#3: Adult Apartment

You’ve graduated from college and have a “new car smell”-worthy degree. You’re ready to move to the Big City and start your awesome, adult life, full of subdued parties, responsibility, and taxes. There’s nothing that would go better with the next chapter of your life than your first adult apartment. No more John Belushi posters on your wall. You already put that marijuana flag in storage, so time to get ready for accent walls and throw pillows!

But you won’t get that gorgeous apartment perfect for wine and cheese nights, because you’re broke. You attended a liberal arts college, and your degree is worthless. Let’s be honest: you’re not going to get a job in Art History. And the job you are going to get will pay you a yearly salary less than the yearly tuition at your fancy alma mater. You won’t have the credit score or the money to lease that hip loft in the burgeoning downtown neighborhood. You’ll be lucky if you can even sign a lease on your own. Most likely, Mom or Dad will have to co-sign. And the apartment they’ll co-sign on will be a stucco-ceilinged, rusty-piped hovel with no parking space. They’ll remind you that engineering would have been more lucrative, and you’ll have to remind them that following your dreams is more important than money. Then you’ll avoid eye contact as they slip you a twenty.

Consider this first adult apartment as your training wheels on the bike of adulthood. Revel in the bad landlord that took six months to fix a towel rack. Savor the washer that broke and left your clothes soaking wet. This will all be great story fodder for those cocktail parties you’ll attend in your established forties. Besides, you’re in your early twenties. You don’t deserve nice things yet.