“You have so much freedom!” “You can do whatever you want!” “You get to eat ice cream for dinner!” I believed all of these things about adulthood. Of course, these things are true. But what aren’t they telling you?
Being an adult sounds like an exciting time; a time to explore the world, go to classy dinner parties, buy expensive things, and, most importantly, finally have the chance to live independently. It sounds like a perfect life; however, nothing is perfect. Sure, now that I’m an adult I can go anywhere without asking my parents and eat dessert for dinner, but I also have to do a lot of stuff that I never really expected (or believed) I would have to do.
Like some of you, I couldn’t wait to grow up. I was excited to get a job and get my driver’s license and (for some reason) couldn’t wait to get my own money to spend. Then, all of a sudden, I was an adult. And the truth is, being an adult sucks. I had to waste my weekends at work and spend all the money I earned on gas. I was dreaming of going back to my innocent childhood where my mom would make Mac and Cheese for me so I didn’t have to get up from watching TV. Now, I have to deal with everything myself. I have to pick out my own clothes, make my own lunches, buy stuff that I don’t need with my own money, go to appointments ALONE, and interact with relatives that I see once every three years by myself. The worst part is, when you’re an adult, everyone expects you to be responsible and 100% put together. I have to hold conversations with people I don’t know well and not roll my eyes when they say something stupid. I have to go shopping by myself and actually have a budget! I had no problem asking my mom to spend $35 on a t-shirt, but with my own money I basically have a heart attack if it’s over $10.
So, what I’m saying is, if you’re sitting there dreaming of the day when you turn eighteen, stop and think of all the responsibility it holds. But, if you truly think you’re ready to be a mature, charming, and polite young individual, I’m ready to help you prepare for it.
Credit: Meme Generator
Like I said before, being an adult holds a lot of responsibility. One of the things I found to be the hardest to do was hold conversations with strangers. I can no longer just stand there and nod while my mom does all the talking. I can barely order food without rehearsing my speech five times in my head, so having to hold a non-awkward conversation with someone I didn’t know seemed like an impossible mission. When I have to talk to someone that I need to be mature around, I do something simple and fun: I pretend I’m in a movie. I act like I’m a fancy executive who has to win over a new client. Sometimes I’m a spy on a mission or rich traveler. I find ways to pretend that I’m super classy and that makes me feel capable enough to hold a charming conversation.
Credit: Meme Generator
Now, this solution might not work all the time. Though it works for me sometimes, and it might work for you, you should still be yourself because you are amazing. But if pretending to be someone else makes a boring or dreaded activity more exciting, then go for it. Just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean you have to stop playing pretend or having fun.
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Another thing that keeps me sane as an adult is really simple, but very helpful. I make a lot of lists; lists of what I have to do that week, lists of meetings I have to go to, and even lists of questions that I have that I know I’ll probably forget in 3.5 seconds. I highly recommend keeping lists, or at least organizing everything you have to do, because as an adult YOU are the one who has to remind yourself to do stuff. No more bothersome reminders from your parents (which, surprisingly, I kind of miss).
There is so much you need to know as an adult, but I really believe that most of it you must figure out on your own. After all, I thought adulthood just consisted of spending my own money and eating cake for dinner, but I’m getting along fine so far. I have warned you that it is full of responsibility and independence, and that’s a good enough start. The rest you’ll find out along the way.
The realest advice I’m qualified to give is this: don’t rush any part of your life. I couldn’t wait to be an adult, and now I’m wishing I was still a kid. I can’t wait to be done with college and go start my career, but I’m sure once I’m in the real world I’ll be begging to come back to college. No part of life is going to be better than the other, because every part of life should be something to treasure. Sure, being an adult has its perks, but so does being a child.
Whether you’re already an adult trying to find your way or a not-quite adult looking forward to turning into one, I have a simple piece of advice: enjoy it while you can.