I don’t really claim to know anything about being an adult. I’m 22, and I vehemently do not want to grow up completely. Yes, I do my own dishes and pay bills, but I still have never had a relationship last more than six months, or had my own car, or had a serious talk with someone about my retirement fund. Still, I manage to fake it quite convincingly sometimes. Here are a few grown-up things to start doing to convince people around you that you’ve got it all together.
1. Write thank you notes.
When I was little, my mom used to make me write thank you notes after Christmas and birthdays. I was never too keen on the habit then. I was always grateful for my gifts, don’t get me wrong, but thank you notes always felt a little redundant. Now, though, I’m glad I learned early.
Thank you notes are the kind of thing that make you stand out. People love to feel appreciated, especially when it’s just the little things. Thank you notes tell people that you think about them, that their contribution of time or money or advice or stuff meant something to you- and people respond to people who make them feel appreciated. Go ahead, buy some cute stationary and see what happens.
2. Find out what kind of wine you like.
It may not be your drink of choice, but sometime, somewhere someone’s going to ask you to pick something off the wine list and you’re going to want to know what you like. Whether it’s a fancy restaurant with your new boss, or trying to impress a boyfriend’s parents with a good wine selection when they invite you over to dinner, you’re going to be happy you know what to pick when the time comes even if you still exclusively order appletinis and shots at the bar. Even if you already drink wine, it’s good to know whether that $8 bottle is going to be a hidden gem or taste like mouthwash.
The best way to do it is go to a wine tasting with a friend- or host one yourself. You provide the snacks, everyone else brings a bottle, and you spend the night eating cheese and getting a bit tipsy. Here are some good infographics to get you started too!
3. Figure out the difference between cheap-but-good stuff, investment purchases, and doesn’t-fit-in-my-budget-but-I-“need”-it stuff.
Unless you’re lucky enough to have an unlimited bank account (hint: you aren’t), you’re going to have to figure out the difference between three kinds of stuff. In high school, you probably bought a lot of $15 bras that wore out after two months and $20 perfumes that made you smell like a giant vanilla cupcake dipped in rubbing alcohol. You’ve probably come to realize since then that there’s a difference between cheap and good quality. Is everything expensive good quality? No. You learned that after buying that $30 mascara that flaked off and left you looking like an early-career Avril Lavigne. If you’re anything like me, you’ve probably also had those moments where you walk into a store and suddenly need a lot of things that you didn’t know you needed until you saw all the pretty colours lined up on a shiny shelf.
You know you’re an adult when you can pick out the difference between that $10 vintage bag that will last you a few years of wear and tear, the $10 bag at that shop in the mall that will fall apart the first time you wash it, and the $450 bag that is so cute but you don’t want to have to spend the next three months paying it off (plus interest) on your credit card. Learn what things you should spend a lot of money on (a good winter coat), and what things you are better off finding elsewhere for cheaper (designer jeans). Splurge wisely, my friends, and only on things that are truly worthy of your hard-earned cash.
What are the best things you started doing to fake adultness?