A Guide to Your First Adult Summer

It sort of sneaks up on you, but someday you will find yourself unlocking the door to your apartment.

That’s right, your apartment.

One day I walked into my apartment after work and went to my room. This very first time, I took a minute in the threshold of my room and thought to myself, is this really happening? Am I really paying my own rent and living in this place? I knew for weeks this moment was coming but it still managed to sneak up on me. There is just something so unexpected about the first day you really feel like an adult. It is a pretty simple day, nothing extraordinary, but at the end you’ve worked and provided for yourself. Don’t get me wrong – I’m still not completely independent (Love you Mom and Dad) – but I am taking care of business this summer.

And I’ve absolutely loved it. It’s hard work, but it’s so worth while. I believe in what I’m doing. I feel fulfilled. It’s a dream come true.

So I thought I’d share this experience, some things you need to know about what it’s been like spending this summer in conference rooms and making cold calls. The summer you learn to stop thinking: I’m just a kid. 

Adult Diet

If you think “man cannot survive on apples and coffee alone” YOU ARE WRONG*!! My number one concern the first half of this summer was that I would be hungry or tired at work but this diet has proven to be excellent. I keep apples scattered through out my office, car, purse – I am basically the Easter Bunny of apples. The only exception to this diet is that every Monday I get a $5 burrito because

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*Disclaimer: Don’t worry, I actually eat like a normal person but I do have apples and coffee for breakfast everyday and it is great. I probably wouldn’t survive if that was all I ate.

Adult Exercise

I have found the secret to finding that summer bod you’ve always dreamed of! Follow these simple steps and you too can be an adult office goddess like myself.

Step One: Spend as much time at your desk as you possibly can. Only move if you feel like your soul will leave your body should you spend one more moment at your desk.

Step Two: Take the stairs. ESPECIALLY if there is a threat of having to be in the elevator at the same time as another human being. It does not matter if it is your best friend or a complete stranger. There is something about workplace elevators. Small talk and silence are equally uncomfortable in that tiny box of social anxiety.

Step Three: Are you familiar with a dollie cart? Well let me tell you, that baby is going to be your new best friend. Try pulling that beauty all over campus with as much stuff as you can possibly squeeze on that bad boy in one trip. My top two dollie experiences were taking two corn hole boards across campus and when I used it to get 3,117 pieces of candy up to our office.

Step Four: Wear clothes that are appropriate for the workplace, but not appropriate for the 104 degree heat index. Don’t try to tell me not to wear corduroy pants in July because I won’t listen. The sweating will help you lose any water weight you might have. Also a piece of your sanity.

Step Five: At this point you should be pretty toned and fit, but just in case you aren’t, try keeping your supplies in a storage that is anywhere but your office. It could be another building, in a trailer, maybe another zip code. Bonus points if you have to climb stairs to get there. You’re going to be so fit.

Adult Free Time

When I come home from a long day of work, I really just want to clean. There is something so nice about being able to get in the kitchen and fix a problem so quickly without having to think about it. It’s like, oh, this dish is dirty. Well, now it’s not! Bam. Done. I never thought that I would long to clean a bathtub but here I am.

But cleaning is not all I do. I also watch movies because sometimes I will have two entire hours with nothing I have to work on. Or I will write. Or pray. Or paint. I am learning to play the Ukulele. I have nice candles that I burn while I plan for SLC. It’s incredibly relaxing to not have somewhere to be all the time. I spend all day doing something and then that is it. I get to go home.

But the sweetest of all of these is when I have company. I love hosting people in my home so much. I love making pancakes for breakfast. I love being able to catch up at night with friends over a cup of tea. People being here is still my favorite treat. It’s honestly a little nice being alone, but I still miss my friends and family terribly.

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Adult Job

I honestly never thought I would enjoy working. Think about it, it’s work. But this summer has proven me wrong. I managed to find two jobs – well honestly they found me – that I really love. I have learned so much about the community, my school, the future, what it all is really like. Some times things feel a little slow or ridiculous (like when you have to call the city of Chattanooga about bamboo) but I am loving every second of this field and the people I work with.

If you ever get the chance, work on campus during the summer. It is so cool to be a part of the community when it is just you and staff. We all joke around and get to know each other with out the pressure of thousands of students. Plus, the parking is A+.

And if you ever get the chance, apply to be a VISTA in the AmeriCorps Program. It has completely changed my life and my aspirations. I love being able to help people in a way where I essentially try to work myself out of a job. Connecting with volunteers and clients is the coolest network of people. You will look back and see the difference you can make in such a short amount of time. I can’t wait to take my boss’s job someday (you heard me Mike, you better get ready to take this thing nationally because I am going to direct the Ocoee Region).

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So get ready guys, it will be here before you know it. It will be glorious. You will love it. Congratulations son, you’re a man now.

 

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