Questions For 20-Somethings

Where did your friends go? I mean, you realize that the definition of a friend has become bastardized, especially since you were spit out into this cornfield maze people like to call “the real world”, but you could’ve sworn you had a few good ones left. Maybe you’ll check underneath the bed. Or maybe you’ll check the Internet. Oh, there they are! Tweeting away about their day. Shoot them a text, why don’t you? Wait, you already did and got no response? But they’re tweeting about getting a pedicure. They must’ve gotten it. Why haven’t they responded? Why.

Why are you afraid of being bored? Fill your days with work, appointments, dinners out, and clutch your receipts. You have receipts for everything and when someone asks you what you did today, you can just throw them all in their face. These receipts are supposed to fill the center, they’re supposed to fill the void, but they’re just making it wider. You’re aware of this but you don’t have an alternative so you just show up to places and spend your money and hope it will all add up to a full life. When someone asks you if you’ve ever been loved, take them to your closet.

Where did your future go? You had one just a minute ago. Darn it, did you misplace that too? Is your Future hanging out with your friends? Are they all having a blast together on “Can’t Touch This” Island? You don’t quite understand how this all happened. You took all the tests, got all the right marks, and now it’s added up to this: sitting on your couch in your crappy apartment at 2pm on a Tuesday. No one should be doing this at 2pm on a Tuesday. God, sometimes it feels like you’re the only one who missed the boat. Sometimes it feels like you’re the only person who has nowhere to be at this time.  Sometimes it feels like you’re the only who didn’t get it.

Why has no one touched your genitalia in the past 4 months? Don’t they know that everything is in top-notch condition? All systems go, full speed ahead. You’re too young to feel this desexualized. Someone needs to screw you back to life. Anyone really. Line forms at the left people! This is definitely damaging to your psyche. There’ll be repercussions for this. You should know that someone needs to spoon with you at least once a month. Someone needs to make you feel worthy of being loved. Otherwise we’ll all just become so locked inside ourselves and no one, let alone yourself, will be able to get you out.

Why did you get drunk last night why can’t this person just give you some affection why is your roommate eating your food why won’t your mom call you back?

Why am I staying in why am I going out why can’t I maintain a healthy relationship why can’t I like what I see when I’m naked I mean my flesh is still so young I should at least love it now…you know?

Why is it so expensive to fly home wait I don’t mean home I mean place I grew up why do I feel the need to mess everything up when it’s going so well?

Why am I so self-obsessed and such a narcissist? Why do I have so many questions? Why do I question every decision I make?

No one will have the answers to these questions and even if they do, you won’t listen. No one listens these days. All they ever hear is static. Things only come into focus when it’s about them. Tweet this, Instagram that. It’s all about you—the person you know the least. Oh, I think that was an answer to one of your questions. Cool. TC mark

image – Leah Gregg

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.


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  • Maxine

    I obsessively collect receipts.. I like your explanation of it.

  • Mishmatheus


    • Margaret Thatcher


  • Jacqueline Rae Shuman

    This physically hurt it was so spot-on.

  • Tanya Salyers

    Why, oh why, was this exactly right?

  • Nishant

    Does this mean you’re also now going to stop compulsively talking as the undisputed authority on 20-somethings?

  • Aj

    Sad and yet oddly reassuring at the same time. I thought I was going nuts for the past year or so.

  • Barelysharely

    This is pretty stupid. Or maybe some of us have grown beyond this kind of petty conceit. 

  • Gary

    I enjoyed this Ryan.

  • Suck

    Lol maybe you have no friends cuz all ur friends are superficial whores

    • Sara

      Lol maybe you have no friends cuz all u do is go on the internet and anonymously insult people. 

      If you have the time to sit around and criticize others like this, must you abbreviate everything? 

  • Suck

    Its actually super sad how clearly this article demonstrates the reason for ur friendlessness

    • Ryan O'Connell

      I wanted to respond to this comment “Please don’t take my articles so literally. I assure you I have tons of friends.” But then I realized that would make me REALLY look friendless. So I give up. I really don’t know how to defeat your trolling. You win! GRAND PRIZE: NOTHING.

  •!/ZachAmes macgyver51

    Have you ever seen the film “Confessions of a Teenage Drama Queen?” I haven’t, but you should. I bet you’d really identify with it.

    • Lola Step

      That’s a great film. You’re such a Carla Santini.

  • Mercedes Villanueva

    I’m 19 and I feel like this. That can’t be good.

  • Jesse Vaughan

    For a brief second, I thought I might be beyond this article; beyond all of these feelings. But I kept jumping back to Jessica’s article from earlier, ‘If at any point you think you’ve “got it all figured out…” you officially suck harder than most.’ I really don’t have anything figured out. I’m honestly not beyond any of these emotions. This is spot-on accurate.

  • Guest


  • Guest

    Thank you.

  • Yasmina_bambina

    You have just described my life.

  • Jenni

    Where did your future go? You had one just a minute ago. Darn it, did you misplace that too? Is your Future hanging out with your friends? Are they all having a blast together on “Can’t Touch This” Island?
    such a lol and so painfully true too

  • Pinion

    Plumbing the Shallow Depths of Fleeting Neuroses: A Shit Story.

    Can we get less Ryan all up in here? 

  • Sarah Smith

    “Why won’t your mom call you back? …it’s added up to this: sitting on your couch in your crappy apartment at 2 pm on a Tuesday.” Story of my 22-year-old life.

  • Liz Lisa

    “Why is it we want so badly to memorialize ourselves? Even while we’re still alive. We wish to assert our existence, like dogs peeing on fire hydrants. We put on display our framed photographs, our parchment diplomas, our silver-plated cups; we monogram our linen, we carve our names on trees, we scrawl them on washroom walls. It’s all the same impulse. What do we hope from it? Applause, envy, respect? Or simply attention, of any kind we can get? 
    At the very least we want a witness. We can’t stand the idea of our own voices falling silent finally, like a radio running down.” – Margret Atwood(The Blind Assassin)

  • M.J. Corey

    way too beautiful and true – as always. but especially this piece. i love how it gets increasingly frantic towards the end. so sad but also a relief to know I’m not the only one! 

  • Veronica

    I teared up a bit when the question stopped being punctuated. Ryan, you’re absolutely fantastic.

    • Veronica


  • JadedRomantic

    Someone needs to make you feel worthy of being loved. Otherwise we’ll all just become so locked inside ourselves and no one, let alone yourself, will be able to get you out.” – this hits too near home. 

    Being on the cusp of stumbling over into the next age bracket (gasp! 30?! Heaven forbid), I can identify with all these.  My hypothesis is that everyone else is just as lonely. Why else the incessant Facebook, Instagram, Twitter (and whatever newfangled social media platform we have these days) spamming? Its all a cry for attention, to reassure ourselves that maybe somehow our existence has more meaning beyond ending up as a statistic.

  • damn

    damn, you guys lives cant all suck THAT bad. why do people in their twenties feel like we invented angst.

    the problem with being 20-something is we feel like we’re still allowed to complain like teenagers. we are not teenagers anymore. cut this petty self-absorbed shit out, before you wake up 30-40 years old STILL complaining. if u wanna change your outlook on life, its really as easy as just getting up and doing it. i swear its as easy as that.

    i’ll be 25 this year, i just got tired of feeling so “woe is me” all the damn time. life aint perfect, but its definitely manageable. lets collectively cut the bullshit for 2012.

  • Amrita Tapadia

    It’s what I and my friends like to call the QUARTER-LIFE CRISIS :/ 

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