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Auntie Anna's guide to adulting, part 1: now you're the boss

Feb. 12, 2018
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It’s nice having you here tuning in to this crash course in “adulting”. We can’t promise to fully transform you into a “certified” adult after finishing the course, nor to grant you with a Bachelor of Arts in adulthood—but hopefully by the end of this, you’ll come to terms with growing up and be better equipped to face this solitary (yet rewarding) adventure. 

The idea of maturing, growing up, or (in the case of our vocabulary) “adulting” means that you are now in control of your life—or at least of most of your life, if you’re still somewhat dependent on your parents/caretakers. The way society defines “being an adult” leans greatly on the idea of sustaining yourself financially, but “adulting” is about more than just being financially independent. Look at it this way: now, you are an individual—family is a part of who you are, but family doesn’t define who you are. You are about to make the twists and turns that will manifest into another identity, one you have the power to wholeheartedly control. To “adult” is to be in control of your physical well-being and your mental well-being. Being in control does not coincide with being perfect. You’re not supposed to be perfect, because perfection is boring.

In other words, being in control of your physical and mental state means that you are capable of truly experiencing life, and of genuinely and authentically connecting to people. Through these types of interactions, we’ll learn the values, the necessary bad relations and experiences, the high notes and the low slopes that are key to eventually understanding the whole abstract concept of life.

That is the idea of “adulting”—but apart from its theory, there is the practical side to it. “Adulting” will involve making money, saving, forging connections, getting into serious relationships (or not), making long-term goals, learning time management, engaging in self-care, etcetera. It’s a busy time. It’s quite a bit of effort. But it is worth it, because you’re in control of your own life. And that by itself is a privilege.

Now you’re the mom and the dad (as well as that annoying sibling who kind of entertain you and makes you laugh). Maybe if you’re still living at home, that’s not the case quite yet—but eventually it will be for most of you, because I don’t think anybody wants to live with their parents forever.

I graduated high school in 2017. And although I’m still quite homesick once in a while (I moved halfway across the globe to attend college here in San Francisco), I’ve somewhat been able to become self-sustaining, despite initially being mentally unready as well as terrified of desolation and alienation. My two dominating thoughts were: “I am not ready for this” and “What if I become an outcast?” They sounded scary at the time—even now, when I say them out loud as I’m writing this. But what I’ve learnt is that stressing over an unknown can overdramatize a problem that is not as big as it seems. I’ve overcome those haunting thoughts. And if you are having haunting thoughts of your own, or if you are afraid that you will hear them in your head as graduation comes near—here are some tips!

Key words for this week: “adulting”; in control; growing up; graduation

These tunes are a gift for you—a celebration of independence and new beginnings: