Adulting for Dummies

When you eventually graduate college, adulthood starts. It’s a terrifying thing--there’s no “Adulting for Dummies” book and all the mistakes you make (and you will make some) are no one’s fault but your own. You have to learn how to manage your time and your pocketbook. You have to learn the difference between the coworkers you eat lunch with and the friends you have brunch with. Adults have to make decisions about if they can afford a car payment and if it’s worth asking for time off. Through all of that, you’ll learn pretty damn quickly that there are different kinds of adults…

(of course, my goal is not to offend anyone but to just have a light-hearted approach to adulting. In my experience, all of us are combinations of different kinds of adults, and we are all on different journeys)

The Parent

They are the first one in your friend group to have a baby. While you’re counting quarters for laundry, (s)he’s changing Baby’s diaper. You’re still friends, but it’s hard to chat when she has another human being to look after. As you instagram the hip new brunch place you found (bottomless mimosas ftw!), she’s Facebooking Baby’s first words. One thing you can mutually bitch about? Student loans.

The Hermit

You know you graduated with them, but you have no idea what happened to them. Did he get a job? Join the Peace Corps? Who knows! This person is on Facebook once in a blue moon, and usually just posts something oddly cryptic like, “Moving beyond the material…” You can’t even stalk their insta because all the photos are weirdly blurry.

The Newbie

This is your traditional grad. They did what society expects and got a job after college. This was most likely a job not in their field--like something administrative. They post a lot of snapchats from bars (how to forget a crappy job 101). More than likely, they hate their job and want a new one but like, have you seen the job market?

The Newbie 2.0

Much like the Newbie, they have also secured a post-college job. However, for the Newbie 2.0, this job is in their field. Unfortunately, they’ve discovered they don’t actually like their job field. They say “fml” a lot because they just discovered they hate (or at least dislike) the job they’ve studied for 4 years for. They’re probably awaiting the sweet release of death (or at least for a year to pass so they can move on).

The Do-Gooder

If they’re not working for a nonprofit, it’s because they joined an organization like the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, or Habitat for Humanity. You hardly ever hear from them (because nonprofits work you to the bone), but when you do, they’re usually asking for your money or your time. (Hard pass, this wine won’t drink itself…) Their Facebook timeline is pasted with news from organizations they support and they (accidentally) make you feel extra shitty about yourself during the holidays for spending $5 on a bottle of crappy wine instead of donating it to a child in need. (nobody is perfect, it’s ok)

The Traveler

This person doesn’t even make sense. You both graduated from the same place, but somehow, he’s saved up enough money to travel the world. He wasn’t that smart in college, but got a job teaching little kids English and is now bopping off to Greece every other weekend. You can’t tell if you hate him or want to be him. You promise yourself you’ll travel too, and vow to save money (until there’s a sale at Target).

The Loud Mouth

You don’t know what this person does for a living, all you know is what she does in her free time. She posts every facet of her life on all the social media channels--Twitter, Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook… Even worse, it’s never actually anything interesting, it’s usually just her and her friends getting drunk or singing along obnoxiously to a Taylor Swift song. You don’t even talk but you know everything she’s up to--and it drives you nuts (no one cares, Laura!).

The Kid

This person makes you roll your eyes. Nothing about their life has changed--they still live in their hometown and are still working in the same place they always have. They’re probably still bffs with their high school friends (there’s nothing wrong with that, it’s just not for you). You wonder why they got their degree and how they can still live on nothing but gas station pizza and cheap beer.

The Deadweight

Somehow, this person graduated. You don’t know how. He makes you question the whole system. He didn’t get a job after school and instead still lives with his family. He’s on Facebook all the time complaining about everything (how he doesn’t have a job, how stupid today’s politics are, how he didn’t get a toy in his box of cereal).

The Oldie but Goodie

This person was a nontraditional student. So while you’re 22 and scared of the world, she’s 26 and has her life pretty much together. You might be shaking in your slippers about having to pay taxes for the first time, but she’s got her act in order. She’s your go-to advice and to remind yourself that the world is not, in fact, ending. She’s a (mostly) real adult, and wayyy more experienced in you in the nitty gritty of the world.

The Leprechaun

Rare and lucky af, this person is who you aspire to be. Somehow, they got everything right off the bat. They have the job they always wanted and are living somewhere amazing. You lust after their life, living through them via social media. They’re probably working a fun job like a Park Ranger or Ski Instructor and their insta is filled with mountains and adventures (yours is filled with stress and wine bottles).

Where do you fall on the spectrum? What are you a mix of? We’re all taking this life one day at a time, and we have the power to change our world. Sometimes in this stressful life, it’s important to take a step back and try to have a humorous outlook. It’s ok to be jealous of your college friends, but know that your life matters to, and if you want to change it, you can.