“New? Start Here”, three amazing words most young adults would love to here, as soon as they walk across the stage with their diploma in hand. At least, that’s what one of my friends and I were talking about yesterday. There is so much to know about adulthood but there are very few lessons given, very few templates available and worse, we’re not supposed to talk about it, nor share anxieties about not wanting to make mistakes but not knowing how to avoid them.
Allow me to dream for a minute. What if there’s a website you could be sent to, the day after graduation that would say something along the lines of, “Welcome to adulthood. To get started, click here” and there would be a red button that read, “New? Start Here”. When you click on it, it would take you to a page with the following list of items to follow and check off as you complete them:
- Connect with a community group based on interest and level of “expertise”, because let’s face it, we all arrive at adulthood and maturity at different times. You could join the “Struggling and Floundering” group, the “Ambitious and Ready to Fly” group or the “I’m Not Struggling As Much Anymore but I Need A Plan” group”. They would each have their forums, twitter accounts and closed Facebook groups.
- Download the app that would send reminders to your phone throughout the year about the big “adult” things you should worry about like getting health insurance, putting reminders in your phone about bill due dates and when to call your parents. You could also download templates like the “Simplest Money Tracker” and “Questions to Ask Your Doctor Checklist”.
- Log into your personalized account to keep daily/weekly/monthly records of things you’re learning and things you want to remember for next time
There would even be a FAQ page (!) with various headings like “Money”, “Renewing Your relationship with your money, oops, I mean, parents” and “Take Charge of Your Health”.
Yes, I’m dreaming. There’s no such thing but I find comfort in the words of Mike Martin, the co-host of the popular Youtube channel, How to Adult: “Once you become an adult, Life is a do-it-yourself project. With no manual and much assembly required. You create the structures of your own life, which is scary and also wonderful.” It’s not that there’s not enough information out there on these subjects. There’s a LOT. Like, A LOT! But, there’s the question of where to start. Most of the time, figuring out how to “adult” is like trying to catch a ball with greased hands; it can take awhile and can be full of false starts. Yet, the satisfaction that comes out of having figured out a piece of the puzzle is immense.
For continuous learners, it can also be source of joy because there is always something new to experiment with, test, learn or re-learn. And for the “Struggling and Floundering” group, take comfort in these 4 powerful words: “You. Are. Not. Alone”.