1. Doing your dishes and laundry is never going to be fun, but you need to do your dishes before you move something in the pile and the smell of mold hits you in the face like an oncoming train. Also, suck it up and fold your laundry right away, or at least lay it out so it doesn’t wrinkle as bad.
  2. When it comes to an apartment, there is always something that is going to be wrong with it. For your first apartment alone, make sure it has water pressure that will get the shampoo out of your hair and that it is in a safe neighborhood. You don’t need a patio, garage or a nice view but if you happen to stumble upon one of those in your price range, then consider that a luxury. Also, bring in a phone charger and check all the outlets.
  3. Buy generic, always. The only exceptions: Cold medicine, airborne or other medical related items. Some things just can’t be substituted.
  4. If you have to get a part-time job (or tw0) just to pay the bills, there is nothing wrong with that. No one ever said that being an adult means having free time. When you are not working those jobs, you need to be looking for your dream life and building your skills to obtain it. There are a ton of free classes online that you can take and after you take them, put that time on your resume.
  5. Make a budget. It takes some time to figure out exactly where all your money is going, but make sure you figure that out and cut down unnecessary spending.
  6. Tip 20%.
  7. Learn how to make chicken. Chicken can be paired with just about anything and you will have a real meal. I also suggest buying the cheapest Italian dressing you can find and putting it in a bag that you use to thaw out your chicken in. Gone are the days where you eat dry chicken and convince yourself that you are proud that you “cooked.”
  8. Get a cat. They are pretty low maintenance and inexpensive compared to dogs. Even if you consider yourself a dog person, cats can provide you with that comfort you crave and you can leave for a day or two and they won’t pee all over your apartment and starve.
  9. Cable is too expensive to justify when you are just barely getting by. Get your parent’s password so you can watch your sports team online or find a site that will show it.
  10. Sports are the easiest way to meet people. Follow a local team and go to the bar when they play to meet people. If you’re from out of town, definitely go out when your team is playing the local one. Chances are another fan will be out to watch the game.
  11. Read. Whether it’s books, blogs or news, you will keep your mind sharp and maybe learn something new in the process.
  12. Find out what is covered if you have health insurance. Actually, call your company so they can explain what the weird abbreviations mean.
  13. Learn how to store your food. 
  14. Clean up your Facebook. It’s not appropriate or funny anymore to have 500 pictures from parties you went to in college.
  15. Accept that you are still always going to wrongly estimate how much pasta to make.
  16. Know your rights and respect the police.
  17. Wear condoms. STDs suck and you might not be ready to be a parent.
  18. Buy a nice suit. It’s not supposed to be the most thrilling purchase of your life, and it IS going to be expensive.
  19. Learn how to remember names. Say it at least twice in your first conversation helps tremendously.
  20. Purchase a first aid kit.
  21. Send handwritten thank you notes. Whether you interviewed with a company or your grandma sent you a $20 in the mail… thank them with more than an email or text.
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