21 Things Every 21-Year-Old Should Know How to Do

At 21, you are officially classified as an adult in most countries across the world. In effect, this means that you have to start adulting all of the sudden – acting and thinking as adults do. Although there is no such thing as a quick guide on adulting, there are certain things adults should be able to do.

As a 21-year-old, you still qualify as a young adult, however. You’ll need to do some adult things; only the basics, really. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, read on to find out what these things you should be able to know how to do as a 21-year-old (or older).

1. Have self-discipline

Self-discipline is the foundation of it all. With it, you’ll be able to conquer life’s challenges and grow into a stronger, better version of yourself.

2. Internet banking

Believe me, it will change your life. You won’t have to visit the bank (or ATM, for that matter) nearly as often anymore, so you’ll save a lot of time.

3. Change a flat tyre

Instead of paying someone else to change your flat tyre for you, why not just do it yourself? With the right tools, it’s really not that difficult.

4. Save money

Save as much of your paycheck as possible. Instead of spending money on things you don’t really need, rather save for things that you do need. You’ll see what I mean soon enough if you haven’t already.

5. Create a budget

It would make saving a lot easier, trust me.

6. Communicate properly

Proper communication skills go a long way. You’ll not only need them for work, but also in your personal life. They say communication is key, and it truly is: in relationships as well as friendships.

7. Change a light bulb

Chances are, as a 21-year-old, you’ve either moved out of your parents’ place already or you’re considering moving out soon. As an adult living in your own place (or with roommates), you’ll have to change the lightbulb yourself from time to time. But can you?

8. Cooking healthy meals

As an adult, you’ll have to start cooking for yourself at some point. Healthy meals are smartest because, thanks to the nutrients they contain, they’ll make you feel much better than junk food could ever make you feel.

9. Cardio

On the topic of health, cardio is great for your overall health. Being fit will also improve your self-esteem and boost your confidence.

10. Do laundry

As a young adult, you’ll have to start doing your own laundry sooner or later. In addition, being able to remove stains from your clothes is also a skill that could come in handy (especially if you’re as clumsy as me).

11. Gain professional experience

Maybe you’re studying at college or university, and you feel secure. The thing is, however, studying isn’t enough. You need to gain as much experience as possible professionally, especially in the field in which you want to work one day. It will impress your future employer for sure.

12. Safe sex

Seriously, too many people overlook how common STDs are. Moreover, many STDs are incurable and will be something you’ll be stuck with forever. And girls, pregnancy is also a huge concern. At 21, a baby will change the entire direction of your life.

13. Shop for deals

Become a smart shopper. Try to buy your clothes on sale. When grocery shopping, look out for deals (but make sure they really are deals. Sometimes it’s okay to be sceptical).

14. Network

This is a professional skill you should learn sooner rather than later. Build relationships with people who are smarter and more successful than you. Networking could open a lot of doors for you: career opportunities, knowledge, you name it.

15. Take risks

As a young adult, it’s important to take risks. But the risks you take should be calculated risks.

16. Party safe

Don’t drink and drive. Watch your drink at all times (so that it can’t get spiked). Don’t do drugs.

You know the drill…

17. Ask (a lot) questions

And don’t be afraid of asking dumb questions. As the great Albert Einstein once said: “The most important thing in life is to keep asking questions.”

18. Calculate a tip at a restaurant

When eating out, proper etiquette is to tip your waiter at least 10%, so learn how to calculate 10% (or 15%) of your total. Even if you don’t like your waiter that much, just tip him/her. It’s the mature thing to do.

19. Embrace change

Change is inevitable. Therefore it’s best to embrace it rather than to fight it. And who know’s? Life might surprise you and you’ll end up happier than you ever imagined you could be.

20. Write a cover letter

When applying for a job, attaching a cover letter is more often than not a requirement. A good cover letter could make a big difference, so learn how to write an outstanding cover letter.

21. Enjoy life

You’re still young; enjoy your life as a carefree 21-year-old. Pursue happiness. YOLO.


What else do you think a 21-year-old should know how to do?

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