Hello, there.

Being an adult is like folding a fitted sheet. No one entirely knows how to do it.

Yikes. Adulting is hard. And the fact that no one entirely knows what they’re doing can seem kind of ridiculous yet oddly comforting.

But here’s the best part: we each know a little something about being an adult. And together, we can help each other adult so hard.

Here I’ll be writing about everything no one ever told you about adulting. Get ready for major life hacks and advice from the “real” adults. We’ll cover tips for college students, career advice, life hacks, and everything in between.

What won’t we cover? The mitochondria is the powerhouse of the cell. Because for some reason that was more important to learn in our pre-adult years than real adult advice.

I’m Jackie. Here’s my ever-evolving self user guide to young professionalism.

 

I’m Jackie Kranenburg.

They told me “No.” They told me “it can’t be done,” so I became the first.

Freshman year I had moved to a new high school and learned what it was like to crave community. I was the new kid, and I was lost. My AP English teacher, invited me to audition for a play but getting seeing my name up on the cast list wasn’t the reward. The reward was belonging. I was part of a community.

The Arts had changed my life, and so I devoted my life to the Arts to change other people’s lives.

When I was a sophomore, I heard of a Junior Leadership Board for the nonprofit The Educational Theatre Association. People told me to wait until I was a junior. But I ran and was accepted. On the board, I taught workshops at 23 conferences in 13 different states. I was selected to lobby for arts education in Washington D.C.. I was the first high schooler invited to attend. The following year, nearly 20 high school students joined me.

Freshman year of college I left my small town for Chicago. I had been accepted into a rigorous Theatre Management program with a 7% acceptance rate. An acceptance I had been told I would not get. I was told it was a mistake. But I left for Chicago, and it was one of the best decisions I made.

In college, I juggled several internships in addition to classes and work. It was during my internships were I fell in love with mission-oriented marketing. I accessibility programming at The Theatre School and Chicago Children’s Theatre. I worked in marketing and public relations at Chicago Shakespeare Theater then assisted Cathy Taylor, a theatre publicist.

While still in college I started full-time work as the Director of Marketing for Drury Lane. I was a junior at the time. I again I was told that I shouldn’t have applied for the job, that I was in way over my head, that I didn’t deserve the position. I proved them wrong.

I am a fierce advocate for the arts and community. And if I need to ignore the naysayers or become the first to follow my passions, I will do so willingly. I’m knocking on doors and making paths for myself. I’m earnestly learning as I go and yearning to help others do the same.