Pretending To Be An Adult: 10 Ways To Fake It Until You Make It

by Aramide Tinubu

Like many of you, I enjoy my autonomy without really relishing in the true meaning of being an adult. “Adult,” what a prickly word. It’s a word riddled with responsibilities, 401(k)s and other stuff I don’t quite understand.

So, instead of claiming full-on adulthood, I’ve settled into this lovely state of pretending to be an adult.

I’ve outlined 10 ways to successfully fake adulthood until you actually have to claim that you are one (I’m assuming that comes around age 30).

1. Pay Your Bills On Time

Bills are the quintessential indicator that you, indeed, resemble an adult. These slips of paper that inform you of the money you owe other people and services can be rather alarming.

I realize you’ve slaved away all week for your paycheck and it’s grossly unfair that someone is trying to snatch your coins before you can even get to brunch.

My rent stub gets put under my door every month, and for about three days, I walk in and out of my apartment, ignoring it until the last possible second.

However, despite being rent-poor, it’s essential that you pay your bills in full and on time. These are the days when it’s totally okay to survive off of dollar pizza slices and self-manicures in Sephora.

Making sure your bills are paid on time now (yes, even those tragic student loans) will not only help your credit score, but also make your life easier in the future.

2. Floss

I remember when I was a kid and the dentist first told me to floss. I looked at her as if she had just lost her mind. My poor gums were already raw from the scrubbing she had just given them.

But alas, we are no longer children and it’s essential to keep up your oral hygiene. Your parents have quite possibly already put thousands of dollars into your dental work, making sure you would grow up to be the presentable human being you are now. Don’t through away all the hard work and rack up expensive future dental bills.

Floss now (at least a few times a week) and use mouthwash, if not for your sake, then for the sake of every poor soul you come across.

3. Make Doctor And Dentist Appointments — And Actually Go

When I was younger, my mother used to spring doctor and dentist appointments on me. I never knew when they were coming; she would just wake me up on a random Saturday morning and tell me that’s what was on the schedule. It was terrible.

Now that I make my own appointments (especially now that I’ve added the OBGYN to my rotation), I still have to con myself into going.

Going to the doctor is important, so I begrudgingly go and reward myself with an order from ASOS or a fancy drink at Starbucks when I finish.

In our 20s, we like to pretend that we’re invincible, but truthfully, we’re not. The best medicine is preventative medicine, so twice a year, haul yourself to the dentist for a cleaning and once a year, carry yourself in for a physical and for a lady parts exam.

It will be horrendous, I won’t lie, but it’s such a tiny percentage of your time, and if you’re lucky, you’ll leave knowing you’re healthy… and kind of invincible.

4. Save Yo' Money

I realize that it’s nearly impossible to save money when you make so little, especially if you’re like me and you live in a big city. However, it can be done.

You know that Starbucks drink you get every Saturday afternoon? Or that extra side of bacon you get a brunch? Did you really need it? No, you didn’t.

Go to the bank and open up a savings account. If you have very little self-control, designate some portion of your paycheck to funnel to your savings account.

It can be something as small as $20 a paycheck. (That’s $40 per month and $480 per year.) Anytime you get any extra dough (from your taxes or your grandma), put half of it into that savings account.

I realize this doesn’t seem like much, but when you step on your glasses, or lose your apartment keys, you’ll be thankful you have a cushion.

If you don’t touch it (and you shouldn’t), you’ll be shocked to see how much you’ll save over time. As you make more money, you can increase the amount you save.

A huge step towards adulthood is not depending on your parents when things in your life go awry.

5. Take Care Of Your Body

I know that you believe you’re invincible and getting old is a far, far away concept; however, the quickest way to age is to not take care of your body.

Try to exercise a few times a week, eat vegetables, drink water and take care of your skin. If you neglect yourself, one day, you’ll wake up, look at yourself and see a frightening looking stranger.

6. When Necessary, Dress Appropriately

Despite the fact that I’m still in my early 20s, I’ve left the days of sauntering around NYC in five-inch stilettos in a tiny dress behind me.

I’ve discovered two replacement accessories: tights and booties.  The flu is never cute, especially when all you have to show for your evening are blisters, a blurry picture and an outrageous cab fare.

This goes for your professional life, as well. You may work in a super casual environment where jeans are allowed, and that’s swell. However, always keep in mind that appearances matter. At the very least, invest in an iron.

7. Actually Cook (Like Maybe, Once A Week)

I won’t lie; I could list ordering from Seamless as one of my hobbies on my online dating profile. After working or going to school all day, the last thing anyone wants to do is cook. This is after braving the line at Trader Joes. Trust me, I understand!

However, eating out all the time is neither cost efficient nor healthy. A vital step towards adulthood is being able to provide yourself with nourishment.

Learn to cook an easy meal or two. Make a big portion of it and eat it for several days or freeze some. Leftover spaghetti is always one of my favorite go-to meals.

Both your wallet and your tummy will thank you for your newfound cooking skills, and who knows, you may even realize you enjoy it.

8. While On Vacation, Actually Take Advantage

When I’m on vacation, my favorite things to do are to veg out, read trash on my Kindle and drink as many all-inclusive beverages as my body can handle.

Those vacations are both necessary and exceptionally fun; however, it’s also important to broaden your horizons.

There is always time for the beach, but you should spend your time wisely. If you’re at a tropical location, leave your resort, go see the local spots and learn as much history as you can about the region.

If you’re feeling super adventurous, save the beach for a future trip and go see other parts of the world you've been dreaming about.

9. Set One Goal For The Year

I’m not too big on New Year's resolutions, mostly because I am who I am and I never stick to them.

However, I think it’s important, as we move forward into adulthood, to highlight one major goal that to accomplish over the course of the year.

Mine goal for this year is to be more assertive. I hate confrontation; it makes me feel ill, so it's extremely uncomfortable. However, it’s a trait that’s very necessary for being a productive adult.

Other goals can be along the lines of having pizza only once a week, or getting a better job. No matter your age, you should always strive to better yourself. Setting one major goal a year can play a pivotal role in that progression.

10. Be True to Yourself, But Adjust Your Thinking As You Grow

Arguably, the most important tool needed to venture into adulthood is having some grasp on who you are and for what you stand. Now is the time to really assess your beliefs separate from those of your parents and peers.

What’s important to you? What puts a smile on your face? What are the things that hurt your heart? Figure out who you are and where you fit.

This doesn’t mean you should stop learning. Always learn, observe and adjust accordingly. Never be afraid to admit when you are wrong.

No one ever really wants to “grow up.” However, adulthood is inevitable, and it’s important to take the steps that will enable you to make the transition more easily.

Photo Courtesy: We Heart It