Kristen's Guide to Adulting
1. Put on your pants before 4 pm. (Just kidding...well, not kidding because you really should get dressed before 4:00pm)
1. Get to know the thermostat. When you are cold or hot you really only need to adjust it one to two degrees. That's it. I promise. Turning it to 80 when you are cold does not make the furnace work faster. It doesn't make the furnace think, "I've really got to be quick warming up the house...she's turned it to 80, people!" It will just put you in a sleepy zoned-out, completely useless state, when really you just wanted just wanted to feel comfortable, plus having a talking furnace would be a little creepy. The same goes for when you're hot. Turning it down to 60 will only give you a really expensive bill and an angry landlord because you will break the air conditioner. This is also true with how you're feeling. When you get overwhelmed, anxious, depressed - stop. Breathe in. Breathe out. Pause. Say a prayer and reach out to someone who loves you (pick me! pick me!) to vent to AND listen to so you can get re-centered and move forward. Going to extremes while experiencing intense emotions will only lead to different and more complicated problems. Most often just a minor adjustment in action or thought is needed to feel at peace.
2. Don't mistake salt for sugar. He may look like something sweet and be anything but. Spend time with people based on how you feel when you're with them. Do they bring out the absolute wonderful that you are, or do they make you doubt yourself and your instincts? Learn whether those are butterflies you're feeling or if it's bad sushi. The best guys will be the ones that you feel comfortable with from the start. This applies to girls, as well.
3. Clean up the kitchen after you've used it. There's no great allegory here, it's just courteous and a really nice thing for you and all of your roommates. Plus cleaning out that tupperware you left sitting in a bag in the kitchen for several days was really nasty and should not be repeated. The cats even left the room and they clean themselves with their tongues...that should tell you something. When things are clean it's just easier to think and feel at peace. This applies to bedrooms and bathrooms, as well.
4. Hug the cashier at 7-11. Let me explain...It wasn't just because she had the Coke Zero, although that is a very endearing quality. Wednesday, when I went to re-caffeinate at 7-11 and was paying for my drink, I asked the cashier how her day was going and she started to tear up. I had this strong urge to give her a hug, but leaping over the counter would probably have frightened her, plus I was wearing a dress. No one needs to see that. So I tried to say a few comforting words, but it felt inadequate. Some of my biggest regrets have come from not following through on a kind thought. I have tried, especially over the past 5 - 10 years, to never suppress a kind word when I have one. Expensive gifts are not often an option but kindness always is. I promise this is the absolute best tip for being an adult I can give you. It will change those around you for the better and it will keep your heart open to other people. It is the instant cure for self-pity and despair. Being able to share love and kindness is something you are already skilled at - don't ever stop practicing that talent.
5. Eat your veggies first. When you were little and I served you some less than favorable vegetable you would look at me like I had just placed a serving of cockroaches on your plate. Instead of attempting to smash them with your shoe, however, you would polish them off first and eat the "good stuff" after. This thinly veiled allegory is just what you think it is. Study first, then play. It will be hard to stick to this, but it will give you the academic confidence you want. You may even find that some classes are fun to study for. Talk to your professors. Get to know them so they can get to know you. As you make that personal connection it will help you feel more committed to the workload in the class. At times you'll be tempted to feel frustrated at having to go to class, study AND work - but just remember that you will end college with a degree AND work experience that will make you more attractive to future employers.
6. Feel the fear. Now pack it up in a little box and repeatedly run over the box with your car. Repeat if there are multiple boxes. Too often I make decisions in my life based on insecurity and fear. I cloud my thinking with what-ifs and lose sight of my passions to the point of not knowing if I even have any passions at all. You have gifts and talents in a combination that no one else has. Pursue your interests and trust that Heavenly Father is guiding you in the process. You have never been one that is drawn to the typical or expected - don't change that now. I trust you completely in choosing the path right for you. Don't feel pressure from that trust - instead use the strength that it comes with. And if you have to try out a few paths - DO IT! It will only enhance your journey when you settle on "the one."
Adulting has it's bad days and good days - but, believe it or not there are more good than bad. After all today my only goal was putting on pants. Check! Good day! I love you 70 x 7 and more!