1. When my student loans went into repayment.
I remember receiving a letter in the mail shortly before graduation. It told me the date that my loans would enter repayment and the estimated amount I was expected to pay monthly. That was pretty much the moment I realized that I didn't really want to graduate. I could do three more years of law school. It wasn't that hard. The five months following graduation flew. Hands down the fastest five months of my life. It was around that time that I received another letter. This time it had the definitive amount that I was expected to pay the following month. Major spoiler alert: It was significantly higher than the estimated amount. Like, soul-crushingly higher. That's when I knew adulting was going to be harder than I had originally anticipated.
2. When "interest" was explained to me.
Well, obviously I thought that amount was a mistake. Right? How could it possibly be correct? I mean, there was no way they expected me, a new grad, to pay such an egregious amount on a monthly basis. Like, I'm not part of the 1%. I have never been featured on "Rich Kids of Instagram." So I called and said "customer representative" exactly 12,000 times until I was connected to an actual human being. After reviewing my (extremely) variable interest rates, that actual human being said, and I quote, "oooh... yea you got these at a bad time..." Major shout out to the beginning of our country's 2008 economic crisis. I believe my exact response to the amount I had accumulated in interest alone was: "Well... that escalated quickly."
3. When I had to deal with my first sh*tty boss.
I have always loved my bosses throughout college and law school. Then I started working for a man so vile it's likely Satan himself shat him out and released him with specific instructions to torture good, hardworking people like myself. Conjure up any negative, horrible, general stereotype that's ever been assigned to lawyers and you've pretty much described my ex-boss. Being in this situation was a huge shock and an even bigger learning experience.
I learned that not all bosses want the best for you, some won't even like you, and if they're talking shit to you about their other employees then they're probably also talking shit about you. But I think the most valuable thing I learned while working for this gremlin was how to write a wonderfully petty resignation letter.
4. When I saw how much in taxes was taken from my first "big girl" paycheck.
I remember exactly when it happened: January 2016. I opened my laptop and logged into my company site to view my first "big girl" paycheck. Don't get me wrong, the amount I was receiving was more than I have ever been paid in my life. But it was also a lot less than I was expecting. I asked my (very Republican) boyfriend why my pay was so much less than I thought it would be. Wage inequality? Is this because I'm a woman? He excitedly jumped on the opportunity to mock my political stance, while pointing to the federal income tax, state tax, social security, and Medicare deductions that were arranged so neatly on my electronic pay stub. IDC, IDC, team #democrat 'til I die (of starvation, probably).
5. When I got my first flat tire.
Most people have probably experienced this much earlier in their life. However, I got my first flat tire a month ago. While on the side of the Mass Pike, I learned:
- I did not have Roadside Assistance (note the past tense).
- I only have half of a jack in my trunk.
- Knowing how to change a tire in theory is, in fact, not the same as trying to change one in real life.
- And the Mass DOT will change your tire for free. Major shout out to the Mass DOT.
- Bonus: #3 is especially true when you're attempting to do so with half a jack.
6. When I had to choose health insurance.
There probably should have been some sort of a key that breaks down all the acronyms that were used. I'm still not sure about any of the decisions I made that day. Due to this, I have just been using my parents' health insurance. But no worries, I have a solid plan for when I can no longer rely on my parents. I have decided that I will not get sick. So that should take care of that. #20DaysTilIAmKickedOffMyParentsInsurance
7. The first time I filed my taxes.
The first time I filed my taxes on my own was quite the experience. Here are a few thoughts I had during the process:
- So what, you're telling me I have to be married and have kids to get any type of serious tax break? I am a strong, intelligent, independent woman raising two cats on my own.
- Man, we didn't leave England for this!
- Why are you even worried about the money I'm making? It's my money!
- Am I doing this math right?
- Wait... how do I only get $56 back?! I have to pay $40 for TurboTax!
- I must have done the math wrong.
- *opens new internet tab* What can I get from Forever21 for $16?...