Life Advice Jeff Bezos Doesn’t Want You To Hear

23 adulting tips in honor of the Class of 2023

sarah knight
6 min readMay 6, 2023

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A few weeks ago, an editor at a major national news outlet owned by a dude who also owns a major international book retailer invited me to pitch them some “top tips for grads” in conjunction with the publication of my new book Grow the F*ck Up: How to Be an Adult and Get Treated Like One.

Alas, the paper ultimately elected not to run my words of wisdom. And I’m not saying that decision came straight from the top, but I’m also not saying the billionaire ruling class isn’t trying to keep you down by restricting access to a veritable cornucopia of baller life advice that may one day aid you in dismantling their systems of oppression.

Anyway, their loss is your gain. Mo’ paywall, mo’ problems, amirite? Enjoy, and tell your friends!

23 Adulting Tips for the Class of 2023

  1. Always plan for overages. From recipes to renovations, everything is going to take longer and cost more than everybody tells you it will. Every. Fucking. Time.
  2. Get yourself a bottle of Goo Gone to keep under the kitchen sink. That shit is magic. So long, sticky price tag residue on the bottoms of each and every IKEA coffee mug you own! (It’s not going to come off in the dishwasher, no matter how many times you try.)
  3. Take the high road. I realize this may seem easier said than done, but trust me, there is no better feeling than depriving some absolute jackwagon of the privilege of seeing you break.
  4. Learn how to replace a toilet seat. Changing a tire may be an archetypical example of adulting prowess (and is certainly a useful skill), but for what it’s worth, I am forty-four years old and I’ve been present for only two tire blowouts in my entire life. Malfunctioning toilet seats, on the other hand? YOU’D BE SURPRISED.
  5. Two words: packing cubes. Want to go on a gap year with a single carryon that allows you to easily plunk your stuff into a drawer and pluck it back out again every time you change tiki huts/Airbnbs? These li’l zippered wizards are your new best friends.
  6. There’s an icon next to the dashboard fuel gauge that indicates which side of the car the gas tank is on. Sorcery!
  7. Don’t overcommit. Successful, well-respected adults do what they said they would do, when they said they would do it — which is much easier when “what you said you would do” was eminently manageable in the first place. BOOM. (Bonus: under-committing means you’ve got more opportunity to overdeliver in the end. Not strictly necessary for top-of-the-line adulting, but a neat trick.)
  8. Manage expectations. If and when you realize you’re not going to be able to do what you said you would do, when you said you would do it, then let people know what’s going on ASAP. Because the only thing worse than somebody you can’t depend on is someone who could have given you a heads up, and didn’t.
  9. Moisturize early and often. For the love of god, listen to a middle-aged person who deeply regrets not listening to the middle-aged people who came before.
  10. Remember that your internal organs are getting older, too. So do all y’all a favor and take the ibuprofen/guzzle three glasses of water before you go to sleep after a big night out. Waiting ‘til the next morning is too little, too late for your hardworking adult liver.
  11. Playing house is all fun and games until somebody breaks a wine glass or takes a cheese grater to the knuckles. You’d do well to keep your grownup lair stocked with first-aid essentials — or at least try to associate with people who do, as my friend Liz learned the day she called up to inquire “if you guys have any really big Band-Aids?” (We did.)
  12. Learn how to take criticism and compliments. The former is essential for maintaining your relationships and reputation, and the latter just feels good.
  13. Check your work. Do I sound like my father, a retired middle-school teacher? Yes. But accidentally ordering the wrong size sofa or booking nonrefundable plane tickets for the wrong day are no fun, son.
  14. Be a considerate guest. If you spend the weekend or longer at someone else’s house and you have the means to cook or buy dinner one night, do that. If you can’t, then at least do the dishes.
  15. Related: invest in an apron (and use it). I promise this will save you a tragic collection of oil stains on your favorite shirts and a fortune in dry-cleaning bills.
  16. When it’s time to furnish your own place, keep in mind the proximity of likely sale weekends. For example, if you’re willing to sweat through your sheets in June, biding your time for Best Buy’s Fourth of July 40%-Off discount on an A/C unit is a Total Adult Move.
  17. Don’t start a job until you have all the materials on site and in working order. This goes for all kinds of projects, from baking a pie to painting a room to building out that DIY “EasyCloset” system you ordered. The worst time to find out you need a hacksaw that you do not already own is at 10:00 p.m. on Sunday night without an open Home Depot in sight. (Ask me how I know.)
  18. No matter what some well-meaning lady in a YouTube tutorial tries to tell you, life is too short to be attempting to fold fitted sheets. Shove ’em in a drawer and go on with your day. I’ll never tell.
  19. Understand that two things can be true AT THE SAME TIME. Like, the hotel room can be too cold for you and also too hot for your partner, who is actually a bag of hot rocks disguised as a human. You could fight about it, or you could just call down for an extra blanket.
  20. Admitting you were wrong is adult AF. And contrary to what multi-Grammy Award-winning artist and cocreator of the virtual DJ battle series Verzuz Timbaland would have you believe, it’s never too late to apologize.
  21. A decent vacuum cleaner is a friend for life, and a cordless hand-held will do in a pinch. I love my Shark WANDVAC more than most people love their children.
  22. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Knowledge is power, but so is knowing your limits.
  23. If you find yourself on the wrong end of a case of hemorrhoids and you’re embarrassed to post up to the counter at CVS with a butt pillow, it turns out that a child-sized inflatable inner tube works equally well and nobody will be the wiser.

Just trust me on that last one, kids. And good luck out there! I’m rooting for you, even if certain space-traveling billionaires clearly are not.

GROW THE F*CK UP by Sarah Knight. Available from Little, Brown and Company

Grab a copy of Grow the F*ck Up for the grad in your life from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bookshop.org, Target, or wherever you buy awesome books. Also available in Canada, the UK, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand.

The No F*cks Given Guides

If you liked what you read, I think you’ll enjoy my Substack: No F*cks Given ® with Sarah Knight. As of October 2023, that’s where all my new stuff is published. You can subscribe HERE!

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sarah knight

New York Times bestselling author of sweary self-help | Find me on Substack: https://sarahknightauthor.substack.com