1. You are pretty. Being 24 makes you pretty by default. Your skin glows, even with acne, and your body fat is kind of adorable.
2. This is the best time in your life to read Proust and Moby Dick and to watch the complete works of Tarkovsky, Godard and Kurosawa. When you are past 28, you realise no one really cares whether you have seen them and you can get away with lying about these things.
3. Never ask a boy why he doesn’t like you. Don’t even think about why he might not be interested if he’s being a flake. Always ask yourself ‘do you like him?’
4. Have a tried and tested way of dealing with hangovers. Sleeping it off is nearly always the best option.
5. Try to get up early every second Saturday.
6. When you kiss someone for the first time, if it doesn’t feel like an orchestra is playing and a rainbow just exploded in the background, then you don’t like them. This rule isn’t always true.
7. In the future, you will dislike or be embarrassed about most of the indie bands you’re listening to right now.
8. Don’t date musicians, or self-described poets.
9. Do not go on diets but eat healthily.
10. You will get your heart broken over and over and over, and it will feel just as bad every time.
11. It is always a good time to travel.
12. Spend time in the countryside when you can.
13. Don’t panic, but it’s a good time to make plans to get out of that monotonous office job with zero prospects and depressed co-workers in their 30s that you thought was a stop-gap after university.
14. Join a union.
15. Have friends who are opinionated, ambitious, informed on current affairs, have reliable dealers, and who dance at parties.
16. Don’t sleep with all your male friends and don’t use friends as transitional boyfriends. That makes it harder to get their honest opinion on your real future boyfriends.
17. Have sex outside at least once.
18. Avoid people who use catchphrases from situation comedies in lieu of personalities and opinions.
19. Go to demonstrations and make good banners which say things like ‘No war, except war on bongos!’
20. Always go after guys who you think are at least one league above you.
21. Cooking involves combining more than three ingredients and two of them should not be salt and pepper.
22. Make sure your rent is only or less than a third of your income.
23. It’s okay to leave parties when you’re bored and it’s okay to cancel dates when you just met him at 3:00 a.m. in the kitchen of some house somewhere and he was kind of annoying but then you got talking and you just felt like you couldn’t not agree to a drink another night, because it’s just a drink, right? Oh, and you made out with him on the front step of the house before pretending you were going home in a different direction.
24. You are not “really really” old, and truthfully, you are going to feel 18, until you’re at least 45.