April 14, 2014

Book Review: Don't Worry, It Gets Worse

the book Don't Worry, It Get's Worse: one twenty something's (mostly failed attempts at adulthood

the author Alida Nugent, author of the The Frenemy blog

The moment I read the title I knew I had to read this book, because well, let's face it, I feel like I am in the same boat. And from the first paragraph I knew I had found a kindred spirit as she talked about the awkward transition from college to life to "adulthood."

She asks, "Does your college degree hang over your head like a rain cloud made of student loans, false hopes, and rapidly fading dreams?"
Well, yes. I majored in Fine Art.
"Is feeling enormous panic when you think about your life a normal everyday occurrence?"
Um, absolutely.

And from that introduction onward, I loved every piece of this book and her entirely relatable experiences as a young adult trying to follow a freelance career path. Doctors, engineers, lawyers, they have it easy. They may complain about the schooling and workload, but when they finish school, they have a tidy little niche to fit into, whereas the artists, musicians, writers, we are left flailing.

After spending two weeks getting rejected from jobs a high-schooler can land, I had to laugh at her joke about secretarial jobs requiring sixteen years experience. I laughed at her yoga experience, her online dating, and about being h-angry: "I was in a bad mood because I was hungry, which is pretty much the only excuse both a baby and an adult can make."

But through all the dry one-liners and depressed comedy, I was also inspired. One chapter was dedicated to the graduation speech she thinks all college grads should hear.

"Hold onto hope. You are here because you want to do something important. Don't become stagnant because, even if you are working at a fry station. The worst thing you can do with your life is become stagnant. You will work harder now than ever before because you have to work with fear. Staying up all night working on a paper has nothing on staying up all night wondering if you will run out of money. But the fear makes things more fun. Get ready to make a contribution. Don't lie there on your couch and fester. Take what you love, and try to mark your headstone with something like 'I was here. I did SOMETHING.'"