When you're 19, you think you know it all; you genuinely belive that you have your shit together and there couldn't possibly be anything else to learn. WRONG.
As I was laying in bed last night, I was thinking about a few of those things I never cared about 10 years ago that I care about now...and how they affect me currently. So here are just a few examples of what I was contemplating.
Girls, take your makeup off before you go to sleep. When you're in your early 20s, you party 'til 2 AM and don't really make it a priority to remove all that makeup and sweat that you have junked all over your face before passing out. You're drunk and tired and just want to go to bed. But while you're sleeping, your pores are absorbing all of that and causing those breakouts and sties. Make sure to use a makeup remover and a moisturizer prior to hitting the pillow to keep your face fresh and blemish-free.
Stay in shape. It's much easier to maintain your weight if you're exercising regularly and eating well. I'm not saying to completely skip the pizza, but I am telling you ( from personal experience ) that it is so much easier to avoid getting fat than it is to gain weight and try to take it off. I've been fighting this battle since 2010 and it's NOT fun. With beer and working and living off Ramen noodles, it can be hard...but don't let yourself fall into a slump and put on excess weight...because it's a bitch to take off!
Invest in a 401K. I was 26 when I finally took this seriously. I know it sounds like a hassle when you're working a shit job to put money back, but even a few dollars can help from each paycheck. We are only getting older...and our generation may not have the resources people have today when we are at retirement age. Even 1-2% is a good start. If your job doesn't offer it, speak to someone at your bank about your options. You want to know that you have something to fall back on when you get older, and the earlier you start, the better.
Don't be afraid to ask for help. It's one thing to need assistance every now and then, and another to expect help all the time. Everyone falls on to hard times; life isn't easy, y'all. But if you're struggling, financially or even emotionally, don't feel bad for needing some help. We live in a society where people think it's a sign of weakness to ask for this, which is sad. Swallow your pride and ask! We all need to know that someone loves and cares for us.
Depression is more common than you think. Mental health issues are still taboo. Even though there are plenty of studies and medication out there, some people still think it's just those being "drama queens". End the stigma. Be kind. Empathize. "Everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about"...
Live below your means. If you're newly independent, this is a BIG ONE. No one wants to not have nice things, but you need to be smart about it. Do you really need the one-bedroom apartment in the new complex for $950/mo or can you settle for one in town for $500...when you only make $10/hr? Do you NEED that new furniture or can you just take your aunt's hand-me-downs? Moving out on your own is a large reality check. Yes, you want those nice things...but you need to realize that those things cost money. Unless you've been at home for a while and have been saving thousands of dollars, you need not expect this right off the bat. Be smart about your spending. You don't want to have to deal with eviction, car repo, etc. Which brings me to...
Don't go open a bunch of credit cards! SERIOUSLY! Credit cards are great...for some things. When I turned 18 I decided to get one in case of emergencies; I wanted to build my credit up and have something to fall back on "just in case". Big mistake. I maxed out that card twice before I even turned 20. It wasn't a large credit limit: about $1000 when I opened it. But when you're working a *meh* job that just pays the rent and you need groceries, or you have a sudden LOSS of job, costs rack up quickly. Aside from my car, I am only a few hundred dollars in credit card debt at this point. Technically I could pay that off with my savings now if I wanted to, but I don't want to crack into my nest egg. So I pay more than the minimum payment to then HELP my credit ( it's good to have debt, but you need to be conscious of your debt-to-income ratio ) And the word "financing" looks reallllllllly nice to those who WANT those nice things but don't have the money in the bank. Well, don't buy it. If you don't have the money to be able to pay for something, you don't have the funds to pay for it on credit, either. Be smart about credit cards; it can seriously affect you in the future when you want to buy a new car or apply for a mortgage. Just because you have nice things to show, doesn't technically mean you have money.
I just wanted to throw a little knowledge and experience at ya today. The rain is on its way and it's supposed to hit hard, so keep dry guys! Until next time.