Twelve Going on 20: Adulting 101

Do you ever wish you could grow up right now? Maybe you can’t wait to be 16, 21, or 35? Well, friends, don’t rush it. It may be hard being a kid and feeling like everyone is telling you what to wear, where to go, and what is for dinner, but let me assure you, there are many ways you can feel more like an adult while still enjoying a life free of bills, total responsibility and taxes.

Tip #1

Help out around the house. It can be something as simple as offering to clean your pet’s litterbox or yard waste, helping your siblings pick up their toys, or volunteering to empty the dishwasher.Tip #2

Study hard. School can seem like such a drag. It is time-consuming, busy, and often leads to homework even after you get home. Try to get your homework done in a timely fashion so that you have lots of free time to enjoy that new Switch game you have been eyeing at the library. Doing well in school, while not always easy, can definitely help you feel like you are on the path to bigger things.

Tip #3

Elderly people sometimes have difficulty doing outside work around their homes. Volunteer to help elderly people by mowing their lawns, raking their leaves, or shoveling their snow. Doing these kinds of activities will help you feel both kind and mature.

Tip #4

Babysitting is a great way to gain maturity and independence. If you enjoy working with kids, put your name out there to families you know with kids that you would love to help. This is also a great way to start earning some money of your own.Tip #5

Don’t blow all that newly earned money on pop and chips at the 7-Eleven! Instead, save for something you really want—a new outfit, a car, a new video game, or offering to pay for your own pizza or Happy Meal as a surprise to your folks.

Tip #6

It is never too early to learn the valuable skill of budgeting. This will give you a chance to not only use the math you are learning in class, but also to feel more confident as you move closer towards a set goal and start saving money. 

Tip #7

Offer to make a simple dinner for your family one night. This does not even have to include the stove. Try making a delicious fruit salad or warming bagels in the toaster, then adding tomato sauce and cheese to create delicious bagel pizzas. Microwave s’mores are always a delight! Also, don’t underestimate the power of breakfast for dinner—oatmeal with fresh fruit is a total win.Tip #8

Make cards for your friends for no reason. Surprise them with a handmade card in their locker to brighten their day, especially if they had a rough time at home or didn’t do so hot on a test they really studied for.

Tip #9

Speaking of friends, maybe you see someone at school who is always alone at lunch. Try sitting with them and taking some time to get to know them. It can be so hard moving to new school, or just being in a lunch hour different from your normal crew. A smile and some kindness go a long way, and you may even get a new friend.

Tip #10

Do you have clothes that don’t fit you anymore? Or maybe your style has changed? Donate gently used clothes to places like Goodwill and the Salvation Army. Not only does it feel good to share, but you are also giving someone else a chance to use your clothes in an environmentally friendly way. 

Tip #11

Family is a beautiful thing, but sometimes our loved ones live far away. Instead of waiting for mom or dad to track you down to chat with Grandma on the phone, take the initiative to call on your own. Grandmas and grandpas love hearing from you (so do cousins and aunts and uncles), so be sure to take some time to check in with them and tell them all the great ways you are helping others and becoming more grown-up.

Tip #12

Have fun! Fun should be a part of life whether you are a kid or an adult, so be sure to indulge in activities you enjoy such as reading, drawing, playing sports, building spacecrafts, baking or walking dogs. Even the most adultiest of adults need to do something for themselves and so do you.