How to be an Adult


Lauryn Botterman

Call yourself an adolescent for as long as you’d like; but the cold, hard fact is that if you’re over 18, you’re officially an adult. As you go further past your prime (18 was awesome, right?), you’re going to have to take on many adult it or not. Although you still have the better part of a decade to engage in moderately irresponsible acts without serious social repercussions, it’s time to begin the process of getting your shit together. Here’s a starter kit of adult stuff you should know how to do in order to become a functional member of society. If you’re in your senior year, feel ashamed, you should know this by now.

Learn to Cook I’m not suggesting that you spend hours slaving over an authentic five-course French meal from scratch, but it would be advantageous to expand your culinary repertoire beyond pizza bagels, scrambled eggs, and late-night calls to Jimmy John’s. Your metabolism isn’t getting any swifter, so you should at least learn how to combine few ingredients of adequate nutritive value (hint: Nutella, ramen noodles, and Easy Mac don’t count) and end up with something you can gluttonously stuff into your face with your pride semi-intact. Invest in some nice pots, pans, and a cookbooks and embrace your inner Paula Deen—minus the shitloads of butter.

Manage Your Finances In the real world, not everything can be paid for on a debit card subsidized by your parents or by a swipe from your student ID. Set up a savings account if don’t already have one and pay attention to things like APR, overdraft fees, and interest rates. While you’re at it, create a monthly budget and try your best to stick to it. Turns out your credit score is actually pretty important when you go to buy a car or a house (bummer). Nobody said that taking control of your finances would be fun, but they did say it’d be the beginning of an inevitable and enduring source of confusion, stress and possible debt. It may sound confusing now, but trust us, it will be awesome in a few years time.

Get Yourself to the Doctor Does mommy still have to remind you when it’s time for a check-up? Do you have to be forced into the dentist’s chair kicking and screaming just to have a cavity filled? Guess what folks, it’s time to grow a pair and take responsibility for visiting the proper medical professionals in a mature and timely manner. If you still want to request a SpongeBob band-aid or a cherry lollipop, that’s fine by me.

Date (The Right Way) One-night stands with attractive (or so you thought after five vodka-crans) strangers are fun now and again, and fuck buds are super convenient when you’re craving a roll in the hay. Being an adult is about learning how to respect yourself and handle a mature relationship. Here’s a thought: if you really like someone, tell them! Ask them out for heaven’s sake, instead of making ambiguous, sexually-charged eye contact from across the room. The worst they can say is no, and then laugh in your face while you dissolve into a pathetic puddle of rejection and tears.

Drink Appropriately Sadly, most of adult society beyond the college campus frowns upon swigging dubious concoctions of Gatorade and vodka through the streets and then proceeding to publicly consume your body weight in Natty Light through a funnel. I know what you’re thinking: It’s all a dreadful conspiracy to suck the fun out of life! It will surely be a difficult adjustment, but eventually we must all learn that there’s a thing called limits and that it’s actually not really so much OK to projectile vomit in a stairwell and then rally 20 minutes later to throw back a few more shots and make out with your best friend’s ex-boyfriend. Who knew?! In due time, we will all understand and appreciate the virtues of moderation.