YouTube Star Arden Rose Gets Real About Growing Up
To anyone who's seen Arden Rose's thousands of obsessively watched YouTube videos, it'll come as no surprise that the 21-year-old is full of the kind of wise advice that somehow makes you feel both less alone and inspired to be yourself. There's a reason a million and a half people subscribe to her channel, and now she's translated that same canny, candid take on the world into a must-read life guide-slash-memoir called Almost Adulting: All You Need to Know to Get It Together (Sort Of). We talked to the social media star turned author about what it was like to come of age in the YouTube generation and why growing up actually isn't the worst.
What's one of the hardest life lessons you've learned?
I had to learn to stop being such a sensitive pansy all the time. I use the word pansy because much like the flower, I would let people trample all over me constantly without ever standing up for myself. Now I'm better at saying no, but I remember getting teary eyed every time I thought I was disappointing someone. Even a complete stranger that I had no emotional connection to. I think it must have been all that southern hospitality I had drilled into me during my youth. I'm so glad that I give waaaaay less of a shit now.
One of your most important tips is to be your own best friend and to treat yourself with kindness. But sometimes it's hard to treat yourself with kindness! How do you put an end to self-loathing?
Self-love is a daily journey. Normally I would roll my eyes at a statement like that, but it's true. If you don't make a daily decision to appreciate yourself or take care of yourself, you end up putting your mental health on the back burner. Pay attention to how you're feeling, and stand up for those feelings. It's easy for one side of your brain to scream at you that you're never doing enough, or you deserve to feel miserable, but that's just not true! That side of your brain is stupid and mean. Let the positive half of your brain take over, and give yourself a mental rest at least for 10 to 20 minutes a day. If you need to just sit and stare at a wall, do it! You need a break. Even if you don't feel like you do.
You talk so candidly about mental health and OCD. Do you have any advice for girls coming to terms with their own ~mental stuff~ whether it's depression, anxiety, or just good ol' blues?
When I started seeing it as something unique about myself rather than a burden, my OCD didn't scare me so much. Obviously my OCD isn't a positive thing, but it also doesn't have to be a crushingly negative thing. It can just be something that I deal with. And that's cool. I've learned that talking about it isn't whiny or obnoxious as long as I'm genuinely talking about it to feel better. And I've also learned that no one has the responsibility to be your therapist unless they're getting paid to be your therapist. If you really want an unbiased opinion that won't affect your personal life in any way, talk to a therapist rather than your best friend or boyfriend. Obviously it's good to let your family and friends know when you're feeling good or bad, but don't place an insane burden on them to perform a service that they didn't necessarily sign up for.
You also speak candidly about sex! Lots of girls feel a certain amount of shame about it. How did you get past that?
I moved away from a small town and everything got way less stressful! Hahaha but seriously, my sexuality was a big ol' terrifying idea when I was younger. When I realized how little sex mattered (if you're being careful and safe) I stopped thinking about it as such a huge deal. Once that settled in I realized that being educated about sex was more important that steering clear of the topic entirely. Too many young people get themselves in compromising situations because they're embarrassed or scared to address their sexuality, and I think that's sad. It's time to be open people! Educating yourself can only ever be a good thing! That's why I felt it necessary to give a very honest sex chat in the book.
What, in your opinion, is the *best* thing about being an adult?
Being able to grab a night snack while naked in your apartment. I love living on my own.
And the worst?
Making your own sleep schedule. You inevitably screw yourself over and never get enough sleep for the first year of living on your own.