Congratulations! You are finally 18 and have entered into adulthood. The truth of the matter is, its time to grow up a little and start doing adult things. Below you will find 8 things to do once you turn 18. Becoming an adult is not easy and sometimes we have no idea what to do. I hope this post is beneficial for you and helps you figure out what your steps are for becoming an adult.
1. Open up a bank account
If you decide you only want to do one thing out of this whole list, make sure this is the one! Once you turn 18, having a bank account will be utterly important. Why? Well, firsts things first, if you go away to college, you’re not going to want to carry money around everywhere. Second, your parents might want to deposit money in your account for you when you’re away. Third, if you get a job, you’ll need a bank account to deposit your checks in. Overall, having a bank account is extremely important and is one of the coolest things about being an adult (when used correctly). I suggest TD Bank for starters. They have great benefits for students and are super helpful whenever you need them.
2. Get a credit card
Let’s face it, credit is scary. One bad move and your credit is ruined forever! Okay maybe not forever, but you get the gist. The second thing I did when I turned 18 (after opening up a bank account) was sign up for a credit card. Building your credit is extremely important. You need credit in order to buy a home, a car, rent an apartment, and sometimes even to buy furniture (weird, right?). Therefore, in order to build your credit you’ll need to get a credit card. But don’t worry, I can teach you how to get good credit and maintain it here. Discover is quite possibly the best credit card to get when you’re starting out. They have great customer service, cute cards, and an app that’s super easy to use.
3. Set up a professional email
Emails. The #1 source for communication for adults. Therefore, it’s time to throw away firstname.lastname@example.org and set yourself up with an adult email. This means no more expressing your love for xyz and switching towards email@example.com (trust me on this). Employers don’t care that your favorite Disney princess is Belle or that you’re Mrs. Liam Payne (although that’d be cool). Creating a professional email was my third step in adulthood and I can honestly say it has saved me from embarrassment. The best email service is Gmail (and its usually the most used by employers). Make sure to make your email look as professional as possible. For help on this check out my post on creating a professional email here.
4. Create a resume
If you don’t have one yet, definitely make one soon. You can get templates from Pages, Word, Docs, and so many other places. Having a resume is extremely important if you want to get a job or an internship. Even if you’ve never worked before, you should still create one. A professional resume should include a brief profile on yourself, your contact information (including home address, phone number, and email), your skill set, any languages you know, what education you’ve received, your job experiences, any volunteer or leadership experiences, your knowledge on software like Microsoft Office, and any references you might have.
5. Get a state ID/license
Having identification is important not only for jobs but for your credit/debit cards as well. Most places you shop at will ask to see your ID when you pay with your debit/credit card, which means you’ll either need a state ID or your license. Similarly, employers will most likely ask to take a copy of your identification card. My advice would be to get a license because it not only works as your identification card, but, also allows you to drive a car. I think my favorite part about turning 16 was being able to take that first step to getting a car (my permit test). It meant that I was one step closer to being an adult. Now that I am one, I take pride in being able to say that I have a license (I like to think of it as my entry into adulthood). So, go ahead and head towards your local DMV and apply for one.
6. Get a hold of all your documentation
Now that you are 18, it’s time to be more responsible. Which is why you need to ask your parents to hand over your documents so that you’re able to take care of them yourself. This includes your birth certificate, social security card, passport, insurance cards, and any other important government documents under your name. Now that you are an adult, you have to be able to be organized and responsible. You have to be accountable for your belongings and identity. I know that it may seem scary at first, but it will have to be done sooner or later, so why not start now? There will come a day where you’ll need to go to a doctor or renew your passport and your parents won’t be there to help you. Therefore, it’s up to you to make sure you know where your documents are at all times and keep them safe. Apart from holding on to your documents, I also suggest learning your social security number. Your social security is quite possibly your second most important document. Which is why I don’t suggest traveling with it, in case anything happens. However, you will need to know the number on the card for things such as financial aid, your bank account, etc.
7. Put your things under your name/number
What I mean by this is that you’ll need to call up your insurance companies, doctors, dentists, etc, and make your number the primary contact number and your parents the secondary or emergency contact. You have to start being responsible for yourself and answering for yourself. You need to be able to make your own dentist appointments, schedule your own checkups, and handle your own business. It’ll be hard to keep up with everything but this is where being responsible and organized comes in.
8. Start applying for internships
In order to build your resume you’ll need to actually put yourself out there and into the professional world. Internships are a great way to network with professionals and gain real-world experiences. It can also help you figure out which path is right for you. My first internship was at the age of 16 and it benefitted me because I realized I love the criminal justice system and I really want to be a criminal prosecutor. If I hadn’t put myself out there and gotten that experience, I would’ve never figured out my passion.
I know becoming an adult can be frightening and overwhelming, but I have faith that you will succeed. I hope that these tips help you towards becoming a responsible young adult.
Until next time,
Stay vibrant & embrace the gray!