Adulting is defined by Oxford Dictionary as "The practice of behaving in a way characteristic of a responsible adult, especially the accomplishment of mundane but necessary tasks."
Since moving out of my house, and attending University, I have come across the most obvious and biggest struggles of adulting, the fun of finances and forms plaguing my ever-growing life. To refrain from becoming depressed as I embark on my 21st birth-week, here is a list of 20 times in the last month that adulting has presented challenges on the smaller scale.
1. Opening a wine bottle that isn't a twist off.
I have been known to serve guests wine through a pasta strainer to avoid feeding them pieces of cork.
2. Learning how to and trying to pull off cooking one of my mum’s dishes.
Last week, as Autumn is certainly here, I attempted to make my mother's famous stew and ended up burning lentils to the bottom of the pan, which I then left in the sink, and the lentils got stuck. RIP pan.
3. Forgetting to set aside money for bills and traveling home.
Sometimes I forget that even me writing this article is costing me a meal's worth of money. And when the time comes to pay my bills, I swear to myself that next month I will sit in the dark all day.
4. Living paycheck to paycheck.
I now know the exact date that my paychecks come in, and if they are a second late, I am on my laptop writing a strongly worded email. You forget that there is nobody to spot you 20 for lunch, so you're just stuck eating the testers at the farmer's market.
5. Realizing Dayquil is not the answer to all my sicknesses (and a hangover doesn't count as a cold)
The constant hangover cannot be cured with Dayquil. I'm not sick, just an idiot.
6. Moving houses.
This is probably the WORST thing about adulting. As students, we move around a lot. Each year is a battle to figure out where you will be living in 11 month's time. And on top of that struggle is how to move your stuff, and how to fit your sofa through the door of your new place without deconstructing it.
7. Forgetting to use oven gloves, or misplacing them and thinking I am Superwoman.
You are not Superman. You will get burnt. You will regret it.
About 3 times a week, my alarm is turned off by a hand which is magically detached from the rest of my body and my brain. These are the mornings you need the shrill voice of your mother at your door.
9. Wanting a pet when I can’t even feed/walk myself.
I've wanted a pet for such a long time. But on those days when I order in from a restaurant literally 4 minutes from my house, paying the $5 delivery fee because I'm just that damn lazy, I stop to think and ask myself how I would ever walk my dog.
10. Buying gifts for all my family members.
I love surprising my parents with amazing birthday presents, things that they will cherish, appreciate, and enjoy. Sucks that all I can afford is a card and a selection of snacks from the corner shop.
11. Not having someone to call in sick for me.
It's really awkward having to call into work the day after Halloween, knowing that they're not going to believe your fake cough and sniffles down the phone.
12. Having to decide to apologize for me.
I grew up with two younger brothers. While I love them, we did and still do torture each other occasionally. Nowadays my mother makes us fend for ourselves, leaving me to deal with the fact that they are both now grown men, and despite being 3 and 6 years younger, are both far stronger than me. However, when we were younger she would force us to apologise. Sometimes it's difficult having to make that decision by yourself, having to recognise when it's your turn to extend a hand to shake.
13. Wanting a Christmas tree SO bad, but not being able to afford one.
This was maybe the saddest thing about checking my bank account last week. Every year my family gets a huge Christmas tree for the living room. This is my first year as a student living in a detached house, and not having a tree or decorations hung outside.
14. Realizing kitchen cabinets do not close themselves.
Something I realise more and more every day as I walk into the kitchen and it looks like we've had some paranormal activity in the house. Also something I need to change as I have been known to walk into the cabinet doors.
15. Not having quarters for laundry. EVER.
I miss having a washing machine that isn't coin operated, and that doesn't eat your quarters. leaving you to construct a makeshift washing line in your kitchen with tied-together trash bags.
16. Quality products vs your bank account.
I miss opening the kitchen cabinets to an assortment of expensive snacks like trailmix, organic peanut butter and homemade marmalade. Right now I can tell you that I have instant coffee, two packets of instant miso soup, a Cliff Bar that I got for free from some on-campus promotion, and half a jar of Skippy.
17. Telling your sober self that my drunk self will make the bed when I get home.
Make the bed before you go out. Please. Don't sleep on top of your clean laundry, still in your boots from the night. Please.
18. Checking the mail is becoming depressing.
I used to receive my mum's subscription for Teen Vogue, birthday cards, and a weekly organic food delivery. Now I live alone, I receive bills, coupon newspapers (which I use, by the way), and bank statements which I daren't look at.
19. Getting to the airport is really expensive.
When I finally decide that adulting is too much for me, the flight home has a real sting in its tail as getting to the airport costs about as much as my groceries for the week. Well, at least I'm going home.