I swear to god, if I read one more article about the Top 10 Things you learned in your twenties, I’m going to pull my hair out.
At first, these lists were invaluable. The first season of Girls was like a how-to guide for the post-collegiate, modern New Yorker trying not to get robbed in Bushwick while simultaneously celebrating the gentrification slowly spreading down the first 16 stops of the L-train. And I was right there with you guys. I wrote articles worshipping Lena Dunham’s genius. I caved when my parents insisted on helping me out with a portion of my rent when I was unemployed because I was “only twenty-two.” Every Facebook status update from my first year living in Manhattan had some kind of an allusion to dollar pizza and $11 pitchers of Yeungling at Bar Nine on Thursdays. And I probably spent 88% of my time complaining about not knowing what I wanted to do with my life while eating falafels and wondering why my boyfriend broke up with me. (I’ll give you a hint: he was twenty-six, and I was a whiner. Case closed.)
Now, I want to grab every 20 year old writing these blog posts and articles about how hard it is to live at home with their parents and not know what they want to be when they grow up, and shake them. I want to yell at all of them to get a fucking job and stop being so spoiled. So here’s my list:
The Top 10 Things 20 Somethings Can Improve Upon:
1. Get a fucking job.
2. Move out of your parents’ house. I know you’re broke. I know you can’t afford a broker fee, and that you don’t want to live with the 50 Shades of Grey double that messaged you back on Craigslist. I know you don’t have a guarantor. But please, for the love of god, find a way.
3. Having a hobby isn’t illegal. I still spend every night hoping that I’m going to make it big writing memoirs and performing stand-up comedy. But also, I like food. I have a day job so that I CAN facilitate doing the things I love.
4. YOLO is not a thing.
5. There’s this magic button on Facebook that allows you to hide status updates from anyone posting maternity photos or the words “I Said YES!!!!!” with images of their 16 carat Harry Winston engagement rings. Use it. It’ll make you a happier human.
6. Take a class. Yoga. Writing. Improv. Pottery. Anything. Continue expanding your mind. I guarantee you’ll have a lot less to complain about if you’re studying something you love WITHOUT the downside of midterms.
7. You are Beyoncé. Start acting like an independent member of society.
8. Learn how to see yourself in a positive light without humble-bragging.
9. Stop feeding into the whole “Millennials are so full of anxiety” stereotype. Just because it exists doesn’t mean you have to follow the flock and whine all the time. We get it. The job market sucks, you ignore more calls from Sallie Mae than your ex-girlfriend, and your useless diploma from film school is hanging above your Star Wars sheets in your mom’s house. I’m sorry. That really sucks. But we’re gonna get through it.
10. Never, ever, make another Top Ten List again. Unless you’re David Letterman.