Ten ways to convince your relos you’ve got your shit together (when you most definitely don’t)
Between lectures, homework and defending your varsity beer pong ranking, life at uni can be a tough beat. And though their intentions might be good, the last thing you need is nosy relatives showing “concern”.
If you want to avoid the grim affair of the “serious conversation”, it’s important you show your relatives you’re a grown, responsible adult. How?
By faking the shit out of it, that’s how.
Frame a hand-written motivational message
If internet lifestyle blogs have taught me anything, it’s that an essential part of being an adult is hanging single words in picture-frames around your house. Maybe if your folks see “Persistence” framed above your desk in elegant cursive, they’ll be less likely to notice the stack of unfiled Medicare cheques festering on top of it.
Brush up on financial lingo
You don’t have to speak too cogently about finance to impress people. Just drop some universal truths – like how the Australian rental market is basically a living horror story – and you’ll be fine. Maybe throw in an opinion on bracket creep for good measure.
Complain about the price of coffee grinders
As any sophisticated individual worth their quinoa knows, the number of gadgets that go into making a cup of coffee is the sole determinant of its quality. And nothing says “independence” like fretting over your morning bean-water.
Own a pair of shoes not made by Nike or Converse
Mature people don’t walk around in graffitied All-Stars or multi-coloured Air Jordans, and neither should you.
Get yourself some big-people shoes, like chukka boots, or plimsolls, or espadrilles. Or – how do you pronounce this – brogues? That’s got to mean something.
Forget glasses – real people drink from flutes
Who drinks champagne from a water glass? Filthy peasants and third-rate pimps, that’s who.
When consuming any liquor that came from a grape, your vessel of choice should be thin, delicate, and so tall that the only way to access the liquid within is to throw your head back and hope to God the alcohol numbs your vertebrae.
Take selfies outside, preferably with a dog
Whether you stay outside or even own the dog is irrelevant. Just show your Facebook-savvy relatives that you’re a healthy, adventurous person – i.e. you own a minimal amount of activewear and can successfully pat a dog.
Stock your bedroom with books from an op-shop
The older and duller, the better. When your parents see A History of British Aqueducts on your shelf, they’ll know you’ve become a scholar in spirit, and not just showing in your bank balance.
Refer to your S/O as your “partner”
Saying you have a “boyfriend” or “girlfriend” impresses no one. In fact, it makes your relationship sound little more than a UDL-soaked fondle-fest behind an unlocked rumpus room door.
Even if you’ve only been dating someone a few weeks, stick with the ambiguous term “partner” in front of your familials. It practically reeks of respectful courtship and joint checking accounts, and the word’s very vagueness will give a sheen of maturity to what could in truth be a prolonged exchange of X-rated Snapchats.
Upgrade your words
In the spirit of my previous point, you could probably stand to substitute some other common terms as well; expanding your vocabulary is a great way to give the impression that you own and use at least one placemat. The method for doing so is simple: just swap all of your regular descriptors for words you would usually find in a movie review.
For example, that customer at your work was not being “a bitch,” she was being abrasive. That rambling maniac on the train was not “batshit crazy,” he was avant-garde. And your mate’s mate Davo is not “a drug-fucked shit-stirrer”, he has a proclivity for melodrama and feel-good entertainment.
Decant your liquor
Only bums and middle-schoolers drink alcohol from the bottle it came in. Serious people transfer their poison to a different bottle entirely before pouring it into a glass.
It’s called being an adult.
Business major, journalism minor and freelance writer, Joel pretends to be clever at La Trobe University.