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10 Things I've Learned From "Adulting" So Far In My 20s

Mastering the art of “adulting” is part of growing up.

And no, “adulting” is not always easy. We asked Sydney to share the top 10 lessons she has taken away from “adulting” in her 20s, from budgeting tips to relationship advice and when you need to call in reinforcements (hello, mom!) for help.

Lesson #1: Finding an Apartment Isn't Easy

My first lesson… the difference between a co-op, condo, and rental in NYC real estate! Ha. I literally had no idea what the difference was when I was looking to move to NYC but I had to learn quickly. I was also able to figure out what I was comfortable compromising on when looking for an apartment. For example, safety was a non-negotiable for me. I would rather have less space in a neighborhood that I feel completely comfortable and safe in. Other things I came across in were amenities such as was laundry in the building, a lack of light, or if the building had a doorman or was a walk up. There is no such thing as a perfect apartment in NYC, especially when you are young. It was helpful for me to see a bunch of places in different areas so I had other options to compare to when deciding what was important to me and my family.



Lesson #2: Budgeting My Meals

Grocery shopping for one… a skill I have not yet mastered, but I'm getting there! I live alone, and as easy as it is to order dinner through my iPhone, I know that it is better for both my wallet and myself to cook at home as much as possible. I like to plan out the meals that I want to eat for the week to make a list before going shopping. I only stock up on things that don’t go bad quickly, such as eggs, almond milk, frozen fruits, or oatmeal. Most importantly… I never go grocery shopping when hungry, ha!


Lesson #3: Budgeting Transportation

When it comes to getting around, this has definitely been something I have struggled with in the past. I honestly really enjoy walking in NYC and I do it as much as possible. But, I live very far downtown so sometimes walking isn’t an efficient option for me. I made the decision to get an unlimited MetroCard because of my daily commute and the areas I frequent the most on weekends. When it comes to cars, I use Via instead of Uber or Lyft when possible and it has helped me save a lot!

Lesson #4: Friendships Are a Priority

Finding your significant other is not the only relationship that matters. There is no need to put extra pressure on yourself to be seriously dating someone in your early twenties… yet! Ha. Jk. But really, FRIENDSHIPS! Friendships evolve… sometimes that means they come to an end and sometimes new ones will flourish. Someone in my family once told me that in your twenties, friendships come in waves. It's natural to outgrow some of your old ones because as you get older, everyone has different priorities and activities they enjoy. Your true, OG friends will always be there. It is important to remember to force yourself to have a work and social life balance. It is not always easy, but this is important for your mental health and all relationships in your life.

Lesson #5: There Are Certain Things You'll Always Miss From Home

No one tucks the corners of the sheets while making my bed like my mom does.

Lesson #6: And There Are Times You'll Ask for Help

Cooking chicken is hard and scary.

Lesson #7: $20s Have a Whole New Meaning

$20 is truly… an adult dollar. Especially in NYC.

Lesson #8: Hangovers Only Get Worse With Age

Hangovers hit worse once you’re over 23… Excedrin > Advil.

Lesson #9: Don't Forget to Take Care of Yourself

Hydration is KEY. Drink water, moisturize use eye cream.

Lesson #10: The Most Important Lesson of All...

Most importantly, I’ve learned that no one my age really knows what they’re doing. Your twenties are all about figuring out not only who you are, but what you like, what you want to be doing, and who you enjoy spending your time with. It’s easy to put pressure on yourself during this time of your life where things may feel uncertain at times, but I think looking back on our twenties and “adulting," it will be one of our favorite times of our lives!

Cover Art Via: @nymphana_

By Sydney Mastrandrea

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