The modern day pressures a twentysomething experiences on the regular are ridiculous. By 21, you're expected to have a college degree, a job you adore, a six-figure paycheck, the perfect relationship, strong friendships, and a stable roof over your head (insert Cher Horowitz voice screaming, "As if!"). You're also expected to manage eight hours of sleep a night, but Netflix usually ruins any chance of that. So, how in the world do you adult?!
As a recent college grad myself, I LOL at these expectations. It's practically impossible to walk out of college without some debt and the cringe-inducing anxiety of having no idea what to do with your life. Let me say this in plainer terms: You. Are. Not. Alone. In fact, the quarter-life crisis is becoming more and more common. It's perfectly OK not to know where you're going, what you're doing, or what you want out of life.
Fortunately, some really awesome writers have noticed this issue, and took the time to share their stories, advice, and noteworthy failures to help guide the rest of us twentysomethings. The number of self-help books out there could build a mountain, but the most worthwhile and genuinely helpful ones stack up to a handful. I found some of the best, and funniest, guides on becoming a grown-up. Here are six great books to read to help you on your way to breathing easier and knowing you're not alone on this adult roller coaster:
Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps by Kelly Williams Brown
The first thing Kelly Williams Brown points out is that you are no special snowflake. That might be rough to hear, but it's the first step to take in her honest, hilarious, and overall amazing guide on becoming an adult. Told through essays that are neatly broken up into sections like learning to cook real meals and faking it till you make it, this book is an absolute must read for anyone trying to figure out this whole "being an adult" thing.
101 Secrets For Your Twenties by Paul Angone
"1. Sometimes surviving your 20s is nothing more glamorous than just holding on for dear life on the back of an inner tube like a kid being whipped around by a speedboat."
This collection of brief but useful tips will help you navigate your crazy twentysomething life. This is the kind of book you'll want to keep at your desk or coffee table to show and read with friends. Treat this like a daily calendar and you'll be on your way to becoming a well-rounded adult.
20 Something, 20 Everything: A Quarter-life Woman's Guide to Balance and Direction by Christine Hassler
If you're in need of some reassurance that being completely lost and confused in life right now (like me), then this book is for you. Christine Hassler will introduce you to the "Twenties Triangle," which is made up of three questions: Who am I? What do I want? How do I get it? She also includes helpful journal exercises to help you write out, and eventually solve, big issues you might be facing.
Don't Worry, It Gets Worse: One Twentysomething's (Mostly Failed) Attempts at Adulthood by Alida Nugent
Like so many new college graduates, Alida Nugent had a degree not getting her anywhere and tons of debt which forced her to move back in with her parents. This gritty collection of essays on the current twentysomething generation is critical in the funniest of ways. I couldn't put it down.
Why Didn't They Teach Me This In School?: 99 Personal Money Management Principles To Live By by Cary Siegel
OK, I know what you're thinking. A money management book? No, thanks. I thought the same thing, but having to face monthly bills, student loans, and still wanting Starbucks on the regular forced me to get my money situation in order. Believe me, Cary Siegel knows what she's talking about, and turns money talk into an understandable and easy topic. It's perfect to have on hand during tax season and basically any time you have questions about the complicated world of finances.
The 20 Something Guide to Getting It Together: A Step-by-Step Plan for Surviving Your Quarterlife Crisis by Mary Traina
Last, but certainly not least, this handy guide by Mari Traina has it all. If you're stuck in entry-level job hell or struggling to find a real man to date, this insightful read will give you all the answers and advice you need. This book offers some great tips on reflecting on yourself and your life without being too critical. Getting it together is a phrase most of us will never be confident in using to describe our lives, but working towards the goal, especially with this book in hand, turns out to be not as bad or hard as it seems.
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