“Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse: One Twentysomething’s (Mostly Failed) Attempts at Adulthood” by Alida Nugent (2013)
Genre: Nonfction, Humor, Essays, Memoir
Page Length: 208 pages (paperback edition)
Alida Nugent graduated college with a degree in one hand and a drink in the other, eager to trade in parties and all-nighters for “the real world.” But post-grad wasn’t the glam life she imagined. Soon buried under a pile of bills, laundry, and three-dollar bottles of wine, it quickly became clear that she had no idea what she was doing. But hey, what twentysomething does?
In Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse, Nugent shares what it takes to make the awkward leap from undergrad to “mature and responsible adult that definitely never eats peanut butter straight from the jar and considers it a meal.” From trying to find an apartment on the black hole otherwise known as Craigslist to the creative maneuvering needed to pay off student loans and still enjoy happy hour, Nugent documents the formative moments of being a twentysomething with a little bit of snark and a lot of heart. Based on her popular Tumblr blog The Frenemy, Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse is a love note to boozin’, bitchin’ ladies everywhere. (description from Goodreads)
Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse is the second novel I’ve read by Nugent. Her other novel You Don’t Have to Like Me focuses on feminism, whereas this book focuses on life after college and navigating your twenties. Since I’m the age range this book is directed to, I decided to pick it up and found I could relate to Nugent’s words and so will many other readers.
In th book, Alida shares snippets from her life and how she struggled with moving back home after college and working hard to move to a new city, on top of finding her “true passion” in her life. I felt that most readers will see themselves in these incidences because feeling stuck and navigating your life happens at any age.
She accurately describes the feeling of adulthood kicking in right after graduating college and how hard it is to block out FOMO (fear of missing out) from social media. It’s sometimes hard to ignore when you see everyone doing exciting things and getting out there in the world, while you’re “left behind” in a sense. However, on the other hand, it is often said that people show you want they want you to see on social media so in reality they could be struggling too,
Alida’s tone/voice in this novel is candid and funny. She makes her audience laugh out loud while also being clear enough to get her points across (without being too wordy either). Some of the topics in the book include: the tedious and painful process of filling out CV/resumes, budgeting (spending money on needed things not junk), relationships, and moving into your own place. Another issue that she discusses is that the heavyweight that you carry emotionally and physically as a “young adult”.
The twenties are a crazy time in one’s life. Soon as you graduate you’re thrown into the real world. Some days are good and others are horrible, but we have to push through them. Alida’s experience makes the reader feel that you’re not alone and reminds her audience that self-care is very important. Her overall message is to not get lost in the chaos and take life one day at a time.
Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse is a great set of mini essays that is clearly laid out and has focused points, but compared to her other novel You Don’t Have to Like Me it lacks some spice and it gets a tad repetitive at times.