1. You miss college.
Anyone who was lucky enough to attend college has learned at least one thing: how lucky they were to attend college. I know that describing my college years as “the best years of my life” sounds cliché, but clichés exist for a reason. When there aren’t enough words in the English language to describe how you feel, turn to a cliché. They work. Plus, the fact that Asher Roth’s incredibly awful anthem, “I Love College” got big in the middle of my sophomore year was PERFECT.
2. You feel like a kid but are expected to act like an adult.
I’ve recently noticed that it’s not socially acceptable anymore to show up to a Sunday brunch unshowered, wearing sweatpants and last night’s makeup. But, whyyyyy, I whine, WHYYYY?
3. The hours and/or pay SUCK.
We are the bottoms of the corporate totem pole, and we are paying our dues. BLAH BLAH BLAH. Refer to #2. I don’t care about that crap. Just pay me enough to drink away my sorrows on the weekends, and let me out early enough that I can drink away my sorrows during the week. I really don’t think that’s too much to ask. After all, I’m selling you my corporate-hating angst-ridden soul. It’s the least you could do.
4. You start to see your peers pairing off or worse…having children.
If I see one more engagement announcement on my Facebook news feed, I might throw up a little. It’s not that I’m not thoroughly excited for your fantastic new life endeavor, but it horrifies me to my very core that I’m old enough to know people who are getting married. I miss 7th grade, when everyone dated each other just long enough to make it to the next slow dance at what’s-her-face’s bat-mitzvah.
5. You have to start worrying about things like insurance and taxes.
Parents always complain that there’s no handbook for becoming a parent, but where the hell is the handbook for becoming an adult? I know you “parents” know how to handle these things – you’ve been doing it for me for my entire life. So why are you holding out on me now? If I absolutely have to take care of these things *exaggerated sigh*, I want a step-by-step procedural guide as to how it’s supposed to work…and who I’m supposed to call if I still can’t figure it out.
6. Employers idolize “fresh and young perspectives,” but your resume will always be pushed aside for one that has more “experience,” which you will never be able to attain because you don’t have any…
Basically, Joseph Heller and his novel define my existence. (Catch-22 for those less literature savvy)
7. Grad school is not the same thing as college.
Grad school is college’s evil and older 2nd cousin. They’re barely even blood-related, but you always see them at the same parties. Except grad school is depressed, probably brooding in some corner, and too tired to participate in the festivities. And, don’t even get me started on grad school’s snobby twin brother – law school. Ew.
8. You notice you can’t drink like you used to. Hangovers hurt more.
It was a sad Saturday night the first time I realized I didn’t want to go out because I was still hurting from my Friday night escapades. That’s all I can say about it. It’s still a little painful to think about.
9. Anytime you complain, an annoying older person responds, “Welcome to the real world.”
PET PEEVE NUMERO UNO. I’m not sure why any “adult” would ever utter this infuriating sentence of condescension. First of all – it just makes you sound old. I’m twenty-three years old, and though you may think this is synonymous with being a child, it’s not. It’s actually just a reflection of how incredibly bitter and decrepit you’ve become. So next time you welcome me into your real world of hell, I might just retort, “Welcome to your retirement home, and here are your Depends.”
10. Any other time you complain, a different annoying older person responds, “Shut up, you’re young.”
This is just annoying because they’re right. And we hate it when other people are right. So here it is – 10 reasons it sucks to be a twenty something…BUT,
We are young, so it’s really hard to stay too pissed off about the other stuff. We live openly, riding the ups and downs of our youth like the violent roller coaster that it is. A fight with a friend feels like the end of the world, but a warm sunny Saturday afternoon gives us such an indescribable high off life, we question how anyone could ever feel anything but sheer exuberance. We’re not the hormonal teenagers we were just a little while back, but we still hold on tightly to the remnants of how those years felt. We worry about who we will become and what will become of us, but we relish in the freedom that we haven’t become anything quite yet. Our lives are Tabula Rasas, blank slates just begging to be filled with unknown and terrifying new adventures.
We have just enough cash in our bank accounts to keep us entertained on the weekends and our preciously saved vacation days, but we will never turn down a free anything. Free = Awesome. You don’t want the rest of your fries? Beautiful. They’re giving away free ugly t-shirts at the Blackhawks game? I NEED ONE. We may be going through quarter-life crises, but we’re still confident enough in our youth that we have no problem dressing ridiculously for any cause – hallmark or otherwise – and parade around like we look damn good. The only thing that really frightens us is that we know how quickly our fabulous lives have flown by so far, and if we could sell our left ring fingers for a time machine, we would.