1. First of all, never become the kind of person who writes blog posts about the things someone should know before they reach a certain age. It’s a surefire way of showing others you’ve done nothing in life. In the worst case scenario, where you find yourself writing such a post, stop and go outside, run a mile, maybe start learning a language. Literally, do anything else you can think of doing. Even lying down and making snow angels on your dirty floor is better than continuing to write an X Pieces Of Advice Before You Turn Age X. ANYTHING. I mean it.
2. Listen better
3. Stay at the same job for longer than a year. I’m not saying if you hate your job you should stay; you (probably) shouldn’t. But take it from someone who writes lists on the internet for no money, you don’t want to end up as someone who writes lists on the internet for no money. Choose a path, make connections, kiss some butt, do a job as well as you can – though that’s not overly important – and stick with it until a more comfortable position comes along. Depressing, sure. True, absolutely.
4. Knowing how to properly kiss a vagina or penis seems like it’d be important, if you listened to the internet, but it isn’t. I’m not saying you should purposefully be bad at that kind of thing. It’s just, don’t worry about trying to get better at it by reading about it on the internet, or by practicing on a banana or whatever. Just fall in love with someone who communicates.
5. Staying in shape is good. When you arrive to your late twenties, perhaps early thirties, there will come a moment when you happen to see a picture of yourself from your early or mid twenties and you may realize your body has changed. Because up until that point you’ve done pretty much nothing outside of your daily job, or intramural sports with friends, to keep yourself in shape. And by the time you realize it at 34, you’ve dug yourself such a deep hole that getting back out of it can seem kind of pointless, considering you may now have children or a job or something else taking most up your time. So, stay in shape. I’d say a good rule of thumb is when you reach the age of 27, if you have an office job, change your diet from “I eat anything before me” to something like “I eat things that are green sometimes.” Listen, I’m just trying to save you from years of embarrassing Crossfit.
6. Find a hobby other than drinking.
7. Don’t worry about your hair so much. Everybody has to deal with getting older. Nothing is happening for a reason. Everything is just happening, like everything else.
8. Have confidence. You like being self-effacing, I know. And that’s admirable, in a way, but erring on the side of cocky is not always a bad thing.
9. Don’t waste your time trying to be an artist. It will get you nowhere in life, and in fact sometimes it will make you a worse person than you would’ve been had you not tried to be one. Because it will make you jealous and bitter and resentful for reasons you don’t even understand. So, do anything else.
10. In that vein, avoid creating social media profiles. If you never have a MySpace, you’ll never get Twitter, then be less apt to sign up for Tinder, or any number of other online dating profiles which all lead to unwanted, or otherwise heartbreaking experiences.
11. Call your mom and dad more often. I know you’ll be going through points in your life when you can’t do much more than sleep and worry. But in the good times, or even the halfway good, call them.
12. Worry less about everything.
13. Learn foreign languages.
14. Watch out for steel falling on your head, if you plan to work at a steel factory. Also, don’t work at a steel factory.
15. Continue to eat as much pizza as you can.
16. Never message or respond to (fill in the blank) from (fill in the blank dating app or website). It seems like it’s a good idea, but it’s actually a bad one.
17. Just do the thing you want to do…until you can’t do it anymore.
18. Invest in stocks that go up and don’t invest in ones that go down.
19. Take more risks. The more risks you take, the better off you’ll be. Or the worse off, I don’t actually know. I’m making all this up.
20. Stay with (fill in the blank). She (or he) is the best thing you got going, or will ever have going, which you sense now, but not fully.
21. Don’t get tattoos. Unless you already did. In which case, at least avoid state-outline tattoos and quotes from books. You have both of those? Well, that’s life, I guess.
22. Buy fewer video games and music and random junk and instead buy high-quality clothes and luggage and goods that last a long time and increase in value.
23. Invent apps.
24. Always bet on the most boring sports team – or the team you want to win the least – and you will be rich.
25. There’s a guy named (fill in the blank) who will be the worst boss you’ve ever had. Don’t be such a wuss around him. You’re going to quit the job anyway, so don’t take such much crap.
26. Go on the internet less.
27. Again, once more for emphasis, do the thing you want to do. How much time can one person spend worrying about not doing it anyway?
28. This is really for me as some kind of Back to the Future thing, but know that money is important. You’re not equipped to make money, so I don’t know what the point of me telling you this is, but I just wanted to say that, for you, doing what you want to do, a missionary from ages 20 to 25, a writer from your late 20 to early 30s, is not going anywhere. Both will be failures. You are terrible at everything.
29. Don’t text and drive, or drink and drive, or just don’t drive at all. Get a bike and live in the city. Honestly, that’s your best bet.
30. Plan ahead. I’m really not much of a help for what that “plan” should be. Just make a plan.
31. Get better at math, or science, or be really good at being a jerk or bossing people around. That’s where the money is.
32. Try not to believe God is punishing you for every “bad” thing you do. Getting undressed with someone and that someone touching your nipples or butt has no bearing on what’s going to happen after you die.
33. Obviously, and this goes without saying, never online date.
34. Believe in yourself. Because when you believe in yourself you believe in me and when you believe in me you get pointless lists that take you nowhere. Actually, forget everything I said. Goodbye.