A Millennial Guide: How to Get Your Life Together
By Milly Hailstone
I’ve been winging it for about 23 years. Plainly speaking, I’ve been living salary to salary, living fast and running out of money even faster. It’s not just about money either, I was eating bad food, drinking loads of booze, working a terrible job and wondering why I felt so bad!
If you feel like you’ve been scrambling through life recently, you need to read my guide for wayward millennials. I should know - I’ve had plenty of experience. Quite often, I have a quiet word with myself, and the following points are some of the things that the sensible side of my brain tells the naughty child that lives in my head.
HOW TO GET YOUR LIFE TOGETHER
I’m going to start by saying it’s not your fault. The education system is pretty flawed if you think about it. They’ll happily teach us stuff like how to calculate the circumference of a circle, but we’re not taught how to function as adults. We’ve got no idea how to look after our finances, general and mental health.
Instead, we’re shipped off to the ‘real world’ as naive creatures who quickly get caught up in bad habits and overdrafts. But, the following 5 pointers can help to ease your soul in this mental world.
1. YOU NEED SAVINGS (I KNOW, IT SUCKS)
The constructs of money are a constant battle. Especially if you work a low paid job and have a tattoo/clothing/avocado addition.
But, there is one way that you can stay ahead of the game, though it’ll take a little self-restraint. It’s called an Emergency Fund - and you need one. Basically, you need to save some of your cash and stash it away for when life screws you over. I’ve always been a spender, but I’ve recently learned how having some extra savings makes me feel way better about my life. It takes the pressure off, and I can worry less.
2. CONSUME LESS
I’ve always been obsessed with style. So, that meant clothes, shoes and more clothes. I would literally spend all my wages on new stuff, but now I’ve chilled out a bit.
We’ve grown up with advertising being shoved down our throats, so it’s pretty obvious that we would become mass consumers. But, material possessions don’t equate to happiness, each is just a quick fix, an attempt to fill the void. Once you realise this, you will become disenchanted with consumerism, and it’ll be easier to save money. Killing two birds with one stone, right?
3. LEARN TO COOK
Eating is weird. It’s a ‘normal’ thing, but one that can become super messed up.
Over-eating, under-eating, eating junk, only eating a diet of sushi. I’ve been guilty of all these things in past, but one thing that has helped me is learning to cook.
Since I became vegan 2 years ago, I’ve had to learn and I now consider cooking one of my favourite things to do. It also takes away the temptation of takeaway dinners, fast food, and sugary snacks. This is often because I can’t eat those foods as they don’t align with my views - and I know that I can make tastier, cheaper, and healthier versions of dishes that I once binged on. So, go to Youtube, and learn to cook. I fully recommend AvantGardeVegan.
4. DELETE TINDER
Found your soulmate on Tinder? Yeah, I didn’t think so.
Dating is mental and horrible and Tinder/Grindr/whatever, only makes that worse. These dating platforms are filled to the brim with disappointment. If you want to meet somebody, you need to go out into the real world and have a real connection. It’s ‘Love at First Sight’, not ‘Love at First Swipe’ for a reason.
5. BREAK YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA HABIT
Chances are you are reading this article on your phone, after seeing the headline on Facebook. I know, I know, I’m guilty too. But if Instagram, Facebook, YouTube etc, makes you feel sad you need to cut down or at least change the way you react to it.
If ‘perfect’ Instagram selfies make you feel self-conscious, it’s time to stop comparing yourself to others and start loving yourself instead. Easier said than done, I know, but this is something I’ve started doing and I’m way less stressed about Instagram now. I used to see pictures and think ‘I wish I was that skinny,’ etc. but now I’m using the platform to empower others and cheer them on. I realised that we are feeling the same self-depleting thoughts, so why not help each other to feel good instead?
I’m not sure why I’m feeling qualified to dish out advice today, but I’m feeling ok with my life and the direction it’s headed in. If one of the positive changes I’ve made in my life can help one person a little bit, then I better share them all!
Stay optimistic, and you’ll have your life together in no time.
UPDATE: Due to popular demand, I've added a second part to this article - find PART 2 here.