The thought of becoming a real adult is pretty darn scary, because now you have responsibilities and shit. You have to contribute to society (gimme a break already), buy boring essentials like fridges or multivitamins and conceal the fear that everyone knows something about being an adult that you don’t and maybe you’re secretly failing and everyone giggles behind your unworthy-of-adulthood back.
There are many things to know about being an adult, some of them you may already know, some you will never learn. To make it a little easier we've compiled a few of the things that you maybe didn't know but definitely should know. We're sorry you have to be an adult, it's a little bit sucky. Here's some life advice that will hopefully numb the pain (or increase your anxiety levels astronomically).
1. Always pay attention to the train announcements
As I type this, I’m sitting at a train station very far away from home shivering my guts off. This is because I was highly irresponsible and listening to my 'sick beatz' when I heard a muffled man over the loud-speaker and chose to ignore him. Apparently he was trying to tell me my train was re-routing and I needed to depart at the next station. Well, jokes on me because now I have hypothermia and a very sore ego after thinking I knew better than announcer man because I had CHECKED where my train was GOING, and I didn't NEED HIM! Except for that I did. I’m sorry to my past self and sorry for my current self.
2. How to fill out a medical form
This seems easy, right? You’ve watched your mum do it for years, her cursive handwriting effortlessly pumping out the medicare card numbers, ticking the boxes and signing her life away without batting an eyelid. You think ‘yeah sweet, I can do that’! But then all of the sudden you’re alone in a doctors office and you’re being asked questions like ‘what’s your medicare number?’, ‘do you have a health fund?’, ‘where in your body are you phalanges located???’. Pay attention to your rents at the medical places, folks, or you’ll be feeling sorry when you have to ask the junior receptionist (whose probably younger than you) if you hold a concession card, whatever the fuck that is.
3. How to cook chicken properly
Full disclosure here, I don’t know how to do this. I know that I need to know, and I try so hard to know, but I definitely do NOT know. What if I get salmonella? What even is salmonella? Is it okay if it’s that colour in the middle? Is the pan meant to sound like that? *sweats nervously and sends mum a screenshot of chicken asking if it’s fit for consumption.*
4. How to vote
Now I don’t know about you other 20-somethings, but I can recall going on a random field trip to Canberra when I was in year 5 and looking at some strange ballot paper, and then literally not hearing a single other thing about how to vote again. I was also too busy having fun at Questacon.
I’m in to politics, I watch ABC like all the other hipsters, but when I got to the primary school covered in liberal-coloured bunting for my first election. I was baffled when a paper comprised of at least 20 thousand trees was handed to me. It’s actually really important to understand how to vote and it is a little trickier than you expect, so do at least 5 mins of research before heading to the nearest booth.
5. How to change a tyre
Remember back in the day when you got your L's and swore you were gonna learn what the timing belt was and how to change your oil, and your dad looked at your with those hopeful eyes while giving you a play by play of how to change a type? Yep, none of that ever stuck did it?
You don’t realise how valuable that lesson could have been until you breakdown on the side of the highway and you’ve got a spare but you can’t use the jack and your class at 8.30 so it’s 7.30 in the morning and nobody is on the road to help you and you can’t find your NRMA membership card and you probably haven't paid your membership fee anyway. GET DAD!
Or you can just learn how to do it to avoid this entire shamble.
6. Tell EVERYONE when you’re moving, not just your mum
And by tell everyone, I mean important people like the bank and the RTA and your local electorate. A friend learned this the hard way when they had two bank cards and pins mailed to their previous address which were then used by the new shitty tenants. Yeah, whoopsie. You may assume there’s some secret service that knows where you live and where you are every second of the day - and hey, maybe there is, but they sure as hell won’t do you a solid and change the address on your license.
7. You can make poached eggs using a microwave and a mug
Now I’m not saying this is gonna be the best soft-poach you’ve ever eaten but if you’re a poor uni student who just wants a fair go and a bloody gooey egg, the answer is here for you my friend. Fill up a mug half way with water, add pinch of salt, crack in the egg and half-seal the top with glad wrap. Now you’re only 30 seconds away from sweet, sweet poachy goodness and the momentary facade of a rich kid with, like, a trust fund and shit - you know the ones who can afford to order such luxuries on the daily?
8. If you’re a Sydney sider, do NOT get the night rider
Even if you’re just visiting Sydney, do not ever, ever, EVER get on this thing they call ‘transport’, aka the morgue. Maybe the last time you caught this you were freshly 18 and distracted from the pile of vomit next to your shoe; or maybe you were so drunk you created that vomit and you can’t remember how bad it was. No matter how far away from home you are or what time of the night, if the choice is night rider or walk - take option B. That’s unless you want to be surrounded by yelly old creeps and someone’s regurgitated pizza, of course.
9. Coconut Oil
You need to know about coconut oil. If you don’t know, get to know. It is like the Beyonce of the food world, it can do pretty much anything. Dry hair/skin/nails? Coconut oil. Need to remove stubborn makeup (I’m talking to you liquid lipstick)? Coconut oil. Cooking a delicious curry? Coconut oil. Want to give your teeth a whiten? Fucking coconut oil. It is a MIRACLE, and deserves a spot in every pantry.
10. Dish soap/liquid can fix almost anything
Have you ever spilled red wine on your fave shirt? Dropped a fuchsia lipliner on your mother-in-laws expensive cream carpet? Been eating nachos while watching Netflix and accidentally ended up with salsa/cheese/tears in your lap in that one OITNB Poussey scene that we aren’t gonna talk about?
Yeah, me either… but if I HAD, I’d be sure to use dish soap to solve my issues. It’s like the real life version of ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’s’ Windex - the shit is legit. Just rub a bit in to the affected area, leave for a couple minutes and then rise/machine wash as normal - perfecto!
I wish you the best of luck in this scary world full of boring grownup tasks and the constant fear that everyone was given the key to adulthood but yours got lost in the mail. May you prosper with poached eggs and fully inflated tyres!
Emma Shipley is a blogger, feminist, chocolate enthusiast and lipstick lover. Interests include starting political arguments at the dinner table and only looking on the clearance rack. She is worth 100 cents in the dollar.