Used to mean: Every other Friday, you’re gonna make it rainnnn in this club (or mall, or GameStop, whatever floats your pubescent boat). You worked hard after school and on weekends! You deserve it!
Now means: The day when rent is due and you need to pay your bills, and maybe if you have any money left over, you can buy a drink to forget how little money you have.
Used to mean: Something you never got for doing all the work in group projects.
Now means: Something you can’t buy any more shoes on.
3. Healthy eating
Used to mean: [Nothing. You did not care. You did not need to care. You had the metabolism of a marathoner.]
Now means: “Well, I guess if I choke down this overpriced chopped salad, I can have a cookie to go with, right? That’s fair, right?”
4. Forever 21
Used to mean: The place you frequented at the mall to try on mass-produced crop tops and miniskirts that barely covered your butt, let alone any leg at all.
Now means: The place where you tell yourself that the the 21 part of the name is arbitrary and age is nothing but a number.
Used to mean: A steady income, something to aim for beyond the meager hourly wages of working after school and on weekends.
Now means: Health insurance, thank the lord.
Used to mean: A thing you thought you wanted.
Now means: A thing you do not understand how anybody could want/afford/stomach/handle. Ever.
Used to mean: A really annoying thing to have in class.
Now means: A perfectly valid reason to write your last will.
8. Thursday night
Used to mean: The glorious pre-weekend in which you went wild a day before everyone else and laughed at their sad, fun-less lives.
Now means: A long overdue date with your unfolded laundry and Swiffer wetjet.
Used to mean: A thing you avoided at all costs.
Now means: Something you really want to get around to doing thoroughly but you just don’t have the time so you wind up paying people or scheduling your Wild Thursday Nights(tm) around.
Used to mean: People you hung out with all the time, typically dictated by class or sports teams.
Now means: The few people who have still hung around after your third breakup and/or emotional breakdown, and have not moved back home. (So, three people.)
Used to mean: People who heckled you about your grades.
Now means: Your best friends and financial savio… I mean, advisors.
Used to mean: A place where you connect with old friends.
Now means: An advertisement for the engagements of random people you had one class with four years ago. And where your mom posts memes.
Used to mean: Going out to as many bars as you could, especially when you no longer had to hope the bouncer would believe your fake I.D.
Now means: 48 glorious hours when you do not have to leave the house at all and can form butt grooves in the couch as you marathon some House Hunters with bae.
Used to mean: Not falling down when getting out of a cab.
Now means: Never taking cabs.
Used to mean: Something you can easily pass by studying at the last minute.
Now means: Something your doctor performs that could now mean life or death, if only your insurance covers it.
Used to mean: A great, single-serving portion of alcohol that reinforces how much FUN you are having right now.
Now means: A single serving of hate-yourself-tomorrow in a glass that seems way bigger than it should be for just a shot.
Used to mean: Something you locked in 45 seconds beforehand.
Now means: Something you lock in 3 months in advance, only to debate if you can make up a weak cough or bug or thing and bail with literally 5 seconds to spare before you need to show up.
Used to mean: Something your parents used to get and you were pretty indifferent about, except in thinking that it was mom or dad taking the lazy way out of dinner.
Now means: The most important part of your day/week/month/life.
19. Phone call
Used to mean: A convenient way for your parents to check in on you.
Now means: Something. Terrible. Has. Happened.
Used to mean: A convenient way for your parents to let you know they called, if you missed them when they checked in on you.
Now means: There is only one option: someone has DIED.
21. Savings account
Used to mean: What your parents tell you you need to get, and you load up with Christmas money you would much rather spend on the ice cream truck.
Now means: A thing you definitely shouldn’t’ve used to book your flight to France, but here we are, my friends, here we are.
Used to mean: Something you drink in order to appear sophisticated and grown up, even if it was just a milky latte with sugary syrup. It was still the theory of coffee.
Now means: Something you drink to keep you from hurting people in the morning.
23. Bachelor(ette) party
Used to mean: A hallowed tradition you couldn’t wait to be a part of.
Now means: Something that forces you to eat Ramen for three months to afford the trip and the alcohol.
Used to mean: 10 am, if you really had to get up that early.
Now means: The brutally painful, still-dark hours of 6 am, so you can hit the gym before work (you tell yourself, before you hit snooze until 8:05).
25. Love life
Used to mean: The series of complicated flirting tactics you used in the middle of Econ to catch the eye of the hottie three seats down.
Now means: Lol, wut?
26. Figuring It Out
Used to mean: Charismatically exploring all life has to offer.
Now means: Living in a constant, crippling fear of people asking you about your career.
Used to mean: Attainable by 25.
Now means: Attainable by 43. (Maybe.)