9 Tips on How to Be an Adult

Kelly Williams Brown’s self-help manual for twenty-somethings reads like an encyclopedia of the best advice from the best moms and dads, except Brown is a cool chick in her late twenties. It’s chock full of tips, no-brainers, tough love, and adorable drawings and diagrams. Here are some of our favorite pieces of advice.

1. “When necessary, look at yourself in the mirror and give yourself some real talk.” 
She literally means look in the mirror, talk to yourself, and tell it like it is. It works! I’ve also found that giving yourself commands works while trudging to a fifth-floor walkup, driving to a job interview, and while trying to fall asleep. Mirrors are probably most effective, though.

2. “If your friends help you move, you owe them pizza and beer.” 
Tried it and it’s obviously true. Unless your friends like Thai and wine. In that case, you know what to do. Get new friends. (Kidding!) Brown writes that you’re giving yourself great moving karma if you follow this rule.

3. “Imagine rude people as jellyfish.”
This way, when they do speak to you, all you’ll hear is “bloop, bloop,” and you’ll see them float away when the uncomfortable moment is over.

4. “Calm the F down, [taxes aren’t] that bad.”
The thought of taxes induces mega-fear in some people and it’s likely because of all the hype surrounding them. Brown suggests facing them head-on, while jamming to some money-themed rap. Examples include “Got Money” by Lil Wayne and T-Pain, and “Gin and Juice” by Snoop Dogg (now Snoop Lion).

5. “Don’t put tacos in your purse.”
Or cans of soda, leaky pens, calzones, or meat. This  is great advice that unfortunately, I needed to read. If you want the inside of your purse to stay nice, then be nice to your purse!

6. “Find a strong, deep sea of insincerity to be sort of sweet to people you dislike.”
Oh Lordy, finding your poker face is the first step in diplomacy. But finding the insincerity to do so has got to be the step before that.

7. “Learn to enjoy your own company.”
Anyone who’s ever read a relationship column or a women’s magazine knows that if you’re not happy alone, you won’t be happy in a couple, either. But Brown also suggests dancing to Beyonce while alone, which really clarifies the spirit of this advice.

8. “Be cool when your friends are in the hospital.”
Brown writes that you shouldn’t be the “I hate hospitals” person and always leave when the nurse enters the room. Don’t let your own discomfort take precedence over the emotional needs of your friend.

9. “Your parents have first names. They have secrets you will never know. They do not exist just as an extension of you.”
Get to know your ‘rents and look at their personal histories. It may make you appreciate and love them more as people. Plus, you can’t expect your parents to view you as a whole person if you don’t do it to them.

What’s your best advice on how to be an adult?

  • http://www.goodreads.com/joeleoj Joel Cunningham

    I would argue that the real way to be a grown-up when moving is to hire movers and not make your friends help you. I am very happy to have moved beyond the stage where pizza was considered acceptable payment for me throwing out my back for a week moving boxes of books.

    • Sam Inshassi

      I agree with Joel. A lot of this advice sounds very childish; not advice geared to twenty-somethings, but more geared toward 18-yr-olds. If I’m a twenty-something trying to be an adult, I have a job and can afford to hire movers. I also wouldn’t want my house to turn into a frat house, which is consequent to a pizza and beer night (Thai and wine sounds much more civilized to be truthful). And what barbaric tomboy female puts exposed food in their purse?? Ew. By the time I’m in my mid-twenties I’ve realized that my parents are humans. And don’t get me started on the hospital thing…

      This is not “how to be an adult.” It’s more like, “grow the hell up if you are in your mid-twenties and still haven’t figured these things out.”

      • Agentprovokatur

        I concur with both of the above comments. To Sam I would add, that due to many societal factors, including but not limited to a crappy economy that drives folks back into the nest, our culture of maturation postponement may have shifted the time frames by a few years. It’s happened over history simply due to increased life expectancies, etc. Not saying what I see as a possible current extension is a “good thing” just an explanation of why this was written and might have a market.

    • crashtx1

      I’ll disagree. While I’m at age now where I pay movers and would rather pay to help you move, helping friends move when we were in our early 20s(yes, college educations and all) was a great time of bonding as well as showing we can actually help people.

      • Isabel Herron

        like Jeff said I am shocked that you can make $7742 in 4 weeks on the internet. did you look at this web link w­w­w.K­E­P­2.c­o­m

  • Marisha

    I agree with Joel and Sam – this is a book for high-school students or maybe college students (freshmen), who are about to start their own independent life…these advices are meant for very young audience, who are still clueless of the common social rules (don’t put open food in your purse – who does that??). Wow…the author needs to grow up and B&N needs to advertise this book as self-help aid for teenagers.

  • j4ckl3

    I thought this was going to some serious stuff. Like how when you go to the theater, you STFU and get your damn feet off the chair in front of you!! There are too many people that really just dont care about anyone else but themselves.

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