1. When having a conversation on city sidewalks, regardless of the importance or urgency of the situation, you will stop them mid-sentence to say “Puppy!!,” and point to the puppy that’s walking by, and then say hello to the puppy.
2. You are incapable of budgeting for long-term things such as new furniture that maybe doesn’t entirely come from IKEA, but if you look at your monthly spending, you put 200 dollars into movie theater concessions and tinted lip balm alone.
3. The logistics of planning a wedding at some point in your life make you feel the same way you did when you opened up your pre-calc textbook for the first time in high school. You don’t know what it entails, you just know you will never be capable of it.
4. It takes you twice as long to put away your laundry as to actually do it.
5. When someone asks if you want to hold their baby, you are torn between “not wanting to seem like the asshole who won’t hold the baby” and “but I’m going to drop it and it’s going to break into a million baby pieces and everyone is going to get mad at me.” (So you end up taking the baby and standing awkwardly still with it while waiting for the parent to take it back as quickly as possible.)
6. You still feel strange addressing your friends’ parents as anything other than “Mr. and Mrs. So-and-So,” even though you are a full, voting, taxpaying adult like they are.
7. When you realize that you are officially the same age your parents were when they got married/had you, your actual thought process is “How is that possible? I still actively choose to drink Capri Suns! This is not the age for decisions like that!”
8. When, at the bar/club, Nelly’s “Grillz” comes over the speakers and you scream “OH SHIT THIS IS MY SONG,” you totally refuse to accept that it is, in fact, a 10-year-old song.
9. The only way you can ensure that you can go to the grocery store and not come home with a cart full of Peanut Butter Captain Crunch and Utz Cheez Balls is if you eat an incredibly heavy meal before going and are therefore disgusted by any food that you don’t absolutely have to buy.
10. Even though you know that investing in a few solid, well-made staple pieces for your wardrobe — a white button-down, a good trench coat, a perfectly fitting pair of jeans — you cannot help but channel that money into an entire closet full of dresses from Forever 21 that you can feel unraveling around you as you walk.
11. If anyone ever mentions “adults” around you, your mind immediately goes to people your parents’ age who wear khakis and talk about the economy. Your mind refuses to classify you as an adult, in the legal or spiritual sense.
12. Even if you’ve been of drinking age for several years, you still get that thrill of “Oh, my God, we get to have alcohol in public with the grown-ups” feeling when ordering your bloody marys out at brunch.
13. Nothing incites in you a greater sense of panic than approaching tax time, and you still feel like your tax return is just a free handful of money that appears in the mail, and not just a little bit of the extra money back that you gave to the government.
14. The only time that you actually start feeling like a full-on grown-up is when you are confronted by rowdy teenagers, but even then, a not-small part of you wants to go to skateboard tricks and drink Monster energy drink with them in front of the mall.
15. When you actually attempt to talk to them, this is you.
16. No matter how far away you get from modern pop music’s intended audience, age-wise, you are never going to accept that One Direction or Kesha aren’t singing to you directly. (And you are ready to pay your hard-earned, big-girl-job money for tickets to their concerts.)
17. When you get home from work, you are still overwhelmed with the excitement of being able to watch TV as much as you want, order whatever you want for dinner (Pizza! Followed by a Nutella dessert pizza!), and not having to share with your siblings or go to bed at 10 PM. Of course, this most often manifests in watching 17 episodes of a show in a row, making yourself sick on cheesy breadsticks, and getting to bed at 2 AM when you have to be at work at 9. But it’s a sacrifice you’re willing to make for freedom.