The idea of turning 21 seems totally glamorous: you spend your birthday surrounded by other gorgeous 20-somethings, carefree and on top of the world, drinking copious amounts of mixed drink as you celebrate all you have ahead of you. But in reality, hitting the 21 milestone can come with a great deal of apprehension about the future and the looming reality of adulthood. But there are at least several books to read before turning 21 that will put you well on the path to acting like a grown ass woman (even if you still feel like a child at times.)
Seriously: I wish I could retroactively gift these reads to my 20-year-old self. I imagined adulthood as a series of cocktail parties where you’d be rewarded for knowing interesting trivia. It’s turned out to be anything but that. By understanding boring, but vital things like personal finances, basic life skills, and career opportunities that are open at this time, you can get set up for a smoother transition to adulthood.
This is not to say that all of these reads are boring. With a foul-mouthed cookbook and a witty etiquette guide in the mix, you’re certain to stay entertained as you learn some legit life skills. Adulthood doesn’t have to be boring or terrifying at all. You can do this, so long as you have these books to help you along the way.
1To Help You Handle Hangovers
2To Help You Mix Drinks Like An Adult
3To Help You Nail A Job Interview
4To Help You Land That First Job
If you're ready to go for that first real world job, Do What You Are by Paul D. Teiger, Barbara Barron, and Kelly Teiger is a great source of information. By relying on information about your personality type and work-related strengths, it can help you find a job that works best with your talents.
5To Help You Network
6To Help You Learn To Cook
The America's Test Kitchen Cooking School Cookbook is basically a cooking school in book form. It will teach you how to cook (more or less) everything, from fried chicken to cheesecake. With more than 800 pages of instruction and recipes, it will whip you into culinary shape in no time.
7To Help You Cook More
8To Help You Manage Money
9To Help You Keep Things In Order
10To Help You Help Others
11To Help Find Your Path
12To Help You Relax
13To Help You Find Adventure
14To Help You Adult
15To Help You Know How To Act
16To Help You Maintain Healthy Relationships
17To Help You Become More Well-Rounded
People who read poetry outside of school are automatically interesting and probably pretty cultured. These are the people you want to chat up at those mythical future cocktail parties. By reading Czeslaw Milosz's A Book of Luminous Things, you will learn how poets from around the world interpret the human condition, and therefore become more interesting to talk with at parties.
18To Help You Speak Your Mind
19To Help You Get From Here To There
20To Help You Stay Fit
21To Help You Find Happiness
Brene Brown's The Gifts of Imperfection can help you learn to use courage, compassion, and healthy boundaries to lead a more joyful life. If you're bogged down by worries about not measuring up in the real world, this book can help remind you of the pitfalls of perfectionism.