1. When it will rain, it will pour.
There will be times when it feels as though the universe has taken a shovel to your soul.
There is a good chance at one point you will feel quite broke, quite job-you-love-less, and quite romantically undesirable. You may also get inundated with presidential election coverage at this time, and for this I am deeply sorry. It might feel like this time is not going to pass, but it will.
You will find a good (livable) apartment, select a non-garbage human to date, and possibly get a few steps closer to the back door to your dream job. I’m in no position to give advice, but I’m a big believer in attempts to take steps back — during these times, maybe try to Donna Meagle treat yourself to a break of music, companionship, or sanity in way that you can get it.
2. Your family is actually going to drive you fucking crazy.
By the time you are in your mid-20s there will have been at least one instance when you’ve thought “Well, it’s Christmas, and I think I WILL in fact throw myself from this minivan! Enjoy watching A Christmas Story alone, suckers!” You love them, they love you, but if you don’t have a family member or two who makes you WebMD symptoms of a mental health breakdown, you haven’t lived!!
3. You will attend a close friend’s wedding and feel simultaneously joyful and miserable.
You will be so genuinely happy for the immensely beautiful event that you are witnessing your beautiful and deserving friend experience.
You will however also be tempted to ask yourself a sobering and dejecting series of questions including, but not limited to**: When am I going to get married? Am I going to get married? DO I WANT CHILDREN? But don’t married people like hate each other once they have a spawn? Who is going to walk me down the aisle? Why am I worried about getting married when I don’t even have a date to this wedding?
Do you think that both of my parents could somehow attend my wedding without me getting the National Guard involved? Ahaha. Now I’m really grasping. I’m going to die alone, aren’t I? I’m not even my dog’s favorite family member!!” In terms of how to deal with these FUN THOUGHT-PROVOKING QUESTIONS I would say allow yourself to feel them but also attempt to focus on the main event — which is your immensely beautiful and immensely deserving friend (or friends) getting married. They deserve it and so do you.
4. Some people are in much better financial situations than you are.
In turn, you are in a much better financial position than some other people.
Sometimes I log into Facebook (first mistake) and I see some girls I went to college with in like….Cabo. The following Wednesday, I’ll log into Facebook again, and I’ll be like “Y’all biddies are STILL in Cabo?! Are you guys robbing people on the side to fund your constant trip-taking?” Then I chug a bottle of diet coke alone in my cubicle and feel sorry for myself. This is why the Internet is the root of all evil.
Anyway, I have found that recently it has become increasingly easier for me to compare myself to my peers financially. I have student loan debt, and I want to stop, drop, and roll myself onto the ground in-between sobs whenever I hear a friend subtly note that he or she is loan-less.
Somehow I have this idea in my head that if you do not have any student loans, you clearly have all of the money in the world. In my head, you are essentially strutting down 14th street, tossing out Lush bath-bombs and Michael Kors sneakers like an East Village Oprah. This is not true. There is only one Oprah and she lives in Chicago (jk Oprah is like the wind and she lives everywhere and anywhere). Everyone has bills. I think that if you are taking steps to be somewhat smart about your money, you are in a much better financial position than you think.
Save five dollars. Go to the library and read a Suzie Orman book. Ask a fiscally-responsible person you admire for advice. Go to Trader Joe’s wine shop and chug wine directly from the bottle while you download a budgeting app. Don’t look to me for financial advice because mine involves wine and I clearly do not know what I am doing.
5. Oh, there are going to be SO many people you would like to punch in the face.
I mean, you shouldn’t. Just don’t. You know, violence is bad, what would Gandhi say about this instance, etc. But sometimes people are going to take you there.
One time I was at an art show with this guy I met at a free concert (this is one of maybe three “dates” I’ve been on in my entire life) and his drunk friend spilled beer all over the floor and then out of nowhere said that women were the less intelligent gender. This pal had zero conversational transitions, he was all “I LIKE BEER!” one minute and “WOMEN ARE DUMB!!” in the next breath. Two years ago, I may have smiled and said “Oh gosh! Don’t say that! Let’s now say three nice things about each other and genuinely mean them!”
At the age of almost-25 however, he just pissed me off. I wasn’t about to get on a soap box, although that was difficult to avoid when he literally then said (albeit-drunkenly) “Well..check science! Google!” This is an argument I yell verbatim when I’m shoving an apple down my throat after I’ve eaten an entire roll of cookie dough by myself. SCIENCE! GOOGLE! IT ALL CANCELS OUT! Anyway, I had to politely and calmly explain to him that I did not agree with what he was saying and that I, although not a rocket science genius, worked quite hard to obtain, finance, and foster an education and that women are in fact not the less intelligent gender. Good Christ, man.
The point is, there are going to be people you want to punch in the face [for a myriad of reasons]. The other point is that violence is non-productive and yucky (icky! icky!). BUT THE REAL POINT: If you’re like me, you shouldn’t engage in acts of violence because you will not do well in jail. If you’re like me, you’ll walk through the doors/bars/whatever jails have, and a woman in pigtails who is three times your size will yell “DIBS!” and you’ll be washing her socks quicker than you can say “I should not have engaged in that act of violence against that sexist dingus.” Use your words.
Welcome to your mid 20s! There will be familial rage, broken relationships, and student loan payments. If you’re lucky there will also be open bars, meaningful best man speeches, and moments that make you cognizant and grateful for the fact that your life is still very much beginning. Best of luck with all of it.