Despite the fact that I’m a 21-year-old college senior, have had a number of jobs, lived (somewhat) on my own, and have been a legal adult for three years now, most of the time I feel about as far away from being a grown up as humanly possible. And I like to think that I’m not alone in this. I can’t be the only adult who thinks they’re actually still 5/13/16/whatever age like, 90% of the time. So, I’ve developed this helpful guide, “How To Trick People Into Thinking You’re A Grown Up Without Really Trying” to get your journey into (pretend) adulthood underway.
1. Wear Your Shoes In The House
I’m not sure if anyone else has noticed this, but grown-ups almost always leave their shoes on not only at other peoples’ houses, but in their own house too. They actually go out of their way to put on shoes even if they aren’t going anywhere. I don’t understand the reasoning behind this, but it’s a sure-fire way to make people think you’re a grown up. So put on those shoes (and some pants while you’re at it) and work the room, even if it’s just around your parents and their friends sitting around drinking wine. They’ll be impressed at how mature you’ve become.
2. Go Grocery Shopping (More Than Once A Month)
This was a big adjustment to make in college, particularly in my sophomore year when I no longer had a meal plan to rely on for 95% of my daily nourishment. Having successful, mature grocery shopping trips is key to making people think you’re a grown up because the food (or lack thereof) in a pantry/refrigerator can really tell a lot about a person. Like any reasonable pretend adult, you need to start by making a list before you go. Now, the hard part is sticking to this list – buying the bread and milk you need instead of Cap’n Crunch and a jumbo bag of tortilla chips. Just say no, people. Another important part of this step is replenishing your food supply when things run out instead of eating fast food and your roommate’s Dunkaroos for a week. This is something I still struggle with, unfortunately, but mastering the grocery store is a must to putting on the adult façade.’
3. Stay Up To Date On Primetime TV Happenings
Adults don’t have many exciting things going on in their lives, so who got the last rose on The Bachelor or what Simon said on American Idol become key conversation starters. And don’t forget about sitcoms – grown-ups love sitcoms, people. Soak in all the cheesy glory of reality TV and nightly sitcoms and you’re that much closer to fake adulthood. To take this one up a notch (I’m talking not only adult, but hip adult), keep up to date with really popular TV shows with huge followings (think Game of Thrones, Breaking Bad, Mad Men, etc.). Instant streaming sites like HBO Go and Netflix have made this really easy for us pretenders, but it can also get us into trouble. As much as I try to keep up with this quality programming, it is truly a daily internal struggle to not watch Laguna Beach or One Tree Hill…again.
4. Dress The Part
This one should be pretty obvious, but here’s a little nugget of wisdom just incase – if you dress like a mess, no one will take you seriously as a person who is pretending to be a grown-up. Now I’m not advocating changing your style or “selling out” to impress people, but there are some general rules of thumb you should follow. For example, if your outfit could double as workout attire, you should probably change. Unless you’re going to workout, in which case carry on. Another good rule is simply being aware of your surroundings when planning an outfit. There’s nothing wrong with a cut-off Rolling Stones shirt and high waisted shorts, but you probably don’t want to wear that to work. Nor would you wear a pencil skirt or slacks to the beach. This simple rule of wardrobe awareness will make your fake adulthood much more successful.
5. Drink Wine (And When You’re Not Drinking It, Talk About It)
If you really want to show people how “grown up” you are, grab a glass of wine instead of a Bud Light or fruity cocktail. Wine automatically gives off this aura of maturity and adulthood, so it is the easiest (and most fun) way to pull off this fake-out. As everyone says, wine is an acquired taste, so when you drink it you’re basically saying, “I have put time and effort into this thing that is not actually that important but you should be impressed with me for establishing a mature palate.” And it works. Go one step further by constantly talking about the intricacies of wine and all things wine related – talk about the oak-y notes of the really great red you drank the other night, or that winery you just have to visit. The best thing about wine is that when you pour it in a glass it all looks the same, so even on a poor college kid budget you can be a semi-successful fake wine connoisseur. That $5 jumbo bottle of Sutter Home may not feel great the next morning, but damn if you didn’t look good drinking it.
Enjoy your journey into fake adulthood, friends!