Holy Sh*t, I’m 20…

The most useful book I’ve ever read was an impulsive purchase that I couldn’t resist.  I was in line at a home decor store (I can’t remember which) the summer before my first year at Carleton and saw it by the cash.  I bought it for the funny title, but figured it probably contained some decent advice.  It did.

This impulse buy was as good as the time I decided to buy that first bottle of wine…

Your 20’s are when you grow up, start life and let’s be serious, get your shit together. This book is filled with tips on how to do that and I’ve decided to share some of them with you lucky people.

The book has twenty chapters and I’ve picked my favourite tip from each one. It’s lovely because it looks like I planned this out to time it perfectly for a post in the week of my twentieth birthday. Twenty chapters, Twenty tips, Twentieth birthday.  What a theme. It worked out so well that I couldn’t help but change the title to match– it now contains twenty characters. I didn’t stop there– the previous sentence contains twenty words. Multiply the number of sentences by two and you get twenty. Finally, this paragraph is one hundred words. Divide that by five? Twenty.

**Please feel free to re-read that awesomely designed paragraph.  I’m rather content with it.

I’ve chosen 20 tips, but there are 1001.  I honestly recommend that you buy this book because I’ve never seen so much useful information in one binding– and I’m an avid Cosmopolitan reader.

The book: 1001 Things Every Teen Should Know Before They Leave Home (Or Else They’ll Come Back) by Harry H. Harrison Jr.

Chapter 1. They Should Know Life Is Difficult So They Won’t Get Discouraged and Move Home

“38. They should know overcoming difficult times is how people gain self-respect.  And the respect of others.”

Chapter 2. They Should Know How to Not Look Stupid Because People Will Notice and They’ll Have to Move Home

“103. They should know how to defend a position without yelling, swearing, or door slamming.  And it’s a bonus if they know what they’re talking about.”

Chapter 3. They Should Know How to Get a Job So They Can Make Their Own Money and Not Have to Move Home.

“177. They should know to remember the goal in negotiations is not to get fifty grand a year.   It’s to get hired, get trained, get experience, build their value, get money, and get out of the house.”

Chapter 4. They Should Know How to Keep a Job and Get Promoted So They Don’t Get Fired and Have to Move Home

“246. They should know successful people are delusional: they’re not as good or as smart or as necessary as they think they are.  But their confidence takes them to the top.”

Chapter 5. They Should Know How to Live on a Starting Salary So They Won’t Go Broke and Have to Move Home

“325. They should know the unexpected happens every month.  Sewers back up.  Friends walk through glass doors.  The old lady next door doesn’t put her cigarette out.  They need to budget for the unexpected too.”

Chapter 6. They Should Know Where “The Money” is So They Don’t Get Stuck in a Loser Career and Have to Move Home

“353. Public Relations Specialist”  Yay for hope that I could someday be successful.   This chapter was a list of the top fifty career choices based on salary and growth.

Chapter 7. They Should Know How to Locate and Conduct Themselves in Their First Apartment So They’re Not Thrown Out and Have to Move Home

“397.  They should know to budget no more than one-fortieth of their annual income on monthly rent.  That means if they’re making $35,000 a year, they can afford $875 a month.  Tops.”

Chapter 8. They Should Know How to Move Their Stuff So It Doesn’t Get Broken or Lost and They Have to Move Home

“447. They should know one of the great things about a house-warming party is that friends will help unpack boxes as long as they can drink and eat.”

Chapter 9. They Should Know to Avoid Declaring Bankruptcy So They Don’t Have to Move Home

“453. They should know that bankruptcy will follow them for seven to ten years and cost them thousands and thousands of dollars in higher interest payments.”

Chapter 10. They Should Know About Relationships So a Bad One Won’t Force Them to Move Home

“480. They should know that seeking perfection in a mate will assure them of a lifetime of loneliness and disappointment.”

Chapter 11. They Should Know How to Live Without Mom Waking Them Up, Doing Their Laundry, and Taking Care Of Them or Else They’ll Move Home.

“599. They should know most of the world’s truly  successful people wake up before everyone else.”

Chapter 12. They Should Know the Secrets of Home Repair and Home Depot So When Something Breaks, They Won’t Move Home

“639. They should know they won’t look like a fool by walking into a Home Depot and announcing they don’t know what they need, how to install it, or where it goes.  They’ll look like a customer.”

Chapter 13. They Should Know How to Buy and Maintain a Car So They Don’t Spend $50,000 on a Junker and Have to Move Home

“They should know that, at the end of the month, dealers would sell their mother to sell a car.  By the end of the year, they’re eyeing their first born.”

Chapter 14. They Should Have an Adult’s Vocabulary So They Don’t Sound Like a Teenager and Have to Move Home.

This chapter was a list of 100 words every high school graduate should know.  BRB while I google at least half of the words while feeling like a failure.

Chapter 15. They Should Know How to Get So Rich, Their Parents Can Move in With Them

“795. They should know these three words: get rich slowly. Works every time.”

Chapter 16. They Should Know What Gets the FBI and IRS So Mad at Them, They Have to Hide Out and Move Home

“820. They should know filing too many exemptions is just like stamping their return with a big red ‘AUDIT ME’ stamp.”

Chapter 17. They Should Know God Loves Them Even When Nobody Else Does So a Spiritual Crisis Doesn’t Cause Them to Move Home

“851. They should know to decide in advance what kind of person they want to be in all situations.  Or they’ll leave themselves vulnerable.”

Chapter 18. They Should Know How to Avoid Getting Sued So They Don’t Have to Spend All Their Money on Lawyers and Move Home

“895. They should know to not crack sexual jokes at work.  Talk about gardening.”

Chapter 19. They Need to Know to Hold On to Their Ethics So They Don’t Sell Out and Have to Move Home.

“932. They should know that if they wait to do the right thing, the right thing may never get done.”

Chapter 20. They Should Know How to Act and Think Like an Adult Because the Alternative Will Force Them to Move Home

“965. They should not be afraid to make a decision.  And stick with it.”