How to Be a Real Person

“I’m going to graduate soon, and then I have to get a job and be a real person.”

When I was in college, that’s what I used to say to anyone who would listen. My brother made me laugh when he took offense to it. “So are you saying that since I’m still in college, I’m not a real person? Am I a fake person?” Sorry little bro, but you’re definitely still a fake person. (Although if you end up studying abroad and going off to Africa to hang out with the lions for 6 months, you’ll be a hell of a lot closer to being a real person than I was when I was 20. Way to be!)

Being a real person is actually really awesome. Way better than I thought it was going to be. I’ve totally got the hang of this thing. So I made ya’ll a list! How to be a real person in 6 easy steps. Plus a couple extra tips thrown in at the end, because I got tired of numbering them.

1. Buy a mouse trap (to catch the mouse that lives in your apartment, obviously) but then never set it up. No seriously, what happens if you actually catch the mouse? Then you have this alive thing inside the trap that you’re going to have to get rid of somehow. Think about it. You haven’t seen the mouse in a couple weeks, not since you moved your backback and he came scurrying out from under it. He’s totally moved on to another apartment. (You hope.)

2. Eat just popcorn for dinner sometimes, aka once a week. A couple of Trader Joe’s flat breads, fistfuls of granola, or half a head of cauliflower + ranch dressing can all be substituted for the popcorn.

3. Get super ambitious and decide to grow herbs in cute little pots on your patio. Then move them inside when you go on vacation and never take them back outside. Let them start to take over a shelf in your bedroom. Remember that you don’t really cook with herbs all that much. Feel unsure about what to do with the stupid plants now, especially since after you killed one of them, the rest literally won’t stop growing.

4. Contemplate how much trouble you’d be in with your landlords if you decided to take on home improvement projects without their consent. On a scale of 1-10, how mad could they really be if you caulked over the spot in the corner of the bathroom ceiling where your upstairs neighbor’s tub is leaking into your space?

5. Wear high heels with your sweatpants as your clean your apartment. Tell yourself that you’re “breaking them in” or “just wearing them from the front door to the bedroom closet” so you’ll only have to carry 17 pairs instead of 18, but then just leave them on as you empty the dishwasher and hang up the laundry.

6. Sit outside on your patio in hopes that the suuuper cute dog who lives next door will come running over to hang out. Disregard the fact that her owner apparently doesn’t want her to have friends because she always gets in trouble when she comes over. Talk to her when you see her in the window as you get home from work, even though if other people heard they would think you were a little crazy.

Miscellaneous real person activities include going to the farmer’s market, having business cards and no one to give them to (except your mom), planning your own vacations, figuring out how to hang decorations without making a huge hole in the drywall, accepting gifts of random furniture that friends of friends no longer want, feeling super proud of yourself for using your barbecue grill, learning how to get dressed in the semi-darkness because your apartment is weird and doesn’t have overhead lights, and getting really excited to buy stamps.

So go! Go be a real person…you’ll be awesome at it now. And you can totally thank me after, nbd. (But you’re welcome.)

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