How to prepare for adult life

Exams are all very well, but there are a lot of ways that school is inadequate in preparing you for adult life. In this blog, Im going to pose a number of questions about life after school to see how ready you are!

Personal finance
You will soon be getting a job, paying bills, taking out loans and saving for the future. It is easy to feel out of your depth and knowing the answers to some of these questions will help you a great deal.

What are taxes and when and how do I pay them?
Which is the best bank account for me?
How much of my earnings should I save?
How do I write a cheque?
Do I understand the time value of money and the benefits of saving and investing?
What does a student loan mean for my future, financially?

Living independently
After finishing school, people often go on to undertake further study or get a job. Either way, there will come a time when you move out of your family home and look to make it on your own. There are four main questions you need to think about.

Can I cook for myself and maintain a balanced diet?
Can I rent a house and set up utilities like gas, electricity, water, internet and telephone?
Can I create a budget and stick to it?
Can I motivate myself without my parents to nag me?

Career
Youve spent all this time studying and now you need to do something with your qualifications. Whether you are going to university or straight into the workplace, ask yourself these questions.

Do I know how to write a CV and a cover letter?
Is my email address appropriate?
Do I have any photos on social media that I dont want prospective employers to see?
Am I comfortable speaking to people on the phone or writing a business email?

Politics
Up until the age of 16, you probably havent given a great deal of thought to politics. But it is becoming increasingly important, as the views of the young differ from those of the old, that your voice is heard in how the country is run. Dont be one of those people that doesnt vote and then complains about the result. Here are a few simple questions to consider.

Am I on the Electoral Register?
What are my political views?
Have I voted?

While at university, I saw people who had no idea about the answers to most of these questions and others who were very clued in. I saw friends who blew through their student loan instalments in a few weeks and lived off Super Noodles and others who had a weekly budget on an Excel spreadsheet and cooked proper meals every day.

If you answered No or I dont know to any of these questions, then talk to your parents and teachers, do your own research online and change your answers. I promise you, it will make all the difference.

Additional resources:

Life After School: Does it Live up to the Dream?
How to Make the Most of University Life
Finding the Work-Life Balance

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