How to Adult


Paige Smith, Editor

Attention seniors! You graduate this year! What happens after that? Barely legal teenagers are going to be expected to just jump into the life of an adult. There are so many different options and paths one can take. It can get overwhelming and scary very quickly. But breathe! Here are a couple of steps you can do to learn how to be an adult.
Step One: Figure out where to go after high school. There are many pathways one can take after high school including going to college, starting a job, or traveling the world. The important thing is knowing where to start and knowing a direction to go in. A helpful tool to use if you’re stuck between two options is to flip a coin. If the coin lands on a side and you’re even slightly disappointed, it’s clear you would rather have a different option.
You can even combine a couple of options. “I went straight into college. I went to Dixie State for two years and then I finished my bachelor’s at the University of Utah. But then I did a study abroad and traveled a lot more before graduating college,” said Taylorsville Counselor Gretel Evans.
Step Two: Manage your money. People can’t get anywhere in life without a way to pay. The biggest plan one can have is a budget. Budget plans which bills need to get paid first and which expenses are more important. The income should always be bigger than the expense, so make sure any income you have is steady. Another big money management for college is scholarships.
“Apply for as many scholarships as you can! Talk to counselors if you don’t know where to start,” says BYU student and Taylorsville alumni Rachel Timpson, “Live below your means! Create a monthly handwritten budget so you know where each dollar is going before the month even starts. It is so worth it!”
“I know it’s really simple, but don’t spend the money you don’t have. Credit card debt sucks and it’s a high-interest rate and it’s really hard to pay back. Instead, try and stay within that budget. If you feel like you can’t afford school next year, that’s fine you can tell the school that accepted you that you want them to hold your place. It’s called deferring, and you can hold your place there and work full time for a year and save money. And then come back and they’ll save all the scholarships you’ve earned. Don’t be scared of student loans. Be cautious but don’t totally be afraid of them. They have a lower interest rate than credit card debt. So if you need to do a student loan that’s totally fine,” advised Evans.
Step Three: Figure out where to live. Homelessness is a real and prevalent problem, especially in Utah. There are so many options on where to live. There are options such as living at home, on campus, in a dorm, an apartment, or even with relatives.
Step Four: start exploring your interests. This is a time for transformation and a time to find a dream to chase. One can do anything with their life and after high school is a perfect time to start. Options such as traveling the world, starting a career, or furthering education are all perfect pathways to go down.
“So ease yourself into it! This is an exciting part of life, enjoy it, make memories, don’t let COVID get you down!” says Timpson.
“Hang in there because it’s been kind of crazy. You’ve been managing it so far so I think you can continue to manage it. If you have questions, ask somebody. It can be a teacher or a parent or counselor. People want to help you, so don’t feel like you don’t have any resources,” says Evans.
Step Five: Breath! You’re doing fine. It’s ok to mess up and have bumps in the road. It’s normal to have bad days and it’s normal to feel bad. Just remember, that things will get better.