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In defense of ‘like’

So like, what do you think of the way young adults talk? To be fair, I’ve heard every argument under the sun. I’ve heard that kids these days just don’t care about their words, that young people are the impetus of change in a living language, that it’s just a fad, and that Millennials are ruining English. I think all except the latter are true.

If you’re an emerging adult or young person, bear with me. I’m not here to bash or to tell you what you already know. If you’re past the young adult age, don’t tune out. I really do want to dive into the complexity here, and I’m not interested in picking sides. Because I think when it comes down to it, that’s the main issue that usually arises whenever the topic of “the way young people talk” comes up. And sometimes being an adult means bringing up issues that get under our skin.

As background, I’m a word nerd. My actual job revolves around knowing the ins and outs of proper English, and how to improve people’s words. But being good at my job also means knowing the right times to break the rules. I have worked under various style guides, conceded to rules I didn’t agree with, and fought to get policy changed when old rules became irrelevant or incorrect. I have a lifelong devotion to the Oxford comma, but don’t really care if you end a sentence with a preposition. Why? Because what matters most to me — and what I believe should be the guiding rule anytime we consider our words — is what will make our message most clear, most poignant, and most effective.

It should also be noted that when I speak, my language differs a lot from when I write. If you noticed, I haven’t used the word “like” since the first sentence. If we were having a casual conversation, that wouldn’t be the case. Here comes the controversy — I don’t believe that using the word “like,” especially when speaking, is a bad thing. Of course, there’s a limit to this. I remember listening to a speech in which the speaker said “like” more than 30 times in about 5 minutes. It was overkill, and distracted from their message. But “like” serves a few purposes that naysayers too often ignore.

  1. Simile – If you’re not cool with similes, it might be time to re-evaluate. It was like a breath of fresh air and other comparisons. And since “as” doesn’t always sound right, “like” works well.
  2. Affection – I like tacos. Cool, me too! I personally think English could use a better range of terms for positive affection, but “like” is a good place to start.
  3. Paraphrasing ­– He was like, “Are you kidding me?” Y’all, it’s the perfect shorthand to indicate the message of what someone said without being on the hook for a direct quote, as “said” can imply. And before I hear any objections, older crowds do the exact same thing with “was all.”
  4. Placeholder – This is the one that can get people in trouble for overuse, especially when public speaking. Here’s the rule of thumb: If you’re the only one who has the floor, then scale it back. If it’s a conversation and other people might jump in, it’s a useful way to indicate that you aren’t done speaking while you gather your thoughts.

See, none of those uses of “like” is wrong, just culturally and situationally relevant (or irrelevant). Same thing with “ain’t” and “bro” and “same” and so many of the other linguistic novelties that have skyrocketed in popularity with young generations. While they can be overused — and some are just fads that disappear over time — some of them are harmless colloquialisms or convey nuance that wasn’t previously coded into other words.

Now I’ll be super honest: There are some popular words and phrases that I can’t stand, and therefore refuse to incorporate into my vocabulary. I can’t stand the word “bae” because I find it both annoyingly overused and disagree with its origin as “before anything else.” But I don’t think it’s ruining English. A language can only be ruined by those who are too lazy to convey their message thoughtfully, and by those who insist on stagnating it in outdated tradition to the point of it losing meaning.

And of course, it doesn’t stop at words and phrases. The way that language is changing extends into capitalization, punctuation, emoticons and emojis, casual hyperbole, fatalistic humor, memes, and even type stylization (like bolding, italics, etc.). Honestly all my thoughts on these linguistic trends and trajectories could probably fill a book. But the point, in the end, is that intelligence is not to be measured by how often someone says “like” in a conversation, or whether they have to look slang up on Urban Dictionary. If our language is intentional, thoughtful, honest, and conscious of its impact, then it’s doing its job. Regardless of any dangling participles.

How do you think younger generations are changing language? Let me know in a comment below, on Twitter @ohgrowup, or Instagram @oh.grow.up! Thanks for reading, and happy adulting!

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Get out the vote

Congratulations! You’re an adult. Part of being an adult means taking part in shaping your government, which in most places starts with voting. Please note, I do not just mean picking any old bubble to fill in to say that you voted, and I do not mean only voting during major elections like presidential ones. Being a responsible voter means making sure you’re registered, researching issues and candidates, and voting.

