THE LESSONS

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I’m 26.

And, after discounting the days where I was busy working out how to walk, talk and eat and tactfully side stepping the years where my main concern was whether I was a saddo for using pads instead of tampons, I’ve got roughly around ten years’ worth of semi-useful, sort of adult experience under my belt that I’d like to share with you. You know, just in case you thought you were alone in this epic tragedy that they call our twenties, or in case you are 16 and curious about how to deal with the impending car crash of emotions, celebrations and failures that are to follow as you enter your adult life.

Here goes:

  1. You have freckles. SPF is literally saving your life. Slather it on like butter to a crumpet.
  2. You will spend quite a few days in bed, alone, watching TV on demand. Ignore anyone who says these days are wasted. They are but precious moments with the most important person in your life. And the residents of Litchfield penitentiary.
  3. You will really unexpectedly fail or really irrationally quit something. Only worry about the latter. Failing is fine; quitting is not.
  4. You will cut your hair short, trying to prove a point. The only point you will make is that you were wrong.
  5. You will lose friends. You will make new ones. Both are a good thing.
  6. You will be forced into taking an interest in politics due to a really shit PM being elected. It’ll be worth it. You will vote and actually understand your choices.
  7. It’s fine to wear jeans every time you go out. The same goes for wearing black. Accessories are your best friend.
  8. Men will rarely love an outfit you do. Wear it anyway.
  9. Your heart will get broken.
  10. You will get over it.
  11. It might take a while.
  12. Take advice from your mum. She had a life before you, you know.
  13. Yoga isn’t for skinny, chai drinking, twats. Stretching will sort your life-long back issues out. Put on a pair of leggings and suck it up.
  14. Spend less time worrying about irrational things. Gravity will not all of a sudden cease to exist and you will not disappear into a black hole. Also, stop watching programmes about space.
  15. Keep some opinions to yourself. Even if you feel like you should be honest all the time, take the time to taste your words before you spit them out. Not everyone needs your thoughts on everything.
  16. Never give an opinion on someone else’s relationship. Only listen.
  17. Tell people if you think they are hot/talented/interesting. Unless they’re Taylor Swift. She already knows.
  18. Hard work always pays off. As does asking for something you know you won’t be offered.
  19. Never arrange something for 9 o’clock on a Sunday morning. You will be hungover and your mate will, no doubt, be hungover too. It will inevitably lead to overeating, self-loathing and no future friend plans.
  20. Don’t be afraid to go into McDonald’s alone and order a large meal after a night out. That, dear friend, is practical independence.
  21. Learn to love your freckles. They aren’t going anywhere- and they’re actually not that bad.
  22. Make your frikkin’ bed in the morning.
  23. Don’t forgive your guy mates for being dicks to girls. Don’t ignore it when your girl mates treat men like shit. There’s no explanation for where your moral compass disappears to at times like these but be sure to give your friends a kick to the shins when they deserve it too.
  24. If you get turned down for a job, it’s not that you weren’t good enough. You just weren’t a good enough fit.
  25. You wear fake tan. Don’t buy white bed sheets.
  26. Men, although it might not seem it sometimes, have hearts too. Be careful with them.
  27. You will go on some really, really bad dates. That’s okay. They’re there to make sure you notice the good ones.
  28. Don’t not go in the pool because people will see you in a bikini. Literally no one is looking. They’re too busy worrying about which filter to use on their ‘Good Monday at the office?’ shot.
  29. You will look back on your zero-responsibility retail jobs with fond memories. Don’t. It was hell.
  30. Be a writer. Stop making excuses and take the risk. You’re just wasting time and money pretending you want to be, or do, anything else.
  31. You’re allergic to cats. Stop touching them.
  32. Don’t do shots. You know why.
  33. You will think you have been in love and then you will fall in love and realise you hadn’t been in love until then.
  34. Continue to forget to take photos on fun nights out and day trips away. It means you’re having too much of an interesting time and that is only a good thing.
  35. Realise that you actually don’t know anything and that you’ve got at least another 