How to Be a Real Person

How To Be a Real Person

This week, we'll be running a series of articles that teach you how to do just that. We show you how to grocery shop (I'm still learning), Jon Meltzer cracks open the myth of The Cool Girl, Greta Shull discusses what happens when a friend stops being a friend, and BossBitch advises you what to do when your office is like the set of Mad Men. From a brave piece about sending mixed signals by Jane Torbert to an oh-so-true account of what it feels like to be 22 by Julia Templeton, this week is all about learning to be the best you.

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Raise the Alarm, Lower Your Expectations

The fact that you set three morning alarms is fooling nobody. As everyone who has survived that harrowing first day at work knows, you only actually wake up for the first alarm once and that is to straighten your hair, eat breakfast, and arrive to work approximately 15 minutes early. All things you will never do again. It's pointless to set three alarms if you plan on waking up at the last possible minute, practicing basic hygiene skills, and careening your way to work so you can slide into the office on time. Cut your losses and add 45 minutes back into your sleep schedule.

Learn How to Boil Water

Mac and cheese is so freshmen year. Several socially acceptable habits from college remain: drinking alcohol out of a coffee mug, timing laundry to maximize the amount of time between washes, and wearing jeans multiple times in a row. Surviving solely on mac and cheese and ramen is not among these things. If you're new to the kitchen, teach yourself how to cook a few basics and beat the open-microwave-insert-fluorescent-food habit. Start with something easy and practically fool-proof, like basic scrambled eggs, and work your way up to this week's less #basic avocado toast from How to Boil Water.

Stop Wearing Leggings As Pants*

*to work. Studies have shown that if you dress like an adult, you'll feel like one too. These studies may have been fabricated to justify my latest Loft receipt, but it makes sense. If you want to be taken seriously, you have to dress like you mean it. Scope out what your peers wear and what your bosses are sporting and aim for the latter. Remember to keep it personal and true to you with accessories and a fresh haircut; even a pantsuit can play that game.

Put the Remote Down and Leave the Couch

In college, it's so easy to stay close to friends that the convenience borders on debilitating once you leave the confines of the quad. When your friends are no longer a walk away, staying in touch gets harder. It takes more effort than a regular invite to Thirsty Thursday to keep a friendship going strong. Just remember: you're living the 9-5 life and your best friend is living abroad for a year. It's going to be different. And while the walk might be much farther, they're still just a text away. Schedule phone calls, send letters, and blow up their phone with screenshots only the two of you will appreciate. Get out of your comfort zone and make work friends, volunteer, or join a kickball team like me, despite the fact that you haven't played since sixth grade. You're not cheating on your best friend; you're being a real person who wears pants to work.

Photos by Umberto Corsico

Photos by Umberto Corsico

Feature illustration by Meagan Guild