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Where’s the Manual on Becoming an Adult?

Manual of becoming an adult

Once you’re in the working world you realize you have no idea how to be an adult. what this world and life will throw at you.

If you’re like me, you probably graduated into the working world, and initially thought that you had it all together. That your ducks are in a row and the sky is the limit in life. You studied hard, made good grades, and as a student you did what thought you were “supposed to do.”

Only to realize once you’re in the working world that you have no idea what this world and life will throw at you. You also realize you have little to no training on how to handle tough situations.

Where’s the manual on becoming an adult?

First off, there’s no manual on being an adult. Life is hard. Someone recently took Best Money Class Ever, a four-week personal finance class I created that’s like CrossFit, but with money. They told me, “Your class is hard.”

There aren’t quick fixes, or easy remedies to money woes or life problems. Adulting is hard. As much as I’d love to promise people it’s easy paying off debt or getting out of the paycheck-to-paycheck cycle, it’s hard.

It’s ok that there’s no exact manual on becoming an adult.

As a wise rapper named Drake once said, “Started from the bottom, now we’re here.”

Everyone starts at the bottom and when you make a life change, like a new job, or career, or getting your finances in order, it takes time to improve your situation. There will be roadblocks along the way.

Your starting from the bottom may be having a negative net worth of $60,000 from your master’s degree. Getting out of debt isn’t going to happen overnight, and while you’re knocking out your student loans, you’ll probably have a few car repairs, or other unpleasant bills that come your way.

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Another quote from Forrest Gump is, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re going to get.”  There’s no manual on becoming an adult because everyone has major trails in life. You don’t know if your piece of chocolate will be cancer, a brutal divorce, or unemployment. You don’t know. No matter how hard you try there are no guarantees in life.

Worst yet, as an adult you’ll have critics. Even friends or family might criticize the way your live your life. People can criticize anything from your career, house, car you drive, or even your desire to live a frugal life.

The closest manual on becoming an adult is a quote by Theodore Roosevelt on criticism. It’s referenced in Brené Brown’s talk on Why Your Critics Aren’t The Ones Who Count.

 The quote is long, but oh-so-good:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Those are three quotes to serve as the best manual on becoming an adult. Be ok to start from the bottom. Realize that you don’t know what you’ll get in life. Most importantly, get in the arena and if you fail at least you fail while daring greatly. Show up to do good deeds and fight for a worthy cause.

Carly Best Money Class Ever

Hi! I'm Carly

Here you’ll learn how to pay off debt, invest (confidently!), and stress less about money!

I’m a Finance grad and creator of Best Money Class Ever, a 4-week live virtual personal finance class.  I paid off $35,000 of debt and saved $100,000 by age 26. You can pay off debt and build savings too!

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Kim paid off $45k in 28 months

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Loren and Bryce tripled their net worth in two years.

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Jessica and Matthias paid off $61k in 20 months

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