When we were kids, we couldn’t wait to grow up. There was something about adulthood that looked so cool: being able to decide for yourself, not depending on anyone or asking anyone’s permission. But as we got older, we realized that it’s hard making decisions when your life depends on it, it’s nice to have someone to depend on and not be totally on your own and that other people’s advice is actually valuable and can help you out a lot.
Entering the real world can be scary because you really are thrown out of your comfort zone. But to make the fall a little bit softer, you can prepare in advance by knowing what there is to know. There is a lot of knowledge on the internet you can refer to or you can just ask. Reddit user JNobes11 did just that—they asked people “What is an important piece of advice you can give for those moving into the ‘real world?’” People from all walks of life shared what is the most valuable thing they know about ‘the real world’ so young people wouldn’t struggle with the transition as much.
More info: Reddit
#1Don’t cook bacon naked
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#2Just because you have the money to buy something doesn't mean that you can afford it
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#3Never stop learning.
Keep up with your old hobbies and interests, and pick up new ones. Takes classes, free ones and pay for those you can afford. Join groups for people with your interests so you can learn from them and learn from teaching them.
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#4It's ok to say no.
It's just a job, there will be others.
Don't try fitting in if it requires you to break your personal values.
Being respectful and polite is cool.
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#5Forget all the b******t you learned as a kid.
People aren’t fair. Working hard doesn’t always mean you will be successful. But not working hard at least some of the time ensures failure. The police are only your friends when your life is in danger. Any other time, on anything else, they are likely to think you are the bad guy. You can’t afford to be sick now. Taxes are a b***h and no, they won’t spend them the way you want them too regardless how much of a keyboard warrior you are. A perfect job doesn’t exist. Every job sucks at least some of the time. Get used to it, but do not let it destroy your health. Kids are more expensive than you think. Love doesn’t always last forever, even for families.
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#6Trust your gut. If something feels off, there is a pretty good chance that it is.
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#7CONDOMS, use them
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#8When furnishing your home with stuff you find on the side of the road, it's fine to take hard things (tables, art, etc) but never pick up soft things (upholstered chairs, carpets...)
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#9Don't just react to things. Think critically. Take a few seconds to analyze situations and come up with conclusions. Always be self-aware and never let people use your emotions against you.
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#10"Legal" and "illegal" are not the same as "right" and "wrong".
Don't expect things to work out in your favor just because you "did the right thing" - there is no invisible hand that punishes the bad and rewards the good.
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#11The real world is actually really small. Be careful of burning bridges because you’d be surprised how easy it is to run into someone years and years after you last saw them.
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#12Everyone makes mistakes. There is no real point in constantly trying to avoid novel mistakes. Instead, accept that you are human, and instead make sure to learn from you mistakes when they happen.
"This isn't a mistake, it's a happy little accident" - Bob Ross
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#13Be very careful of being dragged into any sort of workplace drama/politics. That friendly coworker who is dishing you all the dirt as you learn the ropes is looking for allies. You have no obligation to hang out with these people in a social setting.
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#14Buy a plunger before you move in to your first place on your own, buy it BEFORE you NEED it.
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#15The intensity of your social life will likely change - and this is mostly a good thing, but be prepared for it.
Being outside of school means you are free from a lot of the weird drama that comes with doing everything in a closed system with roughly the same people. There is still drama, but you can almost always escape it because your life is divided now. You don't live with all your friends and work with them.
On the other hand, making new social connections is a new challenge because you aren't thrown into a closed system with people all at your stage of life with many of the same problems. But making friends definitely happens. For me, wherever I was in life, it always took me about one year to make one new close friend. Patience is key. I would say you make fewer social connections, but a lot of them are of higher quality.
A last piece of advice, don't view work as your only source, or even your primary source, for friends, dates, and hook-ups. Try to keep part of your social life separate.
Image credits: zazzlekdazzle
#16Look after your teeth because they are expensive to fix, toothpaste, a good toothbrush and dental floss are cheap so use them well. Look after your credit rating, it is difficult to fix when it goes wrong and also remember that things do go wrong so perhaps have a small contingency available if you can. Learn to save and budget so you know how much you can use and save comfortably. Be good to yourself and look after mental health.
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#17Learn to think for YOURSELF. All of your life your parents taught and promoted THEIR views on life, politics, religion, etc. and probably also told you how wrong the other viewpoints are. Now is the time to go, "How do I feel? What do I think?"
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#18You don't have to know how to do everything. Knowing how to learn, and being willing to put the effort into learning it, is more important than knowing any one skill.
Your attitude is more important than aptitude. An employer can teach you the specific skills needed, but if you aren't a person that people want to be around, then why would they bother?
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#19Honesty and humility get you far in the work place, as it can often be a game of likability (just be careful not to be a doormat).
E.g. I work in IT and once I was troubleshooting an issue that ended up being my fault. I told my boss it was my fault, how, why, and what we did to fix it. He told me someone else not only blamed me, but took responsibility for fixing it. I ended up coming out looking better, despite all of it being my fault, simply because I was honest. I was promoted a few months later.
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#20Even though money goes in and out of your account automatically doesn't mean you never have to look at your bank account. Just a quick daily check of your balance and spendings will keep you out of a lot of troubles.
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#21If something is too good to be true it probably is. People will try to take advantage of you, and you’ll probably fall for it sometimes. It’s how you learn, don’t be too down on yourself just learn from it and move on.
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#22Not everyone is going to like you regardless of what you do, trust your gut instinct (it's called that for a reason) take no s**t but do no harm, meaning don't be a d**k but put people in their place when necessary
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#23Do 10 minutes of cleaning every day, rather than 2 hours of cleaning on one day of the week.