There are a lot of responsibilities that come with being an adult. It can be easy for this one to slip through the cracks, but when that happens we give up our voice in a system that — though far from perfect — is perhaps our best opportunity to change our world and create our future.*

So today I’ve got some solutions to common roadblocks that keep people from voting, because those shouldn’t get in your way.**

The Basics

If you want a refresher on how the voting system works in the U.S., the official U.K. Parliament YouTube channel has the best quick summary video I’ve found (weird, but it works).

There are votes for federal, state, county, and city/town positions and measures. The nice thing is they’re all in one spot on your ballot, but you may need to go to different spots to research them.

If you want more government and voting info, PBS has a whole series of crash course videos that break down different topics.

Registering

Do you know if you’re registered to vote? (It’s okay if you don’t, I had to double check that I was.) If you’re not sure, click here to find out. Note that registration deadlines are coming up — if you live in California like me, the registration deadline is tomorrow!

Oops, turns out you’re not registered. Where do you go to do that? There’s a spot on most state and county websites for it, but this page on the federal government’s website can direct you to most of them.

Okay, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to show up in-person. Y’all I am a permanent vote-by-mail voter. You can also request a one-time absentee ballot. Just make sure to check the dates that it needs to be requested and postmarked (aka mailed) by so your vote is sure to count. Here’s a quick guide on the rules in different states.

Researching

I’m registered, but don’t know any of these candidates or issues. Cool! Me neither! I was going over my ballot recently and don’t know anything about a lot of these things I get to vote for. That’s where the research starts.

  • You can find your state’s voter information guide online (here is the one for California)
  • You can search by candidate or issue (clicking through a few links on Google can do wonders)
  • This only works for measures, but if you read through most of the detail on a measure or proposition, there’s actually a lot of information — and sometimes it’s buried
  • You can look at party websites for perspectives. I honestly won’t vote on an issue before reading what Democrats and Republicans think about it. I don’t ever let party determine my vote, but the reasons each side provides can illuminate more about the topic
  • If possible, see if anywhere says who’s funding it. This is a huge deal, and particular corporate or organizational endorsements can be a big clue as to what’s really driving a candidate or measure
  • Ask around. I often talk measures or candidates over with my parents and a couple close friends to get another perspective. Absolutely no one can tell you how to vote, but sometimes they have valuable insight

I’ve done my research, and I don’t like any of the candidates for this position. Sorry, bro. Unfortunately, sometimes that happens. You can choose to not vote on a particular measure or position (even if you do vote on the others), or you can pick the lesser of two evils. There’s also usually a write-in candidate option, but Donald Duck hasn’t won any elections yet.

Actually voting

Make sure you know the deadline! For California, it’s June 5 this year. Find out when your ballot is due here.

Okay cool, but like where do I show up? Click here to find your closest polling place, and make sure to check the hours!

Know your rights. This is so important! Here are the most pressing need-to-knows:

  • If you’re in line when the polling place closes, they still have to let you vote
  • You may need to show ID, but every state is different. Click here to find out what’s required.
  • As long as you’re 18 by election day, you can vote
  • You can be homeless and still meet the residency requirements to vote
  • If you have any sort of disability or language barrier, you can choose someone to assist you in the voting booth (as long as that person is not your employer, an agent of your employer, or an officer or agent of your union)
  • You can ask folks at the polling place to help you as well
  • You can fill out a sample ballot ahead of time and bring that in with you to make things easier (or any other piece of paper). If you were registered to vote a month or more ahead of your election, you should be automatically mailed one. If you weren’t, you can usually request one from your local county website
  • You do not have to tell anyone how you voted, nor is anyone allowed to demand you vote a particular way. Period.

I’m really proud and honored to live somewhere where I — as a mixed-race, non-land owning, unmarried woman — am able to vote. We have an imperfect, sometimes frustrating system, but voting is one of the most important ways we can take part in improving it. A lot of our ancestors and fellow citizens paid with their voices, minds, bodies, and lives to make sure we could. Let’s honor that by voting, and by voting responsibly. The future’s counting on us.

Did I miss anything? Let me know in a comment below, on Twitter @ohgrowup, or Instagram @oh.grow.up! Thanks for reading, and let’s go get out the vote!

 

*A lot of this is U.S.-centric, so I apologize if you live in a different country and this doesn’t prove as helpful. But to the best of my understanding many similar principles apply and comparable resources exist, so a little digging should provide the info you might need.

