Lizzie Post’s book How Do You Work This Life Thing? is all about navigating life when you’re in college or starting out on your own. So just how do you work this life thing? With people skills and good communication, for a start. How good are yours? Take Lizzie’s quiz! Grab a pencil and keep track of your answers. You’ll add up your points at the end to learn your total score.

1. Your roommate has asked to borrow your much cherished strapless cream brocade dress to wear to her boyfriend’s Greek formal. You don’t want to so you:
  1. Blurt out “Hahahahah! Are you kidding? Have you seen how they party? I’m not letting my dress within a block of that event.”
  2. Take a doormat position when she starts begging, kiss your dress goodbye and hold an evening of silence to mourn while she parties in it.
  3. Say, “No. I’m sorry but if something were to happen to it I’d rather it be my fault than anyone else’s.  Thanks for understanding.”
2. You just had a great interview with a magazine company you’ve been dying to work for. The first thing you do when you get home is:
  1. Call up the guys… it’s time to celebrate!
  2. Smooch your girlfriend (or S.O.) and make dinner reservations.
  3. Write a thank-you note to the interviewer for taking the time to meet with you.
3. It’s week two at your new job and you’re just getting to know everyone well enough to know who to stay away from and who you can talk to. Sure enough you and five co-workers have a big meeting with your superiors today, and Tracy, Miss “I-Know-Everything-Don’t-Tell-Me-Anything” has a large booger hanging out of her nostril. As comical as it is, you:
  1. Pull Tracy aside and say “I’d want to know if this was happening to me, so here goes: You have a booger. Here’s a tissue.”
  2. Laugh with the rest of them till Tracy gets nervous and botches the whole meeting because she has a mental breakdown.
  3. Decide it won’t look as bad if she’s not the only one and make a booger hang out of your nose, too.

4. You get an invite to your cousin’s wedding and you notice that there is no “and guest” next to your name. Seeing as you’ve been dating the same person for three years, you’re pretty insulted. You:
  1. Call your cousin crying about how insensitive she’s being and that if she didn’t like John she should just say so rather than being so cruel.
  2. Mention it to your parents to see if they think it was just an oversight. And when you find out it wasn’t, show up without him and smile.
  3. Show up with him.
5. You have two roommates and have lived together for one month. The apartment is a disaster. To instigate change you:
  1. Clean up after yourself, even though the house isn’t clean, you know it’s not you that’s the problem.
  2. Discuss ideas with your roommates for what would be realistic and reasonable cleaning strategies.
  3. Don’t say anything because you know the answer will be “It’s not all my fault!”
6. You’re at the gym and have been waiting for an elliptical machine to free up. A very sweaty man wipes his forehead and slows down, he coughs a few times and gets off. You don’t see him coming back with a rag to clean off the machine. You:
  1. Chase him down and say “Excuse me, sir, you didn’t wipe down your machine and I saw you sweating and coughing on it.”
  2. Pass on the machine and wait for a sanitary one to free up.
  3. Get a rag, wipe the machine down yourself and then mention to the staff that you think a few flyers reminding people to wipe down machines might be effective.
7. You’re on a date and it’s not going well, but she is a nice girl. You’re just not interested. When it’s time to say goodbye you:
  1. Tell her you had a nice time but you just don’t feel the chemistry and would it be alright to just be friends.
  2. Kiss her goodnight, say you’ll call and then never make contact again.
  3. Get up in the middle of dinner and run for your life.

8. Your roommate is having sex very loudly you:
  1. Bang on the wall until the noises stop.
  2. Turn on the TV, the stereo and start playing the trombone you haven’t picked up since 6th grade.
  3. Put in some earplugs, and when the girl is gone, tell your roommate you need to talk about what to do when the situation happens again.
9. You go out to eat with friends. Being on diets, you and your girlfriend decide to order appetizers for your meals. And you skip out on drinks. Your friends order entrées and a bottle of wine. When the bill comes your pal says, “Let’s split it.” You:
  1. Tell him that normally you’d be up for it but tonight you and your girl kept it light, so why not divvy up by who ordered what and pay that way.
  2. Pay half the tab and never eat with them again.
  3. Give a disgusted look, slam your eighty bucks down, and walk out without a word.
10. Your neighbor throws a party every Thursday night. And while you’re not old, you do work a nine-to-five, Monday-to-Friday job, and don’t want to keep showing up for Friday meetings looking tired and out of it. So you:
  1. Leave a note inviting them over, or stop by at an appropriate time, to discuss the problem at hand. Saying things like “I really want you guys to be able to live how you want to live…” and “I think we can make this work for both of us…”
  2. Start calling the cops every Thursday night.
  3. Hire a hit man to take them all out.

Answer Key

Add up all of your points to get your total score and find out how you rate!

Question 1: A = 2 points, B = 1 point, C = 3 points

Question 2: A = 1, B = 2, C = 3

Question 3: A = 3, B = 2, C = 1

Question 4: A = 2, B = 3, C = 1

Question 5: A = 2, B = 3, C = 1

Question 6: A = 2, B = 1, C = 3

Question 7: A = 3, B = 2, C = 1

Question 8: A = 2, B = 1, C = 3

Question 9: A = 3, B = 2, C = 1

Question 10: A = 3, B = 2, C = 1


Use the total you just calculated to see if you know how to work this life thing!

10-18 Points

Ever seen the movie Clueless? Because you are! You need major help learning how to deal with the people in your life and their actions. Stop being a doormat, and stand up for yourself. Have no fear, my book is here! How Do You Work This Life Thing? will help you master the important “3Cs”: communication, compromise and commitment.

19-24 Points

Newsflash: It’s not all about you! It’s good to state your opinion—you’re not afraid to tell it like it is—but man, it’s time to hone your communication skills. You get it right on occasion, but you still need the book!

25-30 Points

How’d you get an advance copy? Congratulations! You’re pretty good at communicating your thoughts. You understand that by doing it with a little tact, honesty and understanding you can handle any situation with grace and style. Now go tell your friends that you rock—and that they need to buy the book!