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Drawn to the Challenge

Math Staffer Creates Web Comic on “Adulting”

By Daniel Oyefusi '19

"Fundamentals of Adulting"

Web comic by Stephanie Padgett

Web comic by Stephanie Padgett

From failed attempts to balance her checkbook to long trips to the Department of Motor Vehicles to life-or-death encounters with large insects, Stephanie Padgett has already had her share of “adulting.” 

The new coordinator in the Department of Mathematics, 31, counts years of experience in the millennial concept, in which twenty-somethings tackle tasks essential to being a grown-up, such as paying bills or completing tax returns. The noun-turned-verb buzzword is a popular social media meme, as posters stamp their achievements of the most routine tasks with “#Adulting.”Padgett

She’s encapsulating those experiences in a weekly web comic called “Fundamentals of Adulting,” which became available in March on Webtoons, a digital comics service platform. 

“Becoming an adult is hard,” Padgett says. “And not hard as in it is challenging. It’s hard like you don’t know what you’re doing. Putting together a dresser or filing cabinet is not that hard. But when it comes to taking care of more important things like your finances, your 401k, saving money and trying to eliminate debt, that’s when it can get challenging.”

Padgett grew up with a love of comics and drawing—“Calvin and Hobbes,” “Peanuts,” “The Boondocks” (by fellow Terp Aaron McGruder ’98) —and majored in graphic design at Bowie State University. She has been a freelance children’s book designer and illustrator for four years, and joined the math department in January.

Padgett hopes readers of her comic find an adulting victory or failure that they can empathize with.

“I’m not making myself to be the perfect alpha female,” Padgett says. “I will fall on my face. I will fail. I will succeed.”



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