"Welcome to being an adult. Maybe you weren't told this by your parents, but this is through my trial and error."
Who among us hasn’t come into full adulthood wishing they had known certain things that could have made life so so so much easier in the long run? Choices that, if made, ultimately would have been much better for our well-being…not to mention our wallets.
But then again that is all part of growing older and (hopefully) wiser. However there is something to be said about getting advice from those who’ve been there, rather than learning the hard way every single time.Thankfully, a man who goes by @johnfluenzer on TikTok has a great list of things young people should start doing once they become adults. Are any of his suggestions fun, cool or trendy? Not at all. But they are most definitely accurate. Just ask any 30+-year-olds who wished they had done at least four of these things.
John started off by saying, “welcome to being an adult. Maybe you weren't told this by your parents, but this is through my trial and error."
Listed below are the eight vital things to maintaining a healthy adulthood, that most of us have no idea about until well into adulthood.
1. Getting an annual doctor visit.
young woman visiting her doctor
This is the bare minimum amount of visits one should be making, according to John. He recommended more if you “have more medical concerns.”
2. Dental visits. For a yearly cleaning at the very least.
Woman at the dentist
"Keep in mind that a $300 cavity can turn into a $1,500 root canal, which can then turn into a $2,000 crown on top of the $1,500 you just paid, so it's better to just pay the $300 or whatever it is for a cavity, and just get it sorted,” he explained.
As someone with this exact experience (ignored a cavity because she didn't want to pay $300, only to pay $1500 years later, even with insurance) I can ruefully confirm.
…as can others, judging by the comments sections to John’s video.
“I didn’t go to the dentist for 8 years and now I need a root canal. Learn from my mistakes people,” one person wrote.
Seriously, no amount of flossing and avoiding sugar can make up for a professional cleaning and checkup, folks.
Last note on this subject—John mentioned that if you couldn’t afford to go to a dentist, to check for nearby dental schools that can often perform necessary procedures at a fraction of the cost.
Though he specifically mentioned dental schools in Canada, that is also an option in America. Things I wish I had known as a 20-year-old…
3. Next up, John suggested that if you are sexually active, to get checked for STDs/STIs.
an image of STD tests
“If you're uncomfortable with your GP, or you don't have a GP, go to a sexual health clinic…. Just go get tested — it's better to know,” he said.
4. Get vaccines. “Be up on your vaccines, not just your flu shot."
A man having just got a vaccine.
"We're talking Hep A/Hep B, and also if you're under 25, get your Gardasil 9. It's three shots. It prevents the cancer-causing HPV,” he explained.
And while he mostly discussed the free health care options found in Canada, HPV vaccines are covered by most insurances in the US. Plus there are other potentially free/low cost resources, such as the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program for those under 19.
5. Then get a PEP, aka Post-exposure prophylaxis, if you had a “risky sexual encounter” and are worried about having contracted HIV.
Image of pills
For this one, time really is of the essence. The sooner a PEP is taken, the more effective it is at preventing HIV, and must be taken within 72 hours of possible exposure to HIV.
Gotta say…list time 3-5 seem particularly important, as many young people are not given thorough sex education.
6. Rent. Everyone’s favorite.
Image of a piggy back with a reminder to pay rent.
John explains that especially in a housing crisis, “your rent should be the first thing you take care of every month."
"It comes before everything. Now maybe if you have kids and they need to eat, of course, that's important," he added. "But a roof over their head is way more important and you do not want to give landlords any excuse to have you evicted. Pay your rent and pay it on time."
7. Hold onto that cellphone as long as possible.
Woman holding a cellphone
“I know we all want the new cell phones.Keep your phone as long as possible, OK?" he said. "I don't care if it's any iPhone 10, iPhone 8, keep it for as long as possible. Especially if you're under no contract—you have so much freedom.”
Instead of getting a new phone, John suggested switching providers every month to get special deals and save “$40–50 bucks a month,” which, as we all know, really adds up.
8. Only have one streaming subscription a month.
There's not need to have more than one streaming service at a time.
This one was admittedly “controversial,” John shared, but in his point of view, it’s a no brainer.
“You don't need Netflix, Disney, Hulu, whatever... you don't need them all the same month. January do Netflix, cancel. February do Hulu... All of these different apps, they let you save watchlists, right, like 'My List.' And if you cancel your subscription and you restart it two months later, your list is still there. So just save stuff, only pay for it once a month, and try to save some money,” he suggested.
What a wake up call, right? But other hardened adults couldn’t help but agree with John.
“This is very good advice, can confirm (unfortunately) as a fellow adult lol,” one person wrote.
Others appreciated how he took the time to share this list to help younger people avoid some pretty disheartening setbacks.
“I love people like you so much, just her to help others in life. People like you are so important because you didn’t have to make this video but you did.”
You can’t always trust what you hear on TikTok, but John’s advice is sound. What most life hacks seem to have in common, other than a healthy blend of common sense and 20/20 hindsight, is that it puts some form of security at the forefront—not necessarily instant gratification. Fun is so important, but as anyone with experience will tell you, peace of mind is priceless.
Watch the full video below:
@johnfluenzer #greenscreen Here is my list if things you jeed to start doing once you’re an adult! I know its not fun bit I wish someone had told me when I was younger. #genz #genalpha #adultingishard ♬ original sound - John