Being a twenty-something year-old today is like living in purgatory. It’s just really weird. And really awkward.
Once you hit twenty, you’re stoked because you’re no longer in the “teens”, and then once you hit twenty-one (in America at least), you’re even happier because you’ve spent twenty, excruciatingly long sober years waiting to try your first sip alcohol. Yep, that’s totally how it goes. Oh, and then once you hit twenty-two, you get shipped out of college and into the hot jaws of the real world filled with rent, taxes, health insurance (unless you get to feed off your parents’ for a while), and job applications. Then, according to some very credible sources (read: my friends), the rest of your twenties is a vague blur of “What the hell is going on” and “I’m getting old“.
If you’re a twenty-something year-old or a used-to-be twenty-something year-old, you’ve probably lived through at least one of these situations before, and you’ve probably also noticed how unreliable other twenty-somethings tend to be. Like, seriously unreliable. But that’s only because they’ve got to figure out how to get their life together in a short period of time just like you! Still, what better way to fend off those future disappointments in your life than to become more self-sufficient? No one else has got your back like you do after all.
So, without further ado, here are 6 EASY steps to becoming more independent.
Figure Out What You’re Lacking
This step is pretty self-explanatory, but before you can solve a problem, you first need to identify it. Find out what it is exactly that you end up asking other people for the most. Is it money? Is it car rides? Is it food? Don’t limit yourself to only physical things either! Do you rely on people for emotional support or validation? If you do, that’s okay! The sooner you admit to it, the sooner you can solve your own problems.
Realize Those Things Don’t Define You
Just because you find yourself relying on other people to help you out, it doesn’t mean you’re useless. In fact, if you’re reading this article, you’re probably not trying to mooch off of people on purpose. I know this might be hard to believe, but if you’re like me and you’re worried about being a burden to others, you’re already off to a great start! Try to understand that this is all temporary, and you’ll be able to take care of things on your own one day. There is nothing wrong with asking for help when you need it.
If you’re still worried that you might be overstepping your boundaries, just ask! Say, “Are you sure you’re comfortable with (insert request here)?” And wait for a response. Be sure to read the other person’s body language too. If they seem annoyed with your request, politely back off. The worst thing you could do is pout and get angry when they’re the ones that would be going out of the way to help you. Which brings me to my next point…
Do NOT Get Comfortable
Just because your roommate always drives you downtown every weekend at 10:00PM on Saturday, it does not mean they are fine with doing that for the rest of their life. People do have lives, and their lives do not revolve around yours. I’m sorry I had to break it you like this, but that’s the way it is. Save yourself the embarrassment and subsequently small panic attack and always have a backup. If your backup is not going downtown at 10:00PM on Saturday because you have no other ride, then so be it! You won’t die.
Accept Your Limitations
If you’re like me, you’ve got a ton of limitations. You’re broke. You have no driver’s license. You have no car (obviously). You’re just really behind the curve when it comes to adulting. Or maybe I’m the only one. Either way, sometimes you just have to deal with less trips out with friends and less parties and less clothes from really cute stores. You have to exercise self-control. It sucks in the beginning, but trust me, it gets easier. And if you’re really good at communicating, no one’s going to fault you for your own limitations. Just don’t complain about them (out loud). That never looks good.
DO Get Comfortable Being Alone
Being independent and being lonely are two completely different things, but in order for you to really develop into a person who is self-sufficient, you need to be comfortable with being alone. There are going to be days when it seems like everyone is living without you, but we all know that’s not true. You’re a living, breathing human being! Use your precious time alone to exercise or laze around. Write a blog post or binge-watch Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt on Netflix. Teach yourself something new. Don’t waste away wishing you were off having fun with everyone else!
You’ve already spent some of your alone time reading this post, so you’re well on your way to becoming a licensed adult. Remember to be patient with yourself as you continue to grow into the person you’re meant to be. You got this!
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