transition from a college student to a young mother had some challenges. But I never really complained because it was my choice to be in that situation. It was untimely, but there was no backing out. And so, I had to deal with what life threw at me.
My eldest and I have a 22-year gap. However, I was strict (which I still am, until now), so it was easier to communicate with my eldest and the rest of my children. I guess it was my way of letting my children know that they could approach me anytime without having to feel scared. Let’s face it. Baby Boomers parenting differs from Gen X parenting. From my perspective, parents before were stiff and authoritarian. Anything that they say needs to be done on point. Unlike the Gen X parents, they are cool, openly show their love to their children, hang out with them, etc. Both generations have advantages and disadvantages. However, the overall well-being of a person depends on how they accept these behaviors in their family and home.
Was life difficult as a young mother? In so many ways, it is. One is that you no longer think about yourself but about the family. Certain things should be prioritized other than my interests. It was a journey full of surprises, and to be honest, there was a point in my life when I was overwhelmed with a particular situation that I felt that I would lose my mind thinking about it over and over until I could control my thoughts.
Life After College
Let me start you with these questions:
What were your dreams after college? Did you want to pursue higher education, find a job, or get married? My next question is, “how are you coping with the real world? I am asking you this because your answer will determine how much you have planned your life and how much you are willing to push yourself to become the person you want to be. Allow me to stress this: You need to be the person that you want to be and not how people should perceive you. You may be in a situation wherein your parents might be pushing you to do something against your will, but before you put on your rebel mode, give yourself time to absorb what your parents are telling you. If you feel it is something you can’t decide right away, seek help from someone, you can trust. Speak your mind and let that person know how you feel.
As an adult, parents expect so many things from us. Some would even force their children to find a job immediately so they can help with the family’s needs. It may not be a welcome thought to some, but if you are in a situation where your parents are having a hard time putting food on the table, playing your part to help them ease the burden is noble.
We know there is an imbalance between the number of available jobs and the courses taken in college. Thus, I highly encourage parents to guide their children and understand their children’s skills and interests so they can choose the right course in college. Probably with a bit of influence from the parents particularly informing their children which jobs are more in demand. Unfortunately, when parents tell their children what they should take in college, some will be defiant. They would instead stick to what they have in mind. But, this is not something that we should worry about. After all, a person’s success relies on how happy and contented he/she is with what he/she is doing. And that is one aspect that I would also want parents to understand. It is essential to listen to what your children have to say. You may not always agree with them, but at least let them know why you are against their idea and then suggest what you think is better.
Communication is essential in any relationship. Without it, there would be chaos all the time. And it is unhealthy to be living in a home where people endlessly fight. There is a need to sit down and have time to listen on both ends. This can be difficult to do (I know from experience), but it is always worth a shot.
What You Need To Prepare Yourself For
Being an adult means having to be responsible. The choices you make matter so much that you can’t just decide unmindful of the consequences. Remember that you are no longer a child; your parent would ask you to say sorry. Being an adult, people expect more from you.
Regardless of whether you have decided to live on your own or still stay home with your folks, don’t expect (although some parents can tirelessly tell you repeatedly) that you will constantly be reminded of what to do and what not to do. So here are the basics that you need to learn and remind yourself of.
- Get a job. You are entitled to if you feel that you need to take a break after college. However, it would help if you also remember that competition is quite stiff in finding jobs. And it would help if you spent time searching for the most appropriate job. If you have a family business, you can start helping your parents with it. It is the best move since, when your parents grow older, they need to pass down the throne. And it would be a waste to let others take your place. But if there is a need for you to find a job, do it as early as you can. Scout all possible channels on where to apply. Improve your skills to have a higher chance of landing a job. You might also consider learning how to drive, as some positions may require their employees to have a driver’s license.
- Learn to look after your health. You are not young forever. Whatever you take in will show how you look from the outside. Thus, consider consuming fruits and vegetables every meal instead of having a grand time munching on fried chicken, hamburgers, pasta, and pizza. They are not just less expensive. They can help you prevent getting sick. Remember that heart attacks and strokes nowadays are experienced by individuals as young as 25. Being healthy does not only mean taking in the right food but also your need to be physically active. If you do not have the resources to go to the gym, you can always walk and jog at least 3x a week for 30 minutes to an hour. Also, it is vital to have enough rest. If you are a party-goer, you might want to limit your time going to clubs and bars. Apart from spending on alcohol, it is likely that you are encouraged to smoke with your friends, as well. So, imagine how much your body suffers in just one night of partying?!
- Learn how to budget your expenses. If you have just started a new job, you would probably have difficulties learning how to allocate your budget. It may not be a problem for those living with their parents. But if you are living independently, you need to save a portion of your hard-earned money for emergency purposes. Prioritize paying your bills and the things that you need. It is okay to break your budget sometimes since the prices can rise unexpectedly. The most important thing to remember is to make it a habit to save money monthly. You will feel relieved when urgent matters arise and have the resources to pay for them.
- Learn how to cook. Many small businesses emerged during the pandemic and have made most households prefer ordering their food from neighbors or online. It can be practical at times. But one thing neglected in this situation is the food quality being consumed. Chicken, meat, and pork have been a staple of Filipinos. While Aling Maria may be cooking the best Caldereta in your neighborhood and Aling Juan has the best-tasting Korean fried chicken, these food choices may not be the best. As mentioned earlier, you must learn to be responsible for your health. Eating a high-protein diet can be dangerous. I am sorry, but I am not an advocate of the high-protein diet because I know that protein can trigger cancer cells which can be fatal. If you need to lose weight, the best way is still to exercise regularly and choose the right kind of food.
- Meet new friends. It is okay if you have many friends from way back, but consider becoming a part of a different network that can help open new doors for you. That said, choose people who can inspire you and help you become a better person.
- Learn to respect others. When we were young, we laughed at practically anything, even if it hurt others. Although it is not an excuse to be young and be unmindful of others’ feelings, as an adult, it is expected that you know how to become a better version of yourself by respecting other people’s rights and opinions. You may sometimes go into heated arguments, but at the end of the day, determine if it has made you feel like looking down at people or making them feel inferior to themselves. It’s a beautiful feeling if you can also be the light for others who may need your help.
- Learning to stand for yourself if someone does or says something terrible against you is equally important. You don’t need to punch others. Let them know how you feel and allow them to understand you better.
Never think that being an adult is no fun because life is great, and you need to experience all sorts of things to know that you are alive. Problems may get in the way sometimes, but who hasn’t fall into those bumps and tripped? You need a supportive family and friends and to remember to hold on to your faith if you feel lost. Life is a journey; enjoy the ride.
More adulting tips in the coming days! Please email us if you want us to tackle a topic of your choice. We will be glad to share our thoughts with you. We hope that this site can be your online hub pal.