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#24Don't trust everyone. There are definitely nice people out there but they too are surrounded by a**holes waiting to take advantage of them and you.
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#25Don’t let perfect get in the way of good.
And if you make a meal plan for the week, you’ll save a lot on wasted groceries and have a better chance of making nutritious choices.
And wear sunscreen EVERY day, even the cloudy ones.
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#26Have a budget and stick to it. Know the difference between wanting something and needing something. Don't forget to add a treat yourself line in the budget. Don't focus on what other people have/do. Stay in your lane and focused on you and yours. Get a cast iron skillet.
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#27If you're unhappy with your job, put tons of effort into finding a new one ASAP. Also learn to recognize toxic work environments. I once saw a guy quit his job in under 4 hours, just noped right out.
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#28A long commute is rarely worth it.
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#29Don't forget to take care of your physical health. Often people get so caught up in life they forget all about working out / eating right. Most of us end up in sedentary jobs.
You don't need to train like an olympic athlete. Just being active 3 times a week or something is good enough. Maybe picking up a new sport can help you make new friends while you stay fit.
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#30There will be someone who will hate your guts for no particular reason, even if you are friendly with them, or even more so. It will not be your fault.
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#31Your employer is usually a neutral party at best. Rare exceptions to this exist, but as a rule your boss is not your friend and does not have your best interests at heart.
They have you there to make money off of your labor, no more and no less. This is a business arrangement, learn to automatically see this as the default.
You need to look out for your own interests. Get a better offer elsewhere? Don't think for a second you owe loyalty to your boss, they'd replace you in a heartbeat if you keeled over at your desk.
Similarly: mental health days are sick days. Don't trick yourself into believing that you're 'letting the team down' because you need to take care of yourself. No one else at your job is going to take care of you, at best they will do the bare minimum to meet legal requirements.
There are exceptions to the above and sometimes the right people or management can earn your loyalty. Just remember that you come first. Not customers, not co-workers, not managers. Do the job, get paid, go home. Never believe that you have to sacrifice your physical or mental wellbeing for a job, they don't pay you enough for that. Ever.
#32Go on the internet and learn some good basic skills:
(1) How to do laundry properly, your clothes will last a lot longer.
(2) How to make a bed properly, stop waking up with the fitted sheet hugging you and not the mattress, and a made be makes the whole room look neater.
(3) Learn how to make an omelet, preferably a "French omelet." Eggs are cheap and healthy, and this is a relatively quick meal you can make for yourself and even someone coming over and impress them a bit.
#33Familiarize yourself with your regions Landlord/Tenancy act - know your right and what’s expected of you in terms or rent and damage/security deposits
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#34Consistently live below your means - save and invest the difference.
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#35Don't accumulate debt.
Invest in yourself, not stuff.
#36More organized = more leisure time
#37I always just tell myself "Everything in moderation" for everything that I do. Too much of anything is bad for you.
#38Don't take life too seriously and find a good hobby that makes you happy.
#39Don't fall for pyramid schemes.
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#40Don't waste your time worrying if you can help it. It just drags you down and makes you weaker. Hit the gym when you can, boy will it make you feel better. And smile. Make a conscious effort to smiling more. It'll be reciprocated and it will make you feel good.
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#41Save all you can. Do your best to try to keep at least a minimum $200 in a reserve for "in case s**t happens" money.
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#42When I was in uni I was super stressed. People would always say to me, ‘if you’re this stressed now, wait until you get out into the real world.’
I’ve been out in the ‘real world’ for two decades now and it’s been so much easier than uni. Go out there and enjoy post-uni life!
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#43Don't try to earn in fields you don't understand.
Best case scenario - you will lose money, worst - you will be in jail.
#44Watch out for HIV. It’s the worst lottery to win ever
#45you have to be smart enough to pick up information as you go while using that info in real time. some people become successful and some people become comfortable with just getting by and some people become failures. sink or swim
#46Always negotiate before signing any contract. A contract should be an agreement between the parties, not just a means for someone to have the upper hand.
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#47No job is going to last forever. Try to switch jobs between 3-5 years, and never take a raise based on the fact that they know you're looking elsewhere. The only exception is if you really like where you're at. You don't want to get complacent by staying at one place and not getting experience in multiple sectors of your industry.
Family and friends will try to give their input on what you should do with your life. Don't take it. March to your drum. Do what your gut tells you, and don't compromise on your values.
Regardless of what you may have been told, you don't have to get along with everyone. Whether it's pheromones, or something else unspoken, some people just don't get along, and there's no reason for it.
Be punctual, like 15 minutes early punctual.
If your boss says to stay late, only stay late if you want to, and if you're getting paid for it.
Salary isn't always better than hourly.
Freelance isn't evil anymore. It's 2020, and not 1950.
Don't listen to people who tell you to walk into a job to apply.
"Dating" is ok. Going on dates with multiple people isn't a shameful thing, because you're not compromising on what you want, and figuring out what you do want.
If you have a backpack or briefcase, carry a travel hygiene kit with you. The world will thank you.
Get regular haircuts and take care of your skin. If you're a dude, and people tell you to stop taking care of their skin, tell them that they can worry about their own body.
Go to them gym once a week minimum
Carry a small hygiene bag with you at all times.
Take care of your body. Sleep, eat well, etc.
Your happiness doesn't come last.
Take care of your health before everything else.
Eat healthy now in order to create good practices later. You'll likely encounter pressure from people to eat a lot more than your body needs while you're out at a restaurant. Control your portions and you can enjoy tasty foods.
Save your money, but put some aside for fun experiences
Work harder than everyone else
It's ok to not have everything figured out. You'll meet a ton of people in the "real world" that will try to convince you that they have everything figured out. The majority of them are just as scared and lost as you are, because that's the human condition.