**I’ve tried to make this as nonpartisan as possible, but some of the links provided may seem to lean either conservative or liberal. I do not post them as a party, candidate, or measure endorsement, but only because they had the most thorough information I could find. Always look at both sides, and think with both your head and your heart.

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Recipes: Crock Pot chicken & veggies

Hey folks! I’ve got another recipe for you today and this one is exciting because it’s the first thing I made in my brand new crock pot! I had been wanting to get one since I moved, but storage is a bit of an issue in our kitchen. Luckily, we got a little more storage, so I finally made the oh-so-adult purchase and bought one! I got it (a 6-qt. that also has a temperature probe) on sale for about $35, but you can find a ton of good option under $50, and the awesome thing is they do the cooking for you.

I had some chicken in the freezer that I needed to use, and wanted to spruce it up (and fill the crock) with veggies and potatoes, so I looked up a recipe online and then proceeded to mostly ignore it. The nice thing about a crock pot is you can pretty much wing it with a little bit of cooking know-how and still be safe. Though I expected the recipe to be good, it turned out excellent, so I wanted to share it with y’all!

Ingredients:

  • 3 chicken breasts, thawed (you can also use thighs or more meat, but I wouldn’t advise much less than this, which seemed to be about 1.5 lbs.)
  • about 1.5 lbs. red russet potatoes
  • about 1 lb. whole carrots
  • 1 white onion
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • about 3/4 cup grapefruit juice (I just squeezed 1 big, very ripe grapefruit)
  • 6 cloves crushed garlic
  • 1-2 tbsp. minced ginger
  • salt & pepper

I know that looks like a lot of ingredients. I promise this is still a beginner-level recipe (and tastes at least like an intermediate level). img_5905.jpg

Instructions:

  1. Prep veggies — I don’t usually count potatoes as a veggie, but today they can be. Wash everything, cube the potatoes (I cut them into eighths since red russets are small), cut the carrots into big chunks, and the onions into slightly smaller pieces. Think about 2-inch pieces for potatoes and carrots, and about 1-inch pieces for the onions. (Pro tip: Leave your chicken in the fridge until the last minute so it stays cold and doesn’t get funky.)
  2. I actually sprayed my crock pot with olive oil before I put anything in to hopefully make cleaning easier. I don’t know if that made the difference, but cleaning was definitely easy. Then, put the potatoes in, and add a little salt and pepper.
  3. Set the other veggies aside, and work on the sauce. Stir the soy sauce, honey, grapefruit juice, crushed garlic, and ginger in a bowl until the honey doesn’t give much resistance.
  4. Add the chicken on top of the potatoes, and pour about 3/4 of the sauce over it. You can also add more salt and pepper if you want.img_5907-e1526488110444.jpg
  5. Dump the mixed carrots and onions on top, then pour the rest of the sauce, and add salt and pepper.
  6. Set the crock pot on low for 5 hours. Walk away and let it do its magic. (Pro tip: If you want some greens, add them in about the last 10 minutes of cooking — I used broccoli.)IMG_5908.JPG
  7. When the time goes off, ta da!!!* Enjoy your meal (and serve with rolls if you want)!

Cost about $12, makes about 4 servings

Next time I make the recipe I might want to marinate the chicken, as it seemed like the veggies soaked up the flavor better. But that is pretty much all I would change, and of course, you can switch up the meat or other ingredients as you like.

Most of this recipe is just prep, which is mostly cutting veggies. Easy peasy. So next time you need a few days worth of meals (I ate it for about 3 days), or have guests coming over that you want to impress, or are busy and won’t have time to cook in the evening, you have a solution! (Sorry for all the exclamation points, I’m just really excited.)

What is your favorite thing to make in a crock pot? Let me know in a comment below, on Twitter @ohgrowup, or Instagram @oh.grow.up! Thanks for reading, and happy adulting!

*Sorry I don’t have a picture of when it all finished in the crock pot, I honestly just forgot to take one. It should smell good and have a lot more liquid in it, and as long as the chicken is cooked through it’s safe to eat.

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Moms are actually the best

Happy Mother’s Day! If you are a mom, I hope your day makes you feel as appreciated and special as you are. If you have a mom (or mom figure!), I hope you let her know how much you care about her.

I’m lucky enough to have two moms. Unfortunately I don’t get to be with either of them in person today, but beyond the usual call and gift, I wanted to say on here how grateful I am for them.

