By Alison Berstein
You’re only young once, right?
Well, you’re only an adult once.
Welcome to Adulting 101 the class that no one signed up for but is still required.
Here’s a disclaimer: you’re already doing so well just by being here, and the course material is not as scary as some people make it out to be.
First lesson? Everyone “adults” at their own pace. One day, one step, one breath at a time.
Don’t be intimidated if people find their social circles faster or know their way around Boston better than you.
There is no set path that everyone is on, nor is there a set time for everyone to accomplish steps on that path. Growing up means different things to different people.
Adulting doesn’t mean “I have to get this right the first time,” nor does it mean “I need to do this when everyone is doing it.” Rather, adulting means “I’ll do this when it’s right for me. If it’s right for me.”
As the fall semester draws to a close, take comfort in the fact that you’ve gotten this far. Revel in your progress.
You’re here and that’s enough—you’re adulting so well right now.
Even if adulting means reminding yourself to wash your bedsheets every week. It’s the little things, people.
Second lesson: Adulting doesn’t involve sacrificing childlike activities. Take adult coloring books, for example. Every bookstore seems to sell them.
Delight in returning to the things that we loved as children. Grow older, not up. Childhood is filled with wonder, right? That doesn’t have to go away just because we now spend more time with lectures than with Legos.
“Being silly is still allowed, not excluded by adulthood,” urges media personality Hank Green. “What’s excluded by adulthood is thoughtlessness, so be thoughtful and silly” adds author Bryan White, “People never grow up, they just learn how to act in public.”
Lesson three: There is beauty in change.
There is beauty in achieving new milestones in life, a sense of satisfaction in discovering new things. If becoming an adult involved an instant snap-of-the-finger transformation, what then would we have to live for?
Each new day, we learn how to do something, or how to do something better than we could before.
Every day invites discovery. So go forth, dear readers. Work smart, conquer those exams, and at the end of the day, have the comfort in knowing that you’re existing so well right now.