One thing every adolescent looks forward to is adulthood. With no curfew and no one telling you what to do, becoming a grownup is the ultimate freedom, right? Well, it’s not quite that simple.

Adulting isn’t the carefree, boss-of-everything life that you think it is. Once you become an adult, life is ready to greet you with a little thing we like to call reality. You may get to choose your own friends, curfew, and bedtime now, but there’s a lot more to adulting than cutting the reigns and running free. Continue reading to learn what seven things you need to know before adulthood.

1. First impressions really do matter.

 

As you approach adulthood, it’s important to realize that someone’s always watching you whether you realize it or not. Whether you’re in a grocery store, the bank, or at a job interview, people are looking to see how you dress, how you carry yourself, and how you interact with others. It’s better to learn this now than to learn it the hard way—first impressions really do matter.

If you’re looking to enter corporate America, then you need to look like it. Buying business suits on a regular basis can drive you to the poorhouse, so it’s crucial to know how to bargain shop.

If you’re looking for women’s business attire, then shop online rather than at some exclusive boutique in the mall. At Whitehouse Black Market, you can find stylish business clothes for women at a fraction of the price you would pay in a boutique or a mall department store.

2. You need health insurance.

When you were a kid, if you got sick, then your mom would take a day off from work, keep you home from school, and take you to the doctor’s office. In your youth, you never had to worry about the cost of a visit to see the family doctor, but that’s about to change.

As an adult, you’re going to need to get your own health insurance to cover doctor’s visits and stay on top of your health. Because anything could happen, it’s necessary to have insurance to cover treatments for injuries and sickness. Of course, you want to save money, but it’s important to have a good health insurance policy that won’t leave you with thousands of dollars in out-of-pocket expenses. Compare policies and prices online with iSelect to get the insurance you need within your budget.

3. Build up your credit.

When you think of adulting, you probably think about getting your own place and a car if you don’t already have one. However, the question is does your credit look? If you’re just reaching adulthood, then you probably don’t have any credit, but you need to start building it. Having poor credit or no credit at all can make your life much more difficult when you’re trying to make a large purchase.

4. Live within your means.

One of the most important things you need to do as an adult is to learn to live within your means. Don’t worry about getting the latest smartphone if you can’t afford it and won’t be able to keep up with the payments on it. Splurging always feels good until you’re broke, and then you’ll feel much differently about your frivolous purchases.

5. Sleep is crucial.

One of the perks of adulting is that you no longer have a bedtime. With that being said, as an adult, it’s important for you to set your own bedtime so that you can get plenty of rest and be your best self. You may have hated naps as a kid, but you’ll grow to love them in your adult life.

6. Procrastination kills ambitions.

Someone once posed the question, “Where do dreams go to die?” Perhaps they go to a place called Procrastinationville. A crucial lesson that you need to learn before you reach adulthood is that procrastination kills ambition. Handle your business as it arises rather than waiting until the last minute.

7. You should still listen to your parents.

Once you become an adult, you no longer have to listen to your parents, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t. Your parents love you, and they’ve been adulting a lot longer than you have—surely they’ve picked up some knowledge along the way. When they offer advice or instruction, you should still listen even though you don’t have to. Not only is it the respectful thing to do, but it’s also in your best interests.