Find an apartment.
The kind of apartment that says ”adult.”
Don’t live alone.
Hang your favorite twinkle lights and then take them down because a friend says it looks collegiate.
Get a dining room table from your parents.
Buy a substantial amount of booze in the hopes of having it last and be sorely mistaken in a week when you are restocking. Promise to not drink on the weekdays. Break most promises you make to yourself.
Plan to cook dinner with your roommates every Sunday.
Don’t fully unpack for two months.
Create memories with strangers you meet at bars.
Listen to folk music loudly and hope that you aren’t cliché because the lyrics really speak to you.
Use your first real paycheck to buy an Anthropologie duvet cover.
Find a job.
The type of job that makes you move to a new city.
Make your mom and dad proud. Mostly, make them happy they can brag about you at the coffee shop before work.
Find yourself 15 years younger than most of your coworkers and eating lunch alone at your desk. Realize everyone around you is married and worry that, at 23, you’ll never find someone.
Find reasons to leave the office during the day, like needing to do laundry or buy shoes for your upcoming trip. Plan upcoming trips to get you through the week.
Smile at every meeting.
Feel bad because you actually have a job and still aren’t satisfied.
Think about the idea of working 40 hours a week in an office for the next 40 years and try not to break down. Regroup and buy a grande skinny vanilla latte because you deserve it, kid.
Find a hobby.
Learn a language. Take up yoga. Write a blog.
Buy all of the fundamentals for this hobby and realize you’ll use them four times before you decide that maybe Italian is not really what you are interested in.
Start another hobby.
Do it for longer this time.
Make sure it is after work so you don’t come home to lean cuisine and How I Met Your Mother reruns.
Smile and laugh with the one cute guy in your class. Realize he is gay and set him up with your friend.
Decide that How I Met Your Mother isn’t so bad and Rosetta Stone can be put on your iPod. Stop going to class. Buy Italian wines and be proud when you can pronounce them correctly.
Find a friend.
Make sure this friend is whatever gender you are attracted to so there’s lots of room for sexual tension.
Tell your girlfriends you don’t like him like that, it is just nice to have a guy around to set up routers.
Use work, friends, school, etc. as a reason to talk to him.
Get mad when he doesn’t text you back immediately.
Meet the girls he dates and think they are plain.
Laugh all the time together. Answer your phone while running or meet him at the door without makeup because there is no pressure. Laugh some more.
Have sex with him after a night of too much tequila. Think about the appropriate time to talk about it and do exactly the opposite. Tell him you probably can’t be friends in the same way anymore because it is confusing and unfair. Don’t talk to him for 19 hours and then cave because you are curious why he checked into a different state on FourSquare. Agree to be friends again and pretend nothing ever happened. Know that this is going to end badly.
Talk to your best friend about it, on the phone, of course, because you decided to move to a new city.