Well I've finally come to the end of another semester at college. Which, if everything goes as planned, means I will be getting ready to throw my cap in the air next year around this time. As I finished my last exam and walked out of class today, I began reminiscing the days back in middle and high school where finishing your last exam meant we all went into High School Musical mode and started singing "What time is it? Summer time! It's our vacation!" As I laughed to myself thinking about those times, part of me felt a deep desire to live in those moments again. But reality quickly grabbed hold of me and reminded me that I had to go get groceries, run by the bank to grab rent, get the oil changed in my car, and finish a work project all before tomorrow morning. So I jammed out to The Beach Boys in my car as I ran from errand to errand and ignored the strange looks I got from people beside me at a red light.
Gone are the times that Summer meant vacation and a break from busy life. For me, Summer now means less time at school but more time at work. Something just doesn't feel right about that. When did becoming an adult meant sacrificing those happy times? Why do we get sucked into the demand that we need to constantly work, work, and more work? Is it even possible to enjoy life as an adult?
The answer is "YES!" Yes, it is very important work to save money for your future and to pay your bills. But also yes, you can enjoy your life as an adult. Granted I am only 21 years old and I'm sitting here writing a blog post about being an adult, but the truth is I've been at this whole "adulting" thing for a few years now.
I got tired of feeling absolutely miserable from constantly working and having a goal for my future, but not really having a plan to reach it. So I did something about it.
I started learning the balance between work and play. I set aside two envelopes for myself that I labeled "Good Times Only" and "Future Goals". And each paycheck, I set aside $100 in each envelope. When I feel the weight of work and life begin to pull me down, I pull out my "Good Times Only" envelope, request a few days off and spend some time enjoying my life as an adult. And for me, that could be anything from a trip to Carowinds, a trip to the beach, or a girls weekend right here at home.
Don't be miserable. Don't get sucked into thinking that you have to sacrifice those simple happy moments in life because you're an adult. But I won't lie, it's not easy. These moments aren't going to just automatically happen when the school bell rings for Summer. As an adult, you've got to make them happen. Believe me, I've been there and I know how down life can get when you're constantly thinking about the long work week, and the next, and the next. An easy fix to this is just reminding yourself that you have something bigger in store for your life. You not only have a goal, but you have a plan.
So here's how you're going to remind yourself that you can enjoy your life as an adult and work towards reaching your goals:
1. Set aside envelopes and start saving. After I started my two envelopes and showed Brad my technique, we decided to start doing this for more things. We now have "Groceries", "Vacation Fund", "Future Home", "Date Nights", etc. We've only been using this technique for a few months now, but the results are amazing! We feel much better knowing we have a specific amount of money waiting for us when we take our next vacation or go on our next date night.
2. The more the merrier! And the more fun! I've once again discovered the beauty of friendship. As a human, it's very important that you bond with other people and that you create new connections with new friends throughout the course of your life. But on top of all that, more friends means that as a group of young adults y'all can do things for a cheaper price. One thing we absolutely love to do, is plan a mini vacation with a group of our close friends and all split the cost of the rental. But even besides a vacation, having a game night with your friends can definitely remind you that you can still enjoy your life as an adult.
3. Don't constantly delay those plans of achieving your goals. Start now! Like right now as soon as you finish reading this post! Whatever it is that you want to do, pour your passion into it and focus. One day you're going to be looking back to when you were nervous about cutting back on some of your hours at work to pursue your future. You'll laugh as you remember the first time you looked through the lens of that camera and thought "there's no way I can actually make a steady income as a photographer". And you'll smile as you reminisce those moments of your adult life when you used to think that you'd never really enjoy it. But now, as you sit there in full confidence as the business woman or man, or musician, or doctor that you have become, you know how important it was to pursue your goals.
And as usual, I would like to end with a quote that I have added my own twist to...
"Do something today that your future self will thank you for. But don't forget to enjoy today."
You know I love you all!