It’s your first night in the dorm and as you walk around the lounge thinking about all of the friends you are going to meet throughout the course of the coming year, your stomach starts to rumble. Back in your room, you look over at the mountain of snacks your mom bought you and decide that they won’t do. Instead, you determine that you should make dinner for both you and your roommate! You find supplies and go out to the stove, laying everything out and just before you are about to start, you realize that you have no idea how to make anything with the ingredients you have. It’s at this point that you ask yourself a question every student asks themselves roughly once an hour: How do I adult?

It seems like a simple concept, but it really isn’t. There is no better wake-up call than some time at a university to remind you that you really need to figure things out—like how health insurance works, how to take care of yourself and how to stay on top of your responsibilities. College is a transformative time, and during that time there will be a lot of life lessons you may learn the hard way if you don’t take heed and learn how to adult.


Let’s start with something basic that most of you will have no problem adapting to. You are expected to be in class on time and to be ready to participate and interact. Interacting becomes a lot more difficult when you haven’t taken a shower.

Gone are the days of mom waking you up for school, packing your lunch and sending you out the door with a kiss on the forehead. If necessary, set yourself small reminders on your phone or in your planner to brush your teeth and take a shower.

You’ll also need to be meaningful about your eating habits and making sure you make it out for a run or head to the gym every once in a while. I know this seems like a lot, but if you’re taking care of your body, the rest of these steps will be so much easier!


Part of becoming an adult is taking on more responsibilities. Not only do you have obligations for classes (which are much harder than high school I might add), but you also have social obligations.

You want to make sure you are giving people the time they are going to want to spend with you, and you’ll need some time with friends to de-stress from homework. Don’t be afraid to take that time when you need it—you have a responsibility to yourself too after all.

In addition to these, you may work a job, and it’s important to be punctual. Again, the best way to make sure you are successful in your personal responsibilities is to set alarms for yourself.

In my personal opinion, it is also incredibly helpful to plan out your week on Sunday and set out everything you have to get done. That way, nothing blindsides you in terms of homework or a work shift you forgot you picked up.


I spoke a little bit earlier about this, but it is about time you figured out how insurance works. Make sure that you have all of your insurance information on the off chance something happens during the year and you need to see a doctor. That isn’t even the scariest part about doctors: you actually need to call to make your own appointments. It’s rough, I know.

In addition to health information, you’ll want to know a few other things. Your social security number, bank information and any payments you will be making at school are all important things to know. Also, consider looking up how to make some easy meals for when you get the late-night munchies. Did you know that you can make an omelet in a cup in five minutes? It is incredible.

This may sound redundant, but there will come a time where you will need all of this information, trust me.


Nobody is here to convince you that being an adult is an easy, simple task, but the community at Cornerstone University is here to help. From my experience, Cornerstone has been where I found myself as an individual and an adult.