How To: Become an Adult


urlA few weeks ago, one of my friends recommended the book “Adulting.” I was hesitant to make the purchase, as it claims to show you “how to become a grown-up in 468 easy(ish) steps.” But after completing the first week at my internship, I think I need to run to Powell’s.

For the past 17 years, we’ve been trained in school to follow rules that are given to us so we can succeed in a structured world. Well, now that I’m practically a college graduate and spending most of my time in the “real world,” I can tell you there are no guidelines on how to succeed. Rather, it’s a game of trial and error, and, as an intern, the last thing you want to do is fail.

It’s terrifying and foreign, but this new adult world is rewarding. During the first week at my internship, I determined my own process for how to stay organized. I still have a lot of trial and error ahead, but I’m already learning time management skills that weren’t handed to me – in school or at the workplace.

Although growing up is about learning what works best for you, rules and guidelines are in our blood. So, before I begin reading “Adulting,” (yes, I’m going to read it), I’ve come up with my first step on how to become an adult.

Step #1: Adjust your sleep schedule.

A New York Times article, written by Tony Schwartz, quotes a study that found that “sleeping too little — defined as less than six hours each night — was one of the best predictors of on-the-job burn-out.”

For me, this has been the most challenging part of becoming an adult. I struggle to sleep before midnight and dread waking up before 8 a.m. But because getting enough sleep translates into being a happier, friendlier, more productive intern, I make it a priority.

Becoming an adult is intimidating, but it’s also unavoidable and exciting. So, as we slowly but surely enter adulthood, remember to tell yourself, “you got it, dude.”

– Hannah Olson

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5 Responses to How To: Become an Adult

  1. Nice post, Hannah. Getting enough sleep is definitely a high priority. College forced me master the art of the all-nighter, but let’s hope that unfortunate skill is a thing of the past, for all of us!

  2. Emily Kirk says:

    Great point about the sleeping patterns, Hannah! I’ve been trying to go to bed earlier by getting into bed at a decent hour, turning off the TV (and iPhone!), and reading. I almost always wake up with a book on my chest! It has definitely taken some getting used to, but my body feels much better than it did in college (imagine that, 6+ hours of sleep really does make a difference).

    Kudos on the “Full House” reference! 🙂

    — Emily

  3. adairafloyd says:

    Books like that can be a huge help!
    “How to Win Friends & Influence People” by Dale Carnegie is a great read, too. It literally changed the way I relate to other people and has made a huge difference in my road to becoming a better adult.

    Great job finding your own way to stay organized. That isn’t always easy!

  4. pdxsx says:

    Well done, Hannah! I’m very interested to get your take on this “Adulting” book you mention…

    ~J

  5. Haley Martin says:

    I am struggling with this whole getting enough sleep thing as well. It definitely takes a conscious effort to get to bed before midnight, but is well worth it. Transitioning from college like to adulthood is also daunting, but I think our internships are a good place to start. Nice post!

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