By contributor Ayanda Gatsha
Being an adult is a weird thing—shaving, behaving properly in front of strangers, and making a tangible meal for yourself instead of eating cereal for dinner. Though being of age doesn’t necessarily mean being mature, for the sake of this article, an adult is someone who can both be trialed for breaking the law while considered legally allowed to live on their own and vote.
The World Bank Group’s statistics report in 2012 shows that Canadian life expectancy is 81.24 years—meaning that’s at least 63 years of being an adult if you just turned 18.
Think of this less as an instruction manual, and instead as a hack list to adulting—though that doesn’t mean you can’t have fun.
- Time: This distributes itself pretty democratically across all adults. Since we only get 24 hours in a day, allocating sleep should be a first priority. Sleep is a significant component in our day. According to sleepfoundation.org, adults need between five and 11 hours of sleep per day in order to work productively. Giorgio Gilestro, Neurobiology lecturer at London’s Imperial College, says our brain’s thinking muscles are rejuvenated like post-workout muscles by sleep. This means the right amount of sleep a day gives our brain the downtime it needs to take on the next day full force.Eight hours of sleep a day in 63 years amounts to up to 184,080 hours of downtime, meaning the rest of your spare 368,160 hours of adulthood are left to accomplishing necessary tasks and taking the time to relax.
- Planning: Using mind maps and strategy planning can really benefit in simplifying and putting in place a visual to-do list. Mind maps are creative, fun, and it’s common knowledge we remember fun things more easily. Your goals need to feel fun so they don’t slip your mind. You can find inspiration at <biggerplate.com>, which has a variety of pop-out templates to choose from and get down to business.
- Community: Economics: Canada in the Global Environment identifies social constructs that facilitate how we adults trade amongst each other. The constructs are more complex than swapping sandwiches with your best friend in kindergarten. The quality of stuff we get is likely to make us happier. In the social contract that is our community, understanding any community’s customs is an asset to how we navigate our way through it. The popular expression “time is money” definitely applies here. We swap our time for stuff, and time is non-refundable, hence why taking the time to plan and make meaningful connections is so important.
- Play it up: As university students, saving and managing money can seem pretty daunting. It might be the first time many of us have lived on our own, let alone thought about what a mortgage is. This is why taking into account your assets can be beneficial—by recognizing what you have, you can take advantage of it and make smarter financial decisions to improve your assets. Think of Monopoly—you don’t stop at the first house you buy; you keep rolling the dice and making deals.Following this kind of linear path gives you the economic freedom to define and go after whatever makes you happy. In this day and age, it is crucial to have foundations practically set before chasing dreams and adventures. As much as the image of a bungee jumping lifestyle can seem alluring, there is a certain magic to a night in with family and friends.