Ruby Karp's Memoir 'Earth Hates Me' Is An Inside Look At What It's Actually Like Being A Teenager Today

Ad failed to load

If you’re a millennial like me, Generation Z might seem too different to understand — like a Snapchatting, screen-addicted mystery. Unlike you and me, they’ve never recorded songs off the radio for a mixtape, carried quarters in the pockets of their flared jeans to call home, or heard the strange groaning beeps of dial-up internet. Instead, they’re so-called “digital natives,” a group even more tech-dependent than millennials are.

Yet, if you ask teen author and comedian Ruby Karp, she and her generation aren't that dissimilar from their predecessors. She tells Bustle she wishes adults would “finally realize that we’re not some, like, weird generation.” She promises they’re “normal people” with the same concerns as teenagers of old. In particular, they’re “freaking out about” the same things we once were (and maybe, to some extent, still are): crushes, friends, and their futures.

Karp provides proof of these claims in her new memoir, Earth Hates Me: True Confessions from a Teenage Girl. The book is geared toward other teens, meant to offer wisdom on growing up, but it can also serve as a lesson to those of us who are well into adulthood. It paints a picture of what it’s like to be a teenager today, and you’d be surprised by how much has remained unchanged.

Ad failed to load

Earth Hates Me: True Confessions from a Teenage Girl by Ruby Karp

Of course, Karp can only speak to her own experiences and those of the people she knows, but she uses them to teach lessons that can be applied universally. Her approach will be familiar to readers of Tina Fey or Amy Poehler, and numerous other notable authors of contemporary nonfiction.

Ad failed to load

Click here to buy.

“I looked at … how people use their life experience to talk about general life experience,” she says of the writings, books, and authors that inspired her.

Even with such solid examples, though, writing her own memoir wasn’t easy. Karp describes the experience as “really stressful” — much more so than she expected given that she has been writing articles and publishing them online since she was only 10 years old.

Ad failed to load

“It was one of those things where I just had to power through it basically, but there were a lot of really long nights and a lot of tears that went into it,” she tells Bustle.

Karp had to balance writing the book with her other commitments, which included completing her junior year of high school, extracurricular activities, doing monthly stand-up comedy shows with the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York City’s East Village, and more. It wasn’t easy, but she got the chance to share extremely important messages.

Ad failed to load

“I hope teens will take a lot of things out of it,” she says. “I think the most important things … are to call yourself a feminist and to try your hardest to do what’s best for you in high school.”

Karp discusses these both at length in her book, tackling issues like consent, depression, and peer pressure, among many others. She has keen insight, perhaps in part because she’s had the good fortune of being surrounded by a number of inspiring feminists over the years. In particular, she highlighted the women of the Upright Citizens Brigade, a “badass” and “awesome” group of comedians.

The teen has a long history of performing and sharing her work, which has helped her “learn a lot about [herself].” That was also true of writing Earth Hates Me. The stories Karp shares in the book were playing out as she wrote about them, giving her the chance to “figure [herself] out.”

Ad failed to load

“I was writing them while I was feeling them in the heat of the moment,” she says.

Since then, Karp has been able to go back and reflect on her emotions in different situations. With that distance, she has been happy to be vindicated on an important point; one of her major pieces of advice — to know that what’s hard for you will eventually not matter — has proved to be accurate.

Ad failed to load

Even so, Karp isn’t looking forward to reading Earth Hates Me in the future.

“I think I’m going to not want to read it at all,” she tells Bustle. “I cringe at myself already when I read the book. I can’t even imagine what it’s going to be like in 10 years.”

At that point, the book will hopefully be just one of many milestones in a successful career in comedy and/or writing. Karp still has college to worry about, but she already has her sights set on working on Saturday Night Live in the future, or being a famous stand-up comedian.

Ad failed to load

Those goals are ones multitudes of millennials might have had at her age, or even now, it looks like she is right: Our generations aren’t that different after all.

Earth Hates Me: True Confessions From A Teenage Girl by Ruby Karp, $10, Amazon

Ad failed to load
Must Reads

What I Learned About Work-Life Balance After Relapsing From Alcohol Addiction Recovery

Almost two years ago, I woke up in a hotel room, groggy and dehydrated, with my clothes all over the room and my nightstand filled with mini bottles of liquor. I had spent the previous two days drinking all the alcohol in my mini bar. I'm not sure wh…
By Irina Gonzalez

Everything Leaving & Coming To Netflix In March, So You Can Plan Your Next Marathon Now

Even though the groundhog saw his shadow — forecasting six more weeks of winter — a nice spring thaw is already on everyone's minds. Fortunately, Netflix has things squared away for March. Whether you're ready to cozy up in front of a fire or get you…
By Sophy Ziss

11 Thoughts That Mean You’re Not As Happy With Your Partner As You Might Think

Even if your current dating situation seems to be going well — you're hanging out, having fun, having sex, etc. — it's still possible that you might not be happy with your partner, and thus not truly happy in your relationship. This can be a gut feel…
By Carolyn Steber

25 Book Recommendations From Your Favorite TV Characters

Although the two may seem like natural enemies, the truth is, television and reading are a match made in bibliophile heaven. Not only are some of the best shows based on or inspired by literature, but whenever you turn on the tube you can be sure to …
By Sadie Trombetta

Bustle Editors On CPAC + 'Making A Murderer'

Adulthood is, essentially, just waiting until the weekend hits — which is why I know we're all glad it's finally Friday. Whether your plans are to catch up on all the Netflix content that'll be leaving the platform at the end of February, a weekend g…
By Danielle Colin-Thome

7 Signs Your Energy Is Closed Off To Love, According To A Psychic

Finding love requires more than just the actions of going on dates or setting up an online dating profile. It also requires opening yourself up to love and giving off the vibe that you're open. You may not even realize it if you're energetically bloc…
By Suzannah Weiss

It Took Heather Graham YEARS To Make A Movie About Women Ditching Toxic Men. The Reason? Men.

