Graduation—the ultimate goal for most undergraduates when they can finally say “buh-bye” to student life. And yet, while the anticipation of new-found adventures in the corporate world may be exhilarating, it’s certainly not uncommon to hear graduates lament about the pressures of “adulting”.

The draining thought of giving up our social life and late-night supper dates due to frequent overtime work and early morning meetings, and not forgetting both personal and professional responsibilities that come with being a grown-up, are some of the reasons why many miss their academic days.

The truth is you have to move on to the next stage of life sooner or later.

Here are four signs that prove you have made the transition from student to a full-fledged grown-up. And if you’re not doing them yet, well, it’s time to up your adulting game!

 

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You’ve become a planner and have apps for managing errands

Being an adult means juggling work, relationships, social life and getting enough rest all within the limited amount of time you have in a day. Hence, the first sign of being an adult is your efficiency in planning.

 

 

Your digital calendar is nicely colour coded and spaced out for each event, meeting and catch-up you have for the days ahead, and you find yourself downloading apps to manage your errands and reminders. You’ll start to realise that each app is good for something—from keeping track of your work tasks to managing your monthly finances, you have started relying on technology for optimal planning efficiency (not just for IGTV binge-watching)!

 

You take care of yourself

Gone are the days you can go out for TGIWs or a late-night supper at 2am. Instead, most of us will spend at least nine hours a day in a chair staring at a computer screen and you will start to realise the importance of your health.

 

 

As the sluggishness and lethargy kick in, you find yourself hitting the gym more than usual and watching what you eat a lot more than you did back in college. While you used to be able to inhale a whole bag of chips in the middle of the night, you now find yourself more conscientiously planning out an acceptable number of “cheat days”.

 

You have edited down your social network

In school, you’ve socialised with multiple circles of friends through activities ranging from nights out at clubs and birthday party barbecues, to project work or interest groups. However, as you transition into actual adulthood, you’ll find yourself making the effort to separate your personal from your professional social networks.

 

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On your personal/private accounts, you’ll start to place more importance on keeping the most important people in your lives close to you and weeding out unnecessary acquaintances. You’ll also start to focus more on expanding your professional network on dedicated accounts, and learning that the key to building a stable career for yourself is to have important connections in the working world.

 

You enjoy real me-time

Most of us are extremely comfortable with going out in large groups, going for an eight-person brunch date or a class outing to a party during college. However, the stress and fatigue of life catches up and socialising will eventually become too mentally-draining for us to keep up with.

 

 

You soon start to realise that you no longer have social anxiety going out for a quiet lunch by yourself or even a trip on your own to unwind and take things at your own pace. Some days, you might just want to curl up in bed with a good book than hit the town for a drink and that helps you recharge more than anything else.

And you know what? There’s absolutely nothing wrong with wanting some time for yourself.

You will eventually become a full-fledged adult sooner or later. And despite the weight of responsibilities, becoming an adult also makes you a stronger, more independent person who will be able to take care of your mental and physical health a whole lot better.

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This article was originally published on The SMU Blog.

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