Life is all about learning from our experiences. We learn by trial and error, and hopefully by the time we have to make the really tough decisions, we’re able to discern what does and doesn’t work.
We don’t only experience our first lessons as children. Every day could lead us to experiencing something new and fresh for the very first time. We’re led to new ideas and we learn the power of hindsight. Without having some missteps, we wouldn’t know how to lead better lives. Here are five firsts every adult experiences…and survives:
The First Car
Buying your first car without any help from the parents felt like a grand feat in and of itself. You traded in your old beat-up 1994 Toyota truck for a gently used Honda Accord, it wasn’t even five years old yet! But, unfortunately, you bought it from a Craigslist ad and the previous owner didn’t give you the full driving history of the vehicle. Before you knew it, you were taking the car in for constant repairs and spending more money on public transportation than on gas.
Lesson learned: check the vehicle history using Kelly Blue Book, where you’ll always get the facts.
The First Relationship
It’s usually in college (somewhere between freshman and sophomore year) when you meet your first “one true love.” You did everything together, studied, went bike riding, dined at the commons—you even made a few late-night library trips. By junior year, when you weren’t living in the dorms anymore and got your own apartment, one or both of you suddenly needed space, and before you knew it, your Facebook status read “single.” You look on that time in college fondly and make sure to pencil it in a draft of your wedding vows. Who knew you’d be one of the lucky 28 percent to marry your college sweetheart? You’re incredibly grateful you met up again a few weeks before graduation!
Lesson learned: People grow up between the ages of 18 and 22. The senior that walks across the stage to accept their diploma generally isn’t the same doe-eyed kid who started college. People need a chance to grow into themselves and to understand who they are before they can commit to another person.
The First Job
Your first real, grown-up job out of college took six months to snag, and you were so grateful for it. The fact the job also came with benefits was just an added bonus. You would have gladly taken any job, even if it was minimum wage and you were forced you to wear a costume while spinning a sign on the street corner; gotta pay the bills somehow. After a year of working hard, it was time to ask for a raise. If they weren’t willing, it was time to look at your other offers.
Lesson learned: Good things take time. Though you might have been drenched in a cold sweat for the better half of the year, now you’re able to pay your bills and make a doctor’s appointment without having to worry about paying an exorbitant fee. However, a safety net doesn’t mean financial freedom. Don’t be afraid to seek opportunity and to challenge yourself, even if it means you might be without a job (again) for a small period of time.
The First Apartment
After saving up and getting your promotion, you were finally able to make an upgrade from a studio apartment to a one bedroom, and it felt so good! You bought new and second-hand furniture, custom-built your record console table and adorned it with candles and other pretty little things. The one thing you didn’t do was get renters insurance, and that ended up costing you.
Lesson learned: You should NOT have an open flame anywhere near newly varnished furniture. Renters insurance would have paid for the replacement of the furniture after the flame took and a fire started, but because you never got a policy, you were left paying for all of it out of pocket. To protect yourself against, well, yourself, you learned that having an insurance is the way to go.
Life is all about having “firsts.” It’s all a part of the grand scheme of things, isn’t it?