Courtesy Rachel Hutton and Christina Amini

So you're technically an adult, but nothing in your life looks quite like you expected. For most, this is a life phase. For Christina Amini and Rachel Hutton, both ’99, it became a project. After quitting their 9-to-5 jobs, they began Before the Mortgage, a small zine containing essays from young writers about bad dates, bad apartments, those not-so-killer first jobs, and everything else that can happen “post-college” but “pre-picket fence.” Five issues later, the pair has assembled a book, Before the Mortgage: Real Stories of Brazen Loves, Broken Leases, and the Perplexing Pursuit of Adulthood (Simon Spotlight Entertainment, 2006).

Among the contributors are Sarah Eisenstein, ’99, Carson Brown, ’98, Jordan Harrison, ’99, and Joel Stein, ’93, MA ’94. Between the cockroaches and the trauma of hosting your first holiday gathering, Hutton and Amini hope readers will find something familiar in this book. “We’re redefining what it means to be grown up,” Hutton says.