There is a significant difference between being an adult and behaving like one. Legally, teens become adults when they turn 18. It's pretty common for teenagers to ponder the moment of their transition into adulthood and the distinguishing factors between being an adult and a child. Here's a list of life skills we think every adult needs to know in order to really act like an adult.
1. Financial Management
Acquiring the ability to handle your financial matters is an essential life skill that every individual should grasp before reaching 18 years of age. Financial management encompasses skills such as devising and adhering to a budget, saving funds, comprehending credit, and preparing for future expenditures. Acquiring strong financial management abilities in your youth can establish a foundation for long-term financial stability in the future. Learning how to prioritize critical expenses (like rent), avoid overspending, and save for emergencies and future goals is important. It's never too early to start learning; kids as young as 7 or 8 can begin practicing with their allowance.
One Redditor said, “Developing skills of positive financial management is a process many overlook.”
Another also added, “So much this. Or even just understanding how to budget and a basic understanding of household bills.”
2. Good Hygiene
Proper hygiene is crucial for averting illnesses and diseases and enhancing personal appearance and contentment. Cultivate healthy routines like consistently washing your hands, caring for your oral hygiene, taking showers, and donning fresh clothing. Practicing good hygiene in public places and when you're sick is also essential. By learning good hygiene at a young age, you can develop habits that benefit your own health and make it easier to keep a strong group of friends—giving you a healthier community overall.
Cooking is important not only for saving money but also because it can teach you time management, budgeting, nutrition, and many other things. Cooking at home gives you greater control over the ingredients they use, which is especially helpful if you have allergies. Overall, learning how to cook is a valuable skill that provides numerous benefits, including increased self-sufficiency. It is never too early to start learning and developing cooking skills at a young age can set individuals up for a lifetime of healthy and enjoyable eating habits.
One user said, “Oh, and cooking some basic meals is a lifesaver. I don't know why schools don't have home economics classes. It's such a shame.”
4. Simple First Aid
Acquiring a basic understanding of first aid holds significance, as it enables you to navigate emergencies without succumbing to the fight-or-flight instinct and instead provide practical assistance. Basic first aid skills can help prevent injuries from worsening and sometimes even save lives. It's good to know how to treat minor cuts, burns, and bruises and respond to choking, allergic reactions, and other medical emergencies. Knowing how to perform CPR and use an automated external defibrillator (AED) usually requires certification, but it can be life-saving in some situations.
Understanding how to see the big picture in an emergency is important, such as assessing the situation, calling paramedics, and staying calm and focused.
5. Critical Thinking
Critical thinking is how we carefully analyze information, evaluate evidence, and make logical decisions. The foundation of critical thinking is really just asking good questions, trying to find out all the relevant information before you make a decision, and developing your problem-solving abilities. The world is full of information, misinformation, and confusing situations (like finding an honest mechanic or negotiating with a landlord). The ability to think critically and ask good questions will take you a long way.
One Redditor said, “Don't take things at face value; really consider what is being told to you, why, and by who. There are good people in the world of course, but there are many who do NOT have your best interest at heart and will attempt to take advantage of your ignorance. Go slow, listen, learn, and Think.”
6. Time Management
Time management is an essential life skill; it can benefit anyone at any age, but it's particularly important to learn it as you move away from home and encounter the world on your own. Managing your time is important for everything from the obvious (working, school, making plans with friends), to cooking a meal or cleaning your house. As you become an adult, practice managing your time and creating a schedule or using a calendar or planner. Time management can help you be more productive, achieve your goals, and reduce stress.
7. Emotional Intelligence
Take some time as you become an adult to learn or brush up on emotional intelligence. You don't have to read thoughts, but staying attentive to the emotions, reactions, and expressions of the people around you can teach you so much and help a lot with all kinds of relationships. Everything from working to dating relationships relies a lot on working with other people's moods and emotions, even if they're unfair. Developing these skills will help navigate social relationships and communicate clearly and effectively.
One Redditor added, “Emotional intelligence. I didn't start developing this at all until I was in my late 20s. I feel like men especially struggle with this.”
8. Self Control
Delayed gratification is one of the hardest skills to learn: almost everybody is tempted by the instant payoff. Learning self-control is essential to make better decisions, regulate emotions, and achieve goals. Self-control skills include delayed gratification, but also impulse control, self-motivation, and stress management. The ability to manage your stress, keep yourself motivated, and keep control over your impulses will take you a long way in life.
One Redditor stated, “Self-control, you are now an adult, and whatever protections you had for your actions as a minor are largely gone, and the consequences are now higher.”
9. Communication Skills
Learning to communicate well can provide significant benefits, such as improved relationships, better academic performance, increased employability, improved mental health, and enhanced problem-solving abilities. Some ways to develop communication skills include practicing speaking, reading, and writing, joining clubs or organizations, active listening, and seeking feedback. Whatever way you find to practice, do it with mindfulness and intention, not just to get it done.
10. Developing Your Own Opinions
Developing your opinions is an important skill to develop before age 18 because it helps you become a critical thinker and an independent individual. It is essential to form your own opinions based on evidence, logic, and reasoning rather than simply adopting the beliefs of others.
11. Learn a New Skill
As you age and become more independent, don't stop studying and learning new things. New skills are not only just interesting (and make you a more interesting person), but they can increase your overall joy, inspire you in your school or career, and keep your mind sharp. Some really valuable skills to consider brushing up on include a foreign language, coding or computer programming, public speaking, writing, critical thinking, and problem-solving.
As a user added, “There are a lot of skills one should possess before turning 18; they include social skills, communication networking, tech skills, video editing, graphics designing, and coding…”
While you might not try to learn those exact skills for your personal career path, keep studying and learning whatever direction you decide to take.
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