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Amplify Blog - Newborn Adult

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Amplify Blog

Newborn Adult

The below is a guest blog by Gefion, QFCC Youth Advocate

 

For some people, turning 18 can be a blessing. For others, including me, it can be quite daunting. Either way, being an adult comes with a lot of responsibility. For one thing, there are now more things you can do – legally change your name, drink alcohol, invest (maybe not in that order) – but also many more things you may have to do: vote, be called up to a jury service, find employment, etc. There is also a great deal of life skills you’re expected to have, like being able to take care of basic finances, being able to drive and being socially competent (which is definitely not me).

Well, you may think, the gates of childhood have shut behind me – what am I supposed to do now? How do I adult?

Well, I’m afraid I don’t have an exact answer to that, but I’ll do my best by sharing my own experiences being a newborn adult.

First of all, don’t panic. It’s important to keep true to who you are, and to understand you still have at least some skills that are 100% relevant to being an adult. Though maybe you don’t, and that’s completely fine. There are many resources out there to help you develop core skills that you might need to work on. I, for one, struggle with socialising because of my ASD, so I attend weekly support sessions to improve that.

Still, let’s not entirely undermine the importance of the responsibility part of being an adult. If you haven’t learnt about it previously, it’s important to responsibly educate yourself about things like consent, sex education, different cultures and LGBTIQA+ concepts to gain a better understanding of people around you and learn how to be respectful towards others. Learning these things can have a really powerful and positive impact on the world around you and can help you to prevent yourself or others from being accidentally hurtful to someone else.

One of the things I struggle with in becoming an adult is establishing routines and a good life balance. To-do lists and calendars are good for this! Schedule the important things – work times, classes, appointments, deadlines, etc., but don’t forget the other important things – exercise, sleep, hobby time, time to hang out with friends, relaxation/meditation time and so much more! It’s also important for everyone to keep track of your health. Even if it’s something small, keep tabs on it, get regular check-ups and if it’s getting troublesome, see a GP – they’re here to help. You can even do that by yourself. Don’t worry – they really don’t bite… even though my anxiety still thinks they do.

Last but not least, you can use your adult freedoms to do something truly extraordinary, something that you might not have been able to do before. You don’t need anyone’s permission to do things you want to do. Step out of your comfort zone - join a community group, or an online community, or go to social events by yourself. Or even buy yourself a well-earned gift every once in a while. If you’ve made it this far through the blog, you deserve it.

As a closing remark, I recommend checking out the links below for various educational resources on life skills, consent, sex education and LGBTIQA+ concepts.

Thank you for reading!

 

Links that I find useful:

Survival tips for life after school:
www.wethedifferents.qld.edu.au/survival-tips-for-life-after-school/
https://au.reachout.com/collections/life-after-school

Working out identity – whether cultural identify, gender, sexuality, spirituality:
https://au.reachout.com/identity

Moving out of home:
www.legalaid.qld.gov.au/Find-legal-information/Relationships-and-children/Children-and-parenting/Moving-out

Starting a business:
https://business.gov.au/planning/new-businesses/start-a-business-as-a-young-person

Voting:
www.aec.gov.au/voting/files/guide-enrolling-voting-large-print.pdf

Managing finances:
https://au.reachout.com/articles/how-to-manage-your-funds

Managing alcohol:
https://au.reachout.com/challenges-and-coping/alcohol-and-drugs

Understanding relationships and sex:
https://au.reachout.com/relationships/sex

Legal age: teenagers and the law
www.raisingchildren.net.au/teens/behaviour/behaviour-questions-issues/legal-age-teenagers-and-the-law

How to adult:
www.psychologytoday.com/au/blog/the-angry-therapist/201702/8-ways-be-adult
www.skillsyouneed.com/rhubarb/how-to-adult.html
www.wbur.org/hereandnow/2021/04/07/how-to-be-an-adult-book

Useful contacts and websites:
www.beyondblue.org.au/who-does-it-affect/young-people/helpful-contacts-and-websites