Graduating college was one of the scariest milestones of my life. All I’d ever known was the structure of academia, and suddenly I had to enter a world of bills, year-round work, depressing lunch salads, happy hour escapism and monotony. No one bothered to tell me that adulthood can be really fun and rewarding, but I figured that out on my own.
Whether you’re wrapping up higher education or a fearful teenager eschewing responsibility of any kind, it’s important to know that the horror stories you hear about adulthood aren’t always accurate. Here are some myths about grown-up life that get thrown around far too often.
Myth 1. It’s impossible to make friends
Please. College and high school are not the only places to meet awesome folks. As I’ve said before, you can find like-minded pals at work, your favorite bar, your apartment complex, etc. Don’t fall for the ridiculous notion that adults can’t meet new people.
Myth 2. Adults don’t get scared
I always believed this as a kid. My dad was an expert at hiding his fear during natural disasters or other crises, but during potentially harmful scenarios, he was just as worried as his trembling children. Adults definitely get freaked out from time to time. Proof: I slept with the lights on for a week whenever I watch The Conjuring.
Myth 3. You have to dress plain and professional all the time
No no no no no no! This is all wrong. Becoming a grownup doesn’t mean you can’t wear heart-shaped sunglasses or colorful prints from Anthropologie or Urban Outfitters. Dress however you’d like. That’s one of the freedoms of being all grown up.
Myth 4. It’s inappropriate to date coworkers
Myth 5. You can eat all the junk food you want
Mom and dad aren’t around to tell you to eat your vegetables, but if you go down my path and visit Chipotle twice a week for a month, you’re going to feel lethargic, gross and useless. That’s not to say you can’t indulge when the urge strikes you, but you’re less likely to eat the all the Fruit Roll-Ups and Pop Rocks in the world, because the appeal of weirdly-formatted sugar just doesn’t hold up. (Feel free to rebut this statement, fellow adults.)
Myth 6. Dating is such a drag
OK, this is definitely true on some occasions, but it’s also not the hard and fast rule. Dating is an awesome chance to get to know new people, and there’s nothing more amazing than when a date unexpectedly turns into a marathon of adventure and fluttering stomach butterflies. A really, really good date can go even down in the books as one of the best moments in your early adulthood. So there’s that.
Myth 7. A college degree has become useless
Higher education is more expensive than ever and loans can be a huge burden, but you can always fall back on that hard-earned sheet of paper. I know a couple people who never finished college but had so much work experience, their lack of education didn’t matter, but a degree still counts for a lot. I know from ample experience it’s no fun to be an unemployed college grad. But your education—and the connections you’ve made during those four years of college—will eventually lead you to the right place. Plus, college is really fun.
Myth 8. Taxes are the worst
Nobody enjoys doing them, but we all know how awesome it feels to get a fatty tax return once the whole process is over!
Myth 9. You have to start cooking
There’s no rush, especially with services like Blue Apron and Seamless in business. You don’t even need to talk to someone on the phone anymore to order your dinner. Thanks to the Internet, all you have to do is think of what you want to eat and it practically just appears. Magic!
Myth 10. You start getting boring
I can’t tell you how many friends have complained that their party stamina has taken a dip over the past few years. I definitely can’t go out as much as I did at 21, and I definitely don’t enjoy intoxication like I might have in college, but I still have fun. You can still go out to bars with friends and your significant other as you age. Does that mean you need to vomit in trash cans or have a million wild stories to tell afterward to make the outing seem worthwhile? No! You’re perfectly capable of enjoying yourself without having some extreme event tied to the experience.