16 Essential Things When You’re Becoming An Adult

1. Check into the airport in a timely manner.

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If you are one of those stupid souls who don’t weigh their luggage before leaving the house, and then have to rearrange and throw away parts of your luggage, a pox upon you.

2. Figure out your order before you get to the counter at Starbucks.

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Nobody likes to be behind the person who stares at the menu like a deer in headlights while feeling the eyes of your follow caffeine-deprived patrons boring into you like lasers from behind. It’s coffee, not the last question on Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? It should not take you more than ten seconds to decide, and if there’s someone ordering in front of you to give you time, you have no excuse.

3. Ordering a coffee that does not involve six extra ingredients.

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Even if you know your order when you get to the counter, I will well and truly hate you if you settle on some heinous concoction that involves more than one special request, like three different kinds of syrup, a special kind of milk, and non-fat whip cream. Buy a Keurig and some bottles of coffee syrup, and make your drink at home.

4. Walk at an appropriate speed.

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If you plod along a busy sidewalk like an Amish person who has just stepped foot into New York City for the first time, I very well might push you into traffic and make it look like an accident. This gets infinitely worse if you’re part of a group blocking the entire sidewalk.

5. Tolerate others’ opinions.

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This especially goes for religion and politics. If you refuse to even entertain my opinions and insist that they’re baseless and just plain wrong, it doesn’t make you staunch in your beliefs. It makes you a stuck-up little bitch who doesn’t play well with others. If you don’t agree with something I say, by all means, strike up a debate. But don’t strike down every point I make with nothing more than “you’re an idiot” in response.

6. Reply properly to a group email.

I believe there is a special circle of hell reserved for those who cannot discern when it is and is not appropriate to “reply all” to email.

7. Keep track of your finances and budget.

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If you blow part of your paycheck on a shopping spree at Nordstrom or your other store of choice when you can’t even make your monthly student loan payment, it doesn’t make you fashionable. It makes you no better than the spoiled sorority girl whose daddy pays her credit card bill every month.

8. Pay your bills yourself and on time.

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This is really just a subset of the seventh entry. If you can balance your budget, you should be able to pay your bills yourself, or at the very least, set up direct withdrawal as your payment option. Everybody loves getting mail; nobody loves getting mail when the only things it contains are late notices.

9. Respond intelligently to the question “What do you want to do tonight?” “I dunno” and “whatever you want to do” are not acceptable answers. If you have a pulse, you have an opinion. If I ask you for it, please voice it.

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10. Recognize that leggings are not pants.

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Seriously, how is this even still up for discussion?!

11. Dress appropriately for work.

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If you work in an office where everyone else wears business professional attire, don’t be the outlier who shows up to work baring ample cleavage or wearing a polo shirt that displays that sweet tribal armband tattoo you got with your fraternity buddies in college.

12. Dress appropriately for funerals and/or viewings.

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Jeans and t-shirts aren’t proper for somber functions like this. Show some respect.

13. Exercise volume control.

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Screeching like a banshee when drunk and showing off just how amazing the bass is on your new Bose sound system might have been acceptable in college, but once we graduate, can we please relearn the appropriate volumes to use in social situations? Nobody likes being the person whom the rest of the apartment complex loathes because they’re granted ringside seats, whether they like it or not, to the screaming matches you have with your significant other.

14. Make your place of residence look like a home, not a lair.

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Milk crates and a tattered poster of a bikini-clad Playboy model do not a home make. Get thee to Ikea.

15. Tip appropriately when eating out.

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Chances are, your waiter/waitress is also a new addition to the Young Adults Club, and if you’re lucky enough to afford going out to eat to a decent restaurant, you’re definitely making enough money to leave an extra ten bucks or so for a tip. If you haven’t learned to do this by the age of 23 or so, though, you might never truly graduate to the Real Adults Club.

16. End a relationship in person.

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Text messages, emails, phone calls, carrier pigeons, sending your best friend to deliver the bad news…none of these are acceptable ways to break up with someone. As a young adult, you should have grown enough of a backbone at this point to be a man (or woman) and look someone in the eye when you tell them it just isn’t working out. TC mark

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