What’s true for one isn’t true for all, but it seems pretty clear that life in 2018 just isn’t going the way many of us Millennials had planned. There’s a guy running our country who most Millennials didn’t vote for or expect to win, and, well, as a result, a lot of stuff isn’t panning out the way we thought it would. So, if 2017 was about melting our Millennial snowflake exteriors, what’s 2018 about?


Make fun of Millennials all you want, but we’re experts at two things: one, making the best of a crappy situation (Great Recession, anyone?). And two, making our voices heard. So, fellow Millennials, along those lines, here’s a how-to guide for surviving some of the big-ticket items of 2018. Look at it as a “choose your own adventure novel,” if you will. You know you like those.


How To Invest Your Tax Savings

Look, I am not going to tell you how I feel about politics other than to tell you that I’m an independent moderate (which, as one friend consistently likes to tell me “means you’re nothing”). But what I will tell you as an observation is that a lot of Millennials are pissed about the political climate in this country. In fact, this is so much the case that a November poll by CBS News and GenForward, a project by the University of Chicago, found that 71% of Millennials think we need a third political party. Why do you think that is? Because we’re so happy with how things are going?


1. Turn your pocket change into actual change. Discontented Millennials, change may take time, but you know what you’re going to see sooner than the political changing of the guard that you’re longing for? More money in your pocket, thanks to tax reform. And there’s one significant and very American way to support the causes you care about: throw money at them. There may not be an election going on, but you can still vote with your wallet. Donate to organizations that support your causes, or to the politicians who intend to effect the change you want to see.


2. Alternatively, if you are happy with the way things are or would rather just hang on to your dough than give it away, you can put it in your savings account, 401K or Roth IRA. If you don’t have one of those, you’re behind the curve: a few reports released last year found that Millennials are out-saving other generations. In fact, a Bank of America Merrill Lynch study found that 82% of Millennials are investing in retirement savings accounts. So if you haven’t already, get on that.


How To Prep For Impending Nuclear War

When Hawaii starts testing out its rusty old nuclear missile sirens (or, ahem, accidentally setting them off) and the Center for Disease Control begins planning a forum to prepare citizens for nuclear fallout, you might start to wonder if there is cause for concern – you know, if the Twitter spat about whose button is bigger between the leader of the free world and a nuke-happy dictator didn’t already make you a little queasy.


1. Build a fallout shelter. In case you haven’t noticed, we’re not really a fan of basements or underground dwellings here in California. They just make for places for our buildings to crumble into when the earth shakes. Thus, we don’t really have anywhere to hide in the event that a big ol’ nuke gets dropped on our heads. But I have a tip if that day ever comes when your phone, instead of buzzing with an Amber Alert, alerts you to duck and cover. Here’s what you do. Take a little stroll down your street. You see that house? There’s one on every street. It’s the one with the owner who never opens his curtains. You know the guy. His house hasn’t been painted in 20 years. He doesn’t mow his crusted-over lawn that doubles as a parking space for his rusted-out pick-up truck. And he only occasionally comes outside to clang around in his backyard while swearing under his breath. That’s the guy you’re gonna go to when the North Koreans get trigger happy. I guarantee you he either has a fallout shelter or the blueprints on how to build one. Don’t believe me? I had one of those guys on my street as a kid. And it turned out he’d buried dynamite in his backyard for safekeeping. So, if anybody’s going to have a secret fallout shelter, it is, in fact, that guy. You’re welcome.


2. Learn Korean. This is a choice for the Millennial pragmatists who like to prepare for futures uncertain. In the highly unlikely event that North Korea were to win a war with us, this could perhaps prove to be a wise move. But if you didn’t also take my advice about the guy down the street, learning Korean is probably not going to do you much good.


How To Live In A World Where You Can’t Take Advantage Of Women

Hi. Are you a Millennial man who is now afraid to look women in the face for fear of being accused of misconduct? I get it, really. If the stories brought to light by the #MeToo movement are any indication, it turns out the society you grew up in had a pretty strong penchant for turning a blind eye to sexism and sexual harassment – so much so that there may be some things you don’t realize are inappropriate. So here are some things you can do to not be one of “those guys.” Simmer down, take a deep breath, and repeat after me.


1. Don’t be a jerk.


Actually, that’s it. How-to guide, complete. Again: You’re welcome.


(Samantha Mehlinger may be reached at samantha_mehlinger@lbbj.com. She welcomes comments and suggestions for Millennial Pulse articles.)