Adulting isn’t easy, one minute you are navigating through high school and the next minute you are stepping into adulthood. Suddenly you have to start being responsible. Learn how to mange your finances and fine tune major life skills such as learning how to cook. This week on the blog, I will be reviewing the book The Girl’s Guide to Conquering Life by Erica and Jonathan Catherman.
About The Girl’s Guide To Conquering Life:
There’s a lot a girl needs to know as she grows up and makes her way in the world. Having a reference guide of practical how-to life skills and character traits can empower her to become a confident and capable woman. Coauthors Erica and Jonathan Catherman offer this collection of step-by-step instructions on 100 things girls need to succeed, including how to:
– introduce yourself
– change a flat tire
– respectfully break up with a guy
– leave a tip
– apply for a job
– ask for a promotion
– behave during a police stop
– create a personal budget
– calculate square footage
– wash your face
– clear a clogged drain
– iron a shirt
– wear a scarf
– shoot a basketball
– sharpen kitchen knives
– and much more
In fact, if it’s in here, it’s an important skill or character trait practiced by capable and confident women. With great illustrations and sidebars of advice from world-class experts, this all-in-one reference tool for young women in the making is the perfect gift for birthdays, graduations, or any occasion.
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Why I chose this book
When I originally came across the book, The Girls Guide to Conquering Life, I was rather excited. Finally a book about adulting. For a while now, I have been looking for a book that caters to college-aged students / young adults stepping into adulthood, trying to figure things out, pave their own paths and make a name for themselves. Adulting isn’t easy so, when I came across this book, I eagerly agreed to do a book review. Weeks later, the book arrived in my inbox. Excitedly with some Chocolate Chai tea in hand, I sat down to read.
One of the first cords that struck with me when I first picked up this book was how different cultures celebrated the transition from girlhood to womanhood. In the US, adulthood is recognized at 18, in the UK the magic number is 16. In Japan or New Zealand, you will have to wait until you turn 20 while in Zambia you are lawfully an adult at the age of 21.
Just as the legal age differs, so does the traditions. You might be familiar with a Quinceanera party. This is usually celebrated in Central and South America. It is usually referred to as a coming of age party. Baptismal vows are renewed and a party is usually hosted which includes family and friends. They do something similar in Japan known as Seijin no Ho. Once again, the girls dress up in their finest attire and celebrate with friends and family and are showered with gifts.
The tradition that really peaked my interest was the “period party” which is celebrated in some cultures and otherwise known as a First Moon Party. This is where moms eagerly anticipate “Aunt Flo” arriving for their daughters for the first time. They then throw an elaborate party to celebrate the early stages of their daughter stepping into womanhood. I can’t really imagine wanting to celebrate the onset of my first period yet alone having my friends and family there celebrating, but just by searching online, you will quickly realize that this is actually a thing.
The first food for thought that the author gives you in this book, is that it is important to become friends with oneself first as it sets the premise for future relationships. The author encourages girls to spend some alone time and figure out what their goals are, their priorities, as well as their beliefs and values before stepping into a dating relationship. This personal reflection time helps them to discover what is really important to them. You can start off by taking the following personality test. It takes around 12 minutes and can give you an overview of your personality type to get you started. I have an ISFJ (Defender) personality type by the way. As per my test results, “Defenders have excellent analytical abilities; though reserved, they have well-developed people skills and robust social relationships; and though they are generally a conservative type, Defenders are often receptive to change and new ideas.”
Now back to the book, if you are looking for a book that’s going to shed some tremendous insights on conquering life, a term more commonly referred to as “adulting” by millennial’s, this isn’t that book. I would have loved if the author had shared experiences and then weaved that story into the step by step instructions on executing a particular skill. This was more of a reference book or rather a “how to guide” in its simplest form. Think how to wash your hair or how to wash your face simplistic. For a book published by a christian publisher, I was also expecting it to include some spiritual content, but it didn’t. The content of the book included topics such as:
- Guys & Dating
- Social Skills & Manners
- Work & Ethics
- Wealth & Money Management
- Health & Beauty
- Clothes & Fashion
- Sports & Recreation
- Cars & Driving
- Tools & Fix-it
Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a bad book, but for someone who already knows how to do these common life skills, it will seem pretty simplistic. Some of my favorite chapters from the book were: Cars and Driving ( always remember the red goes on before the black when jump starting a dead battery), Clothes & Fashion (now I know how to find my perfect bra size without the help of an in store sales associate) and Food & Clothing.
One of the most helpful skills that I came across in this book that I think most females should know was how to change a tire. It can come in very handy should you ever get a flat tire in the middle of no where. Instead of being a damsel in distress, you can be resourceful and equipped with the skill to change your own tire.
Each life skill mentioned was covered in roughly three pages. The directions were short enough and easy to follow and understand and included shorts nuggets at the end of each skill. Some of the skills highlighted are skills which you are likely to have honed and learned over the years growing up such as how to wash your face.There were more advanced life skills which were discussed such as how to change your tires or how to jump start a dead battery which I think everybody could stand to benefit from knowing. Overall a pretty handy book, which is likely to prove useful as you encounter some of these activities in everyday life.
I think this book would be a fun bucket list activity for teens. They could make their way through each of the skills listed in the book, take fun photos along the way to document the process and then upon completion have a coming of age party. A fun way for parents to reinforce a few of these life skills that they may or may not have taught their children over the years.
Would I Recommend
This certainly isn’t a book for everyone, but you can definitely find helpful tidbits and will at times question what you thought you knew about doing a particular skill. This book is a good reference for teaching common life skills. I would recommend The Girls Guide to Conquering life as a gift for tweens, teenagers or a female just headed off to college.