1. You don’t run into your ex-classmates and friends as often when you’re out because there’s currently a fresh batch of 21-year olds occupying the bars and clubs. You’re more likely to catch your former peers at Chili’s happy hour before 9pm on a Wednesday or the detergent aisle at Target.
2. All of the movies you loved and first saw during high school are turning a decade old this year. People are well aware that Mean Girls will be 10-years-old in 2014 and they aren’t exactly thrilled about how incredibly aged it makes them feel.
3. Your friends’ siblings, who were tiny people when you used to go over to their place in high school, are now fully blossoming into adults and frankly it’s kind of freaky. Wait, you’re not still 10? Why are you like, developed now? Why is his voice deep? Why is she wearing makeup? Dear God, what’s happening?
4. You’re inching closer and closer to your 10-year reunion and debating if it will be necessary to go considering you’re already up to date on everyone’s lives thanks to social media. Hmm, attend an event or just check Instagram?
5. Quarter-life crises galore. Unless you were a child prodigy like the kid from Smart Guy, you’re probably around 25 or 26 and aside from the rare unicorns who have it all figured out, you’ve probably got a lot of discomfort going on inside you. 30 is looming which would be fine if careers weren’t undecided, significant others weren’t had and everything wasn’t so alarmingly unknown. Everyone has their own specific concerns, but generally speaking, there’s an abundance of apprehension in the air.
6. People you know are getting engaged so often that you don’t flinch when you find out about another one. This has been going on for you since like 2010ish, and it’s become increasingly routine for at least one person to announce their engagement per hour.
7. One of the new ways to gauge how significant a friendship is to certain people is seeing if they invite you to their wedding, or take it to the next level and ask you to be a part of it.
8. People you know are breaking off engagements or getting divorced shortly after marriage. Shockingly and sadly, many of the hasty late teen and early 20-something marriages didn’t pan out, so now we all know a handful of divorcees. It’s always a bummer to witness the falling out firsthand, but maybe you can rejoice if your old crush is back on the market or something.
9. People you know are having children purposely. Initially you feel sorry for the person who is about to be a parent, then you realize this isn’t an accident. People have careers and are starting families deliberately, shocking as that may be.
10. You’re shocked to see that random high school sweethearts are getting back together after all this time. The dysfunctional couple that antagonized each other for four years with childish games has worked out the kinks and is seemingly happy together. It’s still always mind blowing what some years apart and maturing can do for two people who apparently saw their potential way back then.
11. The impressive tolerance for alcohol you once possessed in your early college years is rapidly declining before your eyes. You are no longer capable of waking up hung-over, drinking a few sips of water and making a miraculous recovery. You used to have healing powers like Wolverine, but now it’s a 24-48 hour process that includes headaches, nausea, gallons of water and Gatorade, pills and an agony that makes you lie there and take several moments to regret each individual alcoholic beverage you drank the night before.
12. The local mall is a place you’re becoming less and less fond of, as it’s occupied by a bunch of youths.
13. Birthdays are legitimate bummers as they’re less of a celebration and more of a realization that another year is in the books and you aren’t completely satisfied with life… You’re able to rent a car now though, so there’s that.
14. You’re seeing people who graduated years after you find success and it doesn’t necessarily feel good. This doesn’t mean you’re a jealous person, but seeing someone have double the achievements you do in half the time is a couple slices of humble pie washed down with a glass of self-deprecating milk.
15. To piggyback on that last point, another thing that makes you feel incredibly aged is being a fanatic of a musician, or celebrity who is significantly younger than you. It’s just unusual after all those years of being the same age or younger than those you enjoy watching on TV or listening to. Don’t worry, I always feel weird about how admirable I find Lorde’s music and confidence. Yeah y’all, she was born in 1996 — late ‘96 at that.
16. Your body is turning on you. Metabolism is slowing down, bones are constantly sore, changes are happening for the worse. People who used to devour pints of ice cream are now lactose intolerant, everything is going awry. It’s requiring you to watch what you eat, workout routinely (stretch before said workout or pay dearly for your carelessness), and basically realize just how mortal you are.
17. Your brain is corroding. Your knowledge is fading. Facts and formulas are being forgotten, math skills are rusty. The plus side is that you can use that newfound space in your brain on fun things like sports statistics, your various passwords and the classic moments you’re currently experiencing in your 20s.