Moms are supportive and patient, but also tell us when it’s time to get our crap together. Moms are people we can joke around with, but know better than to cross. Moms are often our first and strongest role models. My moms taught me life basics like using a spoon, potty-training, etc., and adulting basics like using tools, cleaning, and finances. One mom taught me to love reading, the other how to create and craft — both taught me to love learning. My moms taught me how to cook and bake, and in that regard I also have to thank my grandmothers — and my friends’ moms and grandmothers — for teaching me and sharing secrets in the kitchen. My moms taught me how to process my emotions, and that someone can have vulnerabilities and still be strong.

And beyond that, they taught me what kind of a person I wanted to be: someone who is smart and kind, knows when to speak and when to listen, who is always willing to learn and ready to teach, who to call when I needed something (them), who is compassionate and always considers the perspective of others.

I know not everyone’s mom has always been the kind of presence in their life that they needed. I know not everyone knows their mom, and that not everyone’s mom is around anymore. But I also know that chances are when you hear the word “mom,” there are people who come to mind that aren’t your mother, but who do love you and stand by you and mentor you. Sometimes mom is a symbolic word, so hopefully in addition to appreciating our moms today we can also share some of the best qualities they instilled in us.

What makes you grateful for your mom? Let me know in a comment below, on Twitter @ohgrowup, or Instagram @oh.grow.up! Thanks for reading, and happy Mother’s Day!

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Dial tones and mobile phones

I don’t know about you, but I hate talking on the phone. I wish I was exaggerating. It’s something that at best is a lower-quality conversation than I prefer, and at worst is almost paralyzingly stressful.

Alas, as an adult they are not something that can be avoided. Emerging adulthood means we now get to call to set up various appointments on our own, to make reservations or interact with customer service, to handle professional matters, and often to stay in touch with family.

I’m better about phone calls than I used to be. For a long time, I would avoid calling anytime I could and pretty much only called my grandmama just because — for anyone else, it had better be urgent.

Now, I call (okay, sometimes text) my grandparents on most holidays and sometimes just because we haven’t talked in a little bit, call my mom fairly frequently (I often have random adulting questions), set up all my own appointments and such, have weekly conference calls for work, and call my boyfriend when video chats aren’t an option.

Though they’re still far from my favorite method of communication, I’ve found a few things that have made them less daunting:

  • Put a frame on it. Different mediums of communication have different levels of richness — basically how many layers you’re communicating on at a given time. An email is probably the least rich method, because all you get are words on a screen. In-person is the richest, because you get voice, words, tone, facial expressions and other nonverbals, etc. Phone calls allow for voice, words, and tone but not being face-to-face means tone can be easily misinterpreted.
  • Can you hear me now? The answer is probably sort of. Cell phones are amazing inventions but they aren’t flawless even at full bars. Which means what you’re saying or hearing is often distorted or breaks up, making natural and comfortable conversation more difficult.
  • Know what you’re saying. I am capable of being quite charming, but that skill mostly relies on being in-person. Therefore, I rehearse any phone call that’s more than just a “how’s it going?” conversation ahead of time, usually several times. Props if you’re not the kind of person that needs to do this, but if you’re not this is a super helpful trick. You can always make some notes on talking points or things your need to remember to say/ask as well, and it will help keep you from feeling flustered or sounding awkward.
  • Leave a message. Fun fact, if you don’t leave a voicemail said person will be way less likely to call you back (sometimes exceptions for family and friends). So leave a voicemail — and be sure to mention your name and phone number, and repeat both before you hang up.
  • If someone left you a voicemail, listen to it before you call back. This way, you actually know what they were calling about and they don’t have to repeat themselves. Win-win.
  • Use that weird nice voice your parents use. You don’t have to do the “mmmbye” thing we remember grownups doing from our collective childhood, but do use your extra sweet, polite voice to make up for the fact you don’t get to be so charming in person.
  • Eyes up. I have a horrible tendency to get distracted with other things while I’m on the phone, which results in me not listening or being as involved in the conversation as I ought to be. To help, I often have something I can do mindlessly with my hands or feet (like crocheting or going for a walk) to prevent my mind from wandering so much.

Phone calls don’t have to be awful, even if they can be intimidating. And they are, unfortunately, sometimes necessary, so it’s best to get good at them earlier rather than later.

