Why Didn’t Anyone Tell Me?
January 16, 2022
Linda Ng, Low Entropy Volunteer Writer
As a young adult growing up in a confusing world, I believe I’ve finally mastered the art of living. I am no expert. But my journey to self-improvement in the past few years has taught me more than I’ve ever learned during my school years.
I’m here to share them with you today. Your age should not impact your plan of action. It’s never too late to keep improving yourself and moving forward.
See the World
I typically travel about two-to-three times per year, usually one long trip accompanied by a few shorter ones. I understand that travelling isn’t for everyone, especially at this point in time. But I believe there are valuable benefits you can reap from seeing the world, beyond lamenting about lost luggage or delayed flights. Seeing how other people live, encountering different cultures and meeting new people are priceless experiences that will support your transition to adulthood and allow you to grow. Check out the beautiful glaciers in Iceland, run through beautiful tea fields in Japan or visit a famous museum in Europe. Through travelling, I’ve learned to be humble and appreciate what I have. The knowledge and memories stay with you for life.
When I was in university, I lived at home. I did not learn to be independent until I got married. Living at home was perfect. There were no meals to cook or kitchens to clean. I just studied. In doing so, I gave up the experience of learning to be independent. It’s a crucial skill that I neglected to learn until much later in life. Living on campus at a university is a golden opportunity for you to train and prepare yourself. Because there is no one to rely on, you’ll find that you’ll learn new skills much more quickly. Sure, it’s tough to fix a broken kitchen appliance or figure out how to pay your expenses. But when you look back, you will be glad you trained yourself.
Young adult years are often the best time to equip yourself with the ammunition you need to get through this often cruel world. You have all the time in the world to prepare yourself and learn to handle what life throws at you. No one teaches you about mortgages or how to haggle over a new car lease in school. You won’t learn about household repairs or budgeting. These are real-world skills that you need during adult life. You have the time and energy to acquire these skills when you are young.
Take Time Off
I’ve always regretted not taking time off between graduating and getting a full-time job. The expectation for me was to land a job after graduating from university. As I look back at my life, there is no doubt that I made a mistake. Except for paid vacation days, you don’t get time off work. Where is the time to travel or to do other things? Once you secure that permanent full-time job, you might see yourself working until you retire. We spend our most productive years earning money. When we retire and try to address our passions, we often run out of time and energy faster than we can replenish them. Whether it’s to travel or to learn more about yourself, taking a year or two off after graduating is a great way to figure out the plan for the rest of your life. I wish I did that.
Investing and Saving
I’ve only begun dabbling in investments in the past few years. I’ve always shied away from it, confused about the jargon and complicated charts and numbers. What did EPS and P/E ratio mean? I had no idea and wasn’t motivated to find out at all. As life went on, I came to a point where I started to think about retirement. I certainly did not want to be penniless during my retirement years. I began researching information about RRSPs, TFSAs and the stock market. The more I learned, the more ignorant I felt. Investing can generate an additional passive income that grows while I’m sleeping. I realized that I should have been investing years ago.
Work During School
I came out of university debt-free, which is somewhat of a miracle. How did I do it? I paid for all my textbooks and tuition because I held down a part-time job during school. When I wasn’t studying, I was working. Hearing about students who are thousands of dollars in debt after graduating sounds like a nightmare. I avoided that nightmare by making sure I paid my way through school. It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.
Venturing into the adult world is something you’ll experience much faster than you think. I’m hoping some of these tips will facilitate a smoother transition. Is there anything you’d like to add to the list? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts!
My name is Linda and I’m from Canada! When I’m not writing, I enjoy travelling, playing badminton and spending time with my pets. I have a strong passion for self-improvement and mental health topics. I’m hoping to share that with you here at Low Entropy!
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