life happens

When does one become an adult?

When can a young man or woman stand in front of their peers and older adults and declare themselves to be officially grown up?

What are the markers that show the world that you have left  that middle space between complete dependence and complete independence behind? And why the heck do we have to go through it in the first place?

What happens when we get to adulthood, and how do we deal with leaving our safety net behind?

Life happens to all of us, but only some people happen to life.

These are some of the thoughts I’ve been thinking this year, as I approach a milestone birthday. I’m turning 21 and it’s super exciting, but my life has been in such turmoil for the past six months that I’m also a little apprehensive. Although I should be at the start of everything, just at the jumping off point for life, some days I feel like such an underachiever.

I don’t know what direction I want my life to take. While this should give me the freedom to do anything (I can do whatever I want!), restrictions often give birth to the most creative of endeavours.

All that being said, here are twenty one tips for the twenty one years I have been alive. Some of them are places on the internet that make me happy or that inspire me. Some of them are mistakes I have made along the way. Some are weird but all are special. Enjoy.

1. John Green of the vlogbrothers talks about becoming an adult:

2. His brother Hank Green talks about growing up:

3. Do not leave a cake out in full display at a party predominantly made up of drunk people, especially if it has already once been approached by gatecrashers. Your cake will likely get stolen and your precious family birthday cake plate smashed. You have been warned.

4. Treat yo’ self nice. Don’t be all down on yourself all the time.  You are a beautiful person. Believe it. Own it!

5. Painted toenails are a great way to feel good about yourself when you can’t treat yourself to a manicure because you work in hospitality. Just do it.

6. Joy the Baker talks about turning twenty one:

Also, I would love a bottle of bourbon for my birthday. Thank you.

7. Joy and Tracy Shutterbean talk about all sorts of totally important, totally not important things over at Homefries on the Joy the Baker podcast. Blog tips, life tips, 30 (plus – shh!) year olds in America talking about stuff that I totally relate to because I’m twenty one and live in Australia:

8. Don’t mix drinks. Especially if one of those drinks is Jagermeister.

9. Ze Frank is another youtuber who makes me think deeply about life and stuff. It’s useful for feeling like you want to sit in a corner away from the world and rock, but also for becoming immersed in the world that we live in and participate in it.

This is one of his videos I relate to most:

10. Don’t be yourself, because who really knows what that even means? Be the best you you can be. Try to become the best version of yourself.

11. This is if it’s too hard to do the above:

12. Always trust a man from Gallifrey. 

13. Imagine others complexly. 

14. Do what you love. Love what you do.

15. To begin, begin. (William Wordsworth)

16. Hot toddies are my favourite way to stave off a cold. It’s like a hot lemon honey drink with bourbon. In fact, that’s exactly what it is. Have one in the shower for added relaxation.

17. Go out for breakfast.

18. Be excellent to each other.

19. Work hard. Rest easy.

20. Make the world a better place.

And the last tip: Be enthusiastic about stuff. The definition of nerd is someone who genuinely likes stuff. Who is so excited about that stuff that they can’t help but tell other people about it and find out all about it. John Green puts it this way:

“You are too enthusiastic about the miracle of human consciousness.”


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