What helps you with phone calls you don’t want to make? Let me know in a comment below, on Twitter @ohgrowup, or Instagram @oh.grow.up! Thanks for reading, and good luck adulting!

(Photo is a free stock photo because turns out I can’t take a picture of my phone with my phone.)

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That’s a tomorrow me problem

I’ve been putting off writing this post. Not because it’s difficult, but because the last few weeks I’ve been procrastinating way more than I had in a long time. Don’t get me wrong: I always do what’s really necessary, and even during my productive stretches there’s usually one or two things on my to-do list being habitually ignored. We’re all human here.

But lately I’ve been putting things off and making more excuses than usual. I’m pretty convinced it’s just a season and circumstances thing. There were stretches when I procrastinated like crazy in college, and I always procrastinate more when I’m alone than when other people are around. I’ve also been extra tired lately, which has made being motivated more difficult.

It’s unfortunately a leftover habit from school days. As an emerging adult, I have the freedom to (mostly) decide when to do or not do my own crap, but juggling responsibilities in high school and college meant that I was often putting things off until the last minute because I was either too busy or too tired to do them immediately. Not my best play. But here we are.

I wish I had some magic cure-all for procrastination. I don’t. There’s a pile of stuff in my trunk that has needed to go to Goodwill for weeks (it’s finally getting dropped off today). I cleaned the whole apartment last weekend, but when I remembered that I didn’t clean the microwave decided I’d deal with that later. There are some personal side projects that have been getting pushed back further and further.

Rather than trying to stop procrastinating cold turkey (I’ve tried, it doesn’t work), I’m just trying to take things in small increments. I was procrastinating putting together a couple of gifts, so I’m just doing a little every day until they’re done. I work on them when I think about it, and stop when I’m no longer focused.

I’m trying to let a few things go. There are projects that have been ongoing, and I’m slowly learning how to feel less guilty that I’m not working on them. I’m also trying not to start projects or endeavors that I know I don’t have time for, because being overextended is a one-way ticket to Procrastinationville. It’s not a pretty place to live.

Setting small rewards or thinking about reasons why I want (or need) certain things to get done also help me move past the tendency to procrastinate. I cleaned the apartment last weekend because I knew I wouldn’t be able to this weekend, and after I cleaned I took the rest of the day off. Sometimes it’s about determining what actually has to get done today, or even this week. If it’s urgent, make it happen. If it’s not, it’s probably okay to let it be a tomorrow you problem.

How do you battle procrastination? Let me know in a comment below, on Twitter @ohgrowup, or Instagram @oh.grow.up! Thanks for reading, and good luck adulting!

(Photo credit goes to my awesome brother!)

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Graduated, sort of

I graduated from college one year ago today. That’s still a really weird thought. Unfortunately, in one year’s time I have not become a fountain of wisdom who can share every secret of life after school lets out. But it has been a year, and I have learned a lot.

Given that, and for all of my friends who are starting their own post-undergrad lives, these are the things I wish someone would have told me when I graduated:

There will be times when you feel crowded, and times when you feel lonely. Both feelings are inevitable, and neither being with a bunch of people nor being by yourself is a bad thing. Figure out how to enjoy both, but also know that it’s okay if you’re stuck with one and want the other.

Start reading again. Go at your own pace. Read whatever you want. It’s cool to watch tv too. But pick up a book or those magazines that have been piling or the comic books that have been gathering dust. Read the news on purpose instead of just when something comes across your feed. I’m so glad that I set aside time most days to read, and that I’m starting to enjoy it again. I truly believe reading is the best way to keep learning, and you might just find the magic in it again.

Start saving up asap. Whether you’re looking to pay down student loans, start paying your own bills if you don’t, or just save up for other adult-ish things, start saving. If you already did that’s awesome. I started actively saving later into college than I should have, so it was a huge priority when I got out, and now I am happy to say that I am basically self-sufficient (aka I still call my parents for advice and they buy me food when I come visit but I pay for all my own junk). Being financially independent is a really nice feeling, so don’t put it off for too long.

You will have to work a lot harder to find community. It bums me out all the time that I can’t just go knock on a friend’s door or text them about last-minute plans because we’re only 3 minutes away. My new church is more of a drive and I don’t know many people there. My family and most of my close friends are hours or plane flights away. And there are no longer classes and clubs and school events and a cafeteria all set up in some way to help make friends. I joined a soccer team and I try to hang out with coworkers when I can, but building a sense of community is a lot trickier than it used to be.

