This is a reader submission for our Big Girl Badge week. Tell us how you evolved from woman-child to woman, and you could win hundreds of dollars of prizes! (Send your 800 word submissions to Jennifer [at] or Ashley [at] 

I graduated this May from Berkeley and found myself jobless, close to penniless, and living at home. I was stuck in a rut and didn’t know how to get out! Being at home made me feel like I was seventeen again- I didn’t have the freedom I was so used to in college and the last time I lived at home in high school. Being jobless made me feel like a slob- well the lack of a job and the fact that I would lay around in sweats all day watching reruns of Teen Mom (which was actually kind of motivating). Being broke just plain sucked! I didn’t know what I was doing with myself and I didn’t like it. I decided I needed to get out of the house and kick-start my life.

That’s when I decided that I wanted to move to San Francisco. I felt like the people there were so professional and motivated. I wanted some of that energy and I wanted to be like them! I figured that I’d shoot for working at a law firm since that was kinda the only job I was well qualified for. I got on the computer and emailed tons of law firms, even those that didn’t have job openings listed. I must have emailed 25 firms before hearing anything and I’m pretty sure a lot of those places probably got sick of my follow up emails, but it was my goal to get out and nothing was going to stop me.

Eventually I got an interview and got a job offer at a law firm in San Francisco. This was huge. I was officially going to move out of the house and live on my own. It was actually at this point when I realized that pretty soon I wasn’t going to be a little girl anymore, hell I wasn’t even becoming a young lady, I was becoming a woman.

The next struggle was actually finding a place to live. Easier said than done. I slowly came to learn that it is easier to get a job in San Francisco than it is to find a place to live- which is saying a lot when you consider the state of our economy. I got really lucky though and found a room in an apartment with 2 strangers. Oh did I mention they were guys? So not only did I have to enter the real world now but I had to become a woman in a place with 2 guys.

I made the trek to my new home with my parents who lovingly helped me move. When they got into their car to drive home I realized that this was IT. This was the start of everything. This was the start of managing bills, paying for food, commuting to work, sitting in an office, cooking (oh no)- this was really it. And it was different from college. I actually had some serious responsibilities. Gone were the days of being hungover on Friday. It was time to get serious.

This was all about three months ago and I am proud to say that I am still on my own and not living at home.

I have yet to starve, lose my job, or get mugged so everything seems to be going well. This is the first time that I haven’t had the safety net of my parents, and the first time that I haven’t lived close to friends. I’m learning a lot about myself and this crazy thing called being an adult. I actually really enjoy it. I’m in control of my own life and although it can be scary being independent (especially at night on the bus) it is a really good feeling to know that I can do it. Which is good because I’m planning on doing it for a lot longer.