How many times have you thought to yourself, ‘Damn, I know how to work out the angles of a triangle, but I haven’t got a clue on how to budget and save for my first car’?
There are so many things that we have learnt since leaving education that we wish we’d been taught sooner. We wish that there could have been a subject in school on ‘How to Adult’, then maybe it wouldn’t be so tricky when all of the inevitable highs and lows of life start dropping on us like lead balloons. With this in mind, we have compiled a list of lessons that we have collectively learnt since leaving school including some top tips on how to escape these traps and walk away with your head held high, ready to take on the world.
Lesson 1) Be Grateful
We have all been told at one time or another to be grateful for the things we’re given. Yet, most of us still get swept up in the dream of having more. Being thankful shouldn’t just end at getting a gift from someone, we should extend it to ourselves and the things around us. If we were taught how to love what we already have, we would all have a much more positive outlook.
Try jotting down 5 things that you feel grateful for every day and see how your attitude changes. Science has found that keeping a track of all the things you are thankful can significantly increase your happiness, and protect you from stress, negativity and anxiety.
Lesson 2) Your Attitude is Everything
Our attitude is the key to our success. Walking through life with negative glasses on will only hold us down and we’ll be more likely to quit and get stuck in a life of doing what makes us miserable.
Try as we might, there are very few things in life that we have complete control over. However, we can control the effort put in to adopting a positive attitude and along the way find ourselves starting to have fun with challenges. It could even be super refreshing to start embracing challenges as adventures instead of trying to resist the experience for growth.
Lesson 3) Steps Towards Managing Your Money
Even though this is a very boring adult topic that we probably would’ve complained about learning in school, how great would it have been to have learnt the fine art of budgeting from a young age? I mean, how else can we expect to save for those big travel adventures that we’ve been dreaming about for years?
Tried and tested by us, we can confirm that we’ve found the perfect saving strategy for beach holidays adventure breaks, and it’s called the 50/30/20 budget rule. It’s super easy, and we’ve found ourselves saving heaps of money in no time. Basically, you spend 50% of your monthly income on ‘needs’, such as food and rent and then 30% on ‘wants’, like shopping and eating out with friends. The final 20% then goes straight in to a savings account. Perfect!
Lesson 4) You Won’t Have Just One Chance & One Dream
Do you remember feeling the pressure in school to decide what you wanted to do for the rest of your life? We certainly do! It’s hard to understand at the time that it’s totally OK to have lots of different areas of interest and it’s also totally OK for these to change. Some of the most interesting people we have met have changed their lives 360° after settling in to careers that they thought they were in for life. For example, (not saying that we’ve met her), but Vera Wang was a journalist and ice skater before she finally decided to pursue her love of fashion at 40!
To avoid feeling trapped in that feeling of not having your life together, or regret for choices made in school and college, look at the whole mosaic of your life with a completely open mind. Welcome new experiences in and grab life by the horns whether you’re 16 or 60, you won’t know what your new love or career will be until you simply give it a try.
Lesson 5) Your Mental Health Is Just as Important as Your Physical Health
Growing up we’ve always been told we need to be active to stay healthy and that’s the reason for those relentless weekly PE sessions, but where were the open and honest discussions about looking after our mental health? Our physical and mental health are just as important as each other, and we need to look after both. After all, it’s 2019 and about time the world put an end to this stigma.
Why not download a mood-lifting app like ‘Happier’ or ‘Headspace’? The apps help you to stay more present and positive throughout the day. They can be used to take quick meditation pauses, or to capture and savour the small happy moments that occur.
Lesson 6) Managing Your Time Efficiently
I don’t think we have ever known someone to not have ‘great time management’ on their CV. Let’s be honest, how truthful is it really? Unfortunately learning how to manage time effectively wasn’t deemed a good enough subject to be taught in school, and we all know that life could have been so much easier if we had been taught how to juggle 10 projects at once.
Lucky for you, we have some top-secret tips on time management. Firstly, the distractions need to go! This is ultimate foundation move before you can even begin to do anything else. Now that Netflix is off, try planning backwards from your deadline and give yourself reasonable time frames for each element. Create a list of the things that need doing and check them off as you go, it’s honestly the best feeling when you tick things off once they’re complete. Now it’s celebration time because everything will be complete to the best of your ability! You can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that you’ve absolutely smashed it.
Lesson 7) Learn from Your Mistakes
Guess what? No one is perfect. Life is all about trial and error, and it’s quite tricky to learn that in school when the majority of teachers are screeching at you for smudging your pen on a title. Made a mistake? That’s cool! Just pick yourself back up, analyse the situation and learn from what happened so you can start again. Mistakes are how we learn, so being fearful of mistakes actually prevents us from growing and learning.
You might be thinking this is an impossible task, but trust us when we say it’s easier than you think. Get to the root of how the mistake happened, were you distracted or perhaps did something silly like forgot to save your uni work? Now that you know what the problem is, it’s easy to find the solution (the heavenly option of auto-save).
Find yourself making the same mistakes over and over again? They say it can take 30 days before things become a routine, so why not try leaving reminders on your phone or post-it notes around the house to stop you from repeating old habits.
Lesson 8) It’s Okay to Ask for Help
Ever been afraid of putting your hand up because you weren’t sure how something was spelt? With the fear of being ridiculed by your peers, just because you didn’t know every word in the Oxford Dictionary. It took us becoming adults and working with people that had extensive knowledge of things that we had no idea about, to realise that it’s okay to ask for help from someone that actually knows their stuff.
Approaching someone to ask for help can be a super intimidating experience, but once you’ve done it once you won’t even remember what you were afraid of. We have some little tips that will help you build the courage to ask and they don’t include picturing them in their underwear. Planning what you want to say is a good way to prevent you from stumbling over your words if you get nervous. Sit back and relax, take a deep breath and simply ask your question.