They say you should write what you know. But in Hollywood, that age-old advice apparently needs an addendum: Write what you know — as long as men are into it. And for actor and newly minted director/screenwriter Heather Graham — a woman who swam thro…
By Kelsea Stahler

Target Just Launched A Gorgeous New Home Brand — And Most Pieces Are Under $30

Design lovers rejoice! Everyone's favorite store for pretty much everything is about to make all your daring decorating dreams come true. Today, Target's corporate blog issued a press release that provides a peek into Target's new homeware line, Opal…
By Callie Tansill-Suddath

17 Brilliant Ways To Support Parkland Survivors Wherever You Are

Following the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, survivors are demanding Congress take action. A large group of students who survived the shooting are opposing politicians' "thoughts and prayers," arguing that inst…
By Sarah Beauchamp

Here's Where Your Next Trip Should Be, Based On Your Zodiac Sign

If you've been craving a vacation, now is a good time to take the plunge. According to data collected by travel site Expedia, late winters and early spring are pretty much the best times of the year to go on vacation. Based on average airfare ticket …
By Callie Tansill-Suddath

How This Quadriplegic Beauty Lover Beat Cancer & Became A Professional Makeup Artist

In 2010, one day before she was supposed to start cosmetology school, Steph Aiello was involved in a car crash that left her paralyzed from the waist down with limited ability to move her hands and one of her closest friends dead. She would spend the…
By Sara Tan

7 Common Marriage Rules That Aren't Good For Relationships

When it comes to marriage, everyone loves to give their two cents, and with all the warnings and advice floating around out there, no wonder people find marriage intimidating. Luckily, you don't always have to play by the rules, and there's some bad …
By Carina Wolff

The Infuriating Way Hollywood Movie Sets Are Designed To Make Life Harder For Women

Whitney Cummings is fed up — with the way Hollywood treats women, and in particular, the way the it treats female directors who have children. While the entertainment industry may be working hard to get more women behind the camera, Cummings wants to…
By Casey Cipriani

Why Uggs Are Never Going Away, Whether You Like Them Or Not

Uggs. The word alone can conjure up memories of teenage years, regrettable outfits, and undeniable comfort. But if, like me, you thought that you've already said goodbye to those fleece-lined tan boots, you can think again. It seems fashion has adopt…
By Lauren Sharkey

Netflix's New Romantic Movie Will Have You Crying Like It's 'The Fault In Our Stars'

Cancer movies are a heartbreaking staple of Hollywood and have been for decades. It's almost a law of nature: new year, new cancer movie. This year, it's Netflix's Irreplaceable You, a heartbreaking original about a longtime couple who get thrown for…
By Olivia Truffaut-Wong

I Got A Breast Reduction & It Was About So Much More Than The Size Of My Boobs

As a young teenager, I pretty much reached peak physical maturity overnight. One day I was wearing my first training bra a la Lizzie McGuire, and the next I was sweatily fumbling around a Victoria’s Secret with 32DD boobs, trying to summon up the cou…
By Sierra Taylor Horton

Adam Rippon and Mirai Nagasu Have Matching Tattoos & The Story Is So Cute

Olympic season gives people the feels. From those shipping Canadian ice dancing pair Tessa Virtue and Scott Moir to Shaun White's gold medal win on Tuesday, the feels are real. Now, there's another reason to get all up in your emotions. Adam Rippon a…
By Shea Simmons

A New Study Says Being In A Relationship Could Change Your Taste In Wine — Here's How

I’d be willing to bet that for many of you, a nice bottle of wine is awaiting you in your near future — and if you’re planning on sharing that bottle with a partner, there might be more to your choice than meets the eye: According to recent research,…
By Lucia Peters

Carrie Brownstein On Why Even The Obama Era Should Have Enraged You

An icy January morning soon after Hollywood's show of solidarity for the #MeToo movement at the Golden Globes and almost exactly one year into the Trump Administration feels like a momentous time to be sitting across from Carrie Brownstein. The Sleat…
By Samantha Rollins

Here’s What The Upcoming Year Of The Dog Means For Your Chinese Zodiac Sign

On Feb. 16 the world will celebrate the Chinese New Year, welcoming the Year of the Dog in like the good doggo it is — we hope. A new year means new zodiac predictions for the 365 days ahead. So, what does the Year of the Dog mean for your Chinese zo…
By Brittany Bennett

7 Signs You're Ready To Get Into A Relationship, According To Experts

It can be difficult to tell when you're ready to start dating again. Maybe you're coming off of a bad breakup, maybe you've just been focused on other things. And, ironically, one of the signs that you're ready to be in a relationship is that you're …
By Lea Rose Emery

The 15 Best Fiction Books Of February Feature Tons Of Extraordinary Women

When the cold winds of February blow in, there's nothing I want more than to hide under my covers with a good book. Luckily, there's more than a few fantastic new fiction books coming out this month, so the only tough decision you'll have to make is …
By Melissa Ragsdale