Related, you have to choose to stay in touch. I figured a lot of friends from college would fade a bit into the background, which has happened. But there are still some that I talk to every day. I’ve been able to see friends from back home at least a little more often than I used to, but all our schedules are harder to work with. The good news is this makes it easier to let go of relationships that weren’t good for you or them. The bad news is you have to find ways to make it work. I often FaceTime friends who are far, constantly text a close friend who’s across the country, and social media has actually been more of a help than a weird distraction. But if it’s an important relationship, it’s on you to maintain it.

Romanticizing the past will leave you stuck, and romanticizing the future will leave you disappointed. I hope college was cool for you. I really enjoyed (most of) the time I was there. But hanging onto it is going to stunt the enjoyment and growth of this new stage of life. If college wasn’t your favorite or you just think the grass is greener, take a deep breath. There will be awesome things and crappy things about being a grownup and not a student, and realistic expectations will help keep you on the right track.

You will (probably) feel more like a grownup. This is honestly my favorite part. And it took a while to settle in. When I was still living with my parents and applying for jobs and working part-time I didn’t feel like a grownup — I felt very in-between. But now living on my own (still with roommates), working full-time with my other obligations totally up to me, I’m pretty stoked. I come home at the end of the day and there is no homework, there is no job to get to after classes, there is no packing up all my junk twice a year. I still have to cook and clean and generally be responsible, but the rest is up to me. So I’ve visited friends and taken day trips and caught up on a bunch of tv shows and read books and tried new recipes and been able to not stress about when a paper was due or if I could afford pizza. I fully realize not everyone is yet or is still at that spot, but there’s something to be said for feeling a little more settled.

You can’t be in three places at once. Not that you could before either, but after college it often feels like those different priorities tugging at you are more spread out and unfortunately you won’t be able to make them all happen. I wanted to be in three other states this weekend, plus two different parts of the state I’m actually in, but I only got one. And it sucks, but it’s something we have to learn to live with.

You will hopefully get a little closer with your family. When I was living at home I got to see extended family way more often than I did during school, and even now that I’ve moved out I still visit family about once a month, FaceTime regularly, call often, and you know what? It’s awesome. Your family misses you. As long as it’s a safe, fairly healthy relationship, nurture it.

Days off are when you choose now. Mostly, of course. I was the kind of person who did not randomly skip class or take days off when I was in school. Actually, the only classes I ever missed for a non-academic reason were PE classes or one weekend when I went home to visit an ailing family member. (I did also miss for a couple of school-related trips and to help out with other classes.) The first day I took off at my current job was just because I wanted to. Wasn’t sick, didn’t have big plans, just because I could. I’ve also got time off scheduled to be a part of some exciting events in the next few months. So yeah, no summer break, but there is likely a lot more freedom to plan your life now.

You’re not old yet. You will feel like it sometimes. I go to bed around 9 p.m. so often now and it’s really weird. People will be getting married and having kids and you’ll wonder if you’re really old or even missing something. You’re not. All this stuff goes at a different pace for everyone now, and you’re in the middle of real life, but you’ve still got time left to savor it.

You’re going to keep changing, and hopefully growing. I’ve changed more in the last year than I did during my first year of college. A lot of it has been for the better: I feel more settled, more confident (in some areas), I sleep better, and all of the things I mentioned above. The other stuff I’m working on: I stress for different reasons, I don’t get to listen to as much music, I don’t do as well with being alone. I’ve learned new skills and  Some things have remained the same, of course, but I hadn’t realized that I would change just as much as my circumstances after walking across that stage. So don’t think you’re done growing yet.

So there you go. To all my friends who have just graduated or will be doing so shortly, congratulations. I’m insanely proud of y’all. To all my friends who graduated with me, I miss you guys. Life’s got some cool stuff in store for all of us, and we’ve got a lot of people who care about us to make it through the difficult times. Let’s make it an adventure.

What do you most wish someone would have told you when you graduated? Let me know in a comment below, on Twitter @ohgrowup, or Instagram @oh.grow.up! Thanks for reading, and happy adulting!

(Photo credit goes to my mom, for catching the same pose I’ve been making since childhood when I want to show something off — sorry it’s low-res but yes, that is how happy I was after graduation.)