Five adult things no one tells you that you need to do
No matter how many parental lectures you sat through before leaving home or how much planning and organisation you’ve done, becoming a real adult means slowly learning the many tips and tricks no one seems to share with you before you venture out into the big bad real world.
To save you some time and plenty of future headaches, here are five things no one has told you that you need to do now that you’re a proper grown-up.
Wash your pillowcases more than your sheets
The cosy place where you rest your tired, weary head every night is a hotbed of sweat, dead skin cells, dustmites, bodily fluids like salvia, remnants of washing detergent, and oils from your face and hair.
Not only are your pillowcases super disgusting (don’t feel bad – everyone’s are), but letting all of these things fester for too long can lead to bad allergies, acne problems and even early wrinkles. It’s important to keep them clean by washing them at least once (but preferably twice) a week.
Own a basic tool kit
I can’t count the amount of times I needed a screwdriver in my first year of living out of home and how many things could have been avoided if someone explained to me how useful it is to have a tool kit in your house.
All you really need is a pair of pliers, a tape measure, some different sized screwdrivers and an assortment of screws. Even if you barely use them, the comfort of knowing you can fix stuff if you need to is worth the money you spend.
Choose a super fund that actually suits your income and occupation
Superannuation isn’t exactly great party talk, so if you’ve only just turned 18 or started working your first job as an adult, chances are you don’t know much about super funds.
There are hundreds of different companies for you to choose from, all with different specialties, insurance plans and interest rates. If you’re a student and only working part-time, it’s important you choose a fund for lower incomes that protects lower superannuation balances.
As almost all super funds offer insurance plans too, it’s a good idea to look into how much you’re being charged for the insurance you’ve signed up for and whether your fund offers particular interest rates or insurance plans for young people.
Read and understand the symbols on washing instruction labels
I’m still not sure whether anyone knows what the symbols on those tags actually mean, but it’s a good idea to at least give them a look when you wash a new item of clothing and give deciphering their instructions a good crack.
Better yet, just find out what kind of fabric your clothes are made out of and Google the right way to wash it. Even if you’re a bargain hunter, ruining something you’ve spent money on because you’ve washed it incorrectly is a huge waste of money and a total bummer.
Check and test your skin/breasts/genitals regularly
While it wasn’t that big of a deal in your childhood and teen years, getting older means being responsible for booking pap tests, breast exams and skin checks.
We all know how uncomfortable and often terrifying it is to show a stranger your genitals/other areas of your body, but getting these checks are essential to staying on top of your overall health. No one’s around to remind you to do this stuff (and most probably want to avoid the awkward conversation), so it’s on you to make sure everything’s the way it should be.
Penny is a Philosophy and Media and Communications student at the University of Melbourne. She enjoys travelling, snacking, and not going to the gym.