While there are endless treatises out there on the state of people in their 20s–why it’s such a struggle, why it’s such a struggle even if you’re not struggling–it’s actually pretty easy not to be a complete sh*thead on a daily basis.
Our generation may be one whose forecast is bleak, and whose hopelessness is only underscored by the fact that there’s a slight chance we all just won’t wake up one day and become famous actors, but the little things can go a surprisingly long way. Follow these choice steps, and it’s all but guaranteed you’ll be ahead of the curve.
1. Be As Elusive As Possible
This is the number one rule, and pretty much applies to everything else on this list. The thinking here is that because you’re in a different city, or at least a different life situation, it will take a little bit of time for your supporting cast to adjust to your daily sh*t.
For example, if your job gets out at seven, call up some friend not in your roommates’ network and meet them for a drink. Go to a bookstore, and lament over the fact that you used to crush it in the Barnes and Noble CD section. Do anything that doesn’t involve you going home, and don’t text anyone who matters where you are going.
When you come back two hours later than you’re supposed to, their heads will explode.
2. Take Your “Almosting” Talents to the Financial Arena
“Almosting” is a primarily collegiate phenomenon, which applies solely to the arenas of hooking up with girls and police encounters. “Dude, I almost got arrested” has been uttered at least twelve times by anyone who’s ever done college the right way.
Thankfully, this is a talent that has solid real world application.
“I almost” decided to work for this big-time $tartup, got this script sold, or more accurately, work at a job that paid a f*ck ton more than being unemployed, but decided to turn it down because cubicle hellholes, dawg. The latter is likely the most common amongst your friends, but its also the most dangerous to call out. It’s best to let that particular friend to stew in his own delusion, until he realizes that everyone else is no longer vigorously nodding as if to say “I hear you man…the system.”
3. Proper Facebooking
Whenever I’m not unsure about the direction my life is going, I simply sign on to Facebook, look at a bunch of pictures, and read a bunch of statuses from people who went to my high school. It’s a foolproof way to remember that you are actually awesome, and that holy sh*t that kid really shouldn’t be allowed to be a father.
4. Show Up Late to Group Dinners
Another marker of elusivity. This is a great strategy at any age, though certainly heightened during post grad life.
It’s always important, however, to remain in character. Say if you’re a banker, and you’re supposed to meet up with 10 or so people for a sushi dinner (to talk about how they shouldn’t be getting this drunk at this age, and/or about why the f*ck those two got engaged) As a person aspiring to play the role of “father who never has time for his son, almost gets divorced, realizes the error of his ways, triumphantly quits his job because what is life without family” –and then somehow manages not to lose the mortgage–it’s best to show up, but barely. If entering 45 minutes late in a suit is a bit too toolish for your liking, make it an hour fifteen and go take a shower. This way, you can even have someone else order for you. Huge.
5. Comment Excessively on Your Alcoholism
See above. By “definition,” you are an alcholic at this age, meaning that it’s therefore important to talk about how cool you are because you’re both an alcoholic AND functional at the same time. Also, if don’t spend half of your time dreaming what Sunday mornings would be like without sporting a cinderblock on your head, you’re doing it wrong.
6. Make Shockingly Profound Statements About The “Real World”
Sometime last fall, I was minding my own business, slamming down pitchers of beer and engaging in the usual senior year shenani-versations. Growing a bit bored after awhile, I decided to turn my attention the group of people at the next table over. One guy I recognized as a recent grad.
He looked exhausted, though it was the type of exhaustion that really only comes with trying to exaggerate the fact that one is actually exhausted. His detached, cynical chair slumping was a nice touch, but it was nothing compared to the pearl of wisdom he bestowed upon everyone in shooting range
“Honestly, you get paid to wake up early”
Remember college kids, when you’re up at 4am writing about the differences between modern Slavic Socio-Cultural Customs and Dickens’ Britain, remember that you should really just be training to wake up at 7am. That’s an education.
7. Combine Sh*tty College Things With Slightly More Adult Things
Don’t bring out the wine and cheese just yet. Maintain the solo cups, the handles, and the vast array of 2 liter mixers. It’s really just about Smirnoff over Burnetts. Busch over Natty. Is that even a level up, you ask? Yes.
8. Attend a Music Festival
Does your job not allow you to listen to music during the day? Too afraid to let all your Facebook friends know what you’re listening to on Spotify? Simply utter the words “I’m going to Coachella,” and you’re officially a music expert. In every single genre.
9. Email Your Friends Articles
Saying that you read “the trades” is often not enough. Neither is sending your industry-minded friends articles on Facebook (As a society, we’ve gotten to the point where Facebook wall posting isn’t so much about telling your friend something as it is telling everyone else that you’re telling your friend something.)
Therefore, it is more prudent to email a select group of friends an article that will prove to waste a good ten minutes of their day, in a way that is somewhat intellectually stimulating and/or useful to their industry. Not only does this make it seem like you actually read “The Journal,” but it also allows you show off that dope email signature your company gave you.
As the age old saying goes, “If your email has one of those annoying as f*ck confidential disclaimers that zero people have ever read, you’ve officially made it.”
10. Pretend to Plan Your Weekends
Back when I was five months ago, I was astonished that people had to make plans a month in advance to hang out. I found it rather fake, a bit pretentious, and really just a way for a girl to justify her purchase of that useless $70 calendar. Now, as a person who is occupied during the day writing about how Boston University Hockey Players hook up with hot girls, I understand that while it’s a bit over the top, weekend planning is at times, necessary.
With this in mind, it’s always a good strategy to find a semi-obscure event (a concert that won’t be sold out, a comedy show, etc.), and plan to go with friends about two months before it happens. It doesn’t matter if you actually end up going–it’s the “I penciled it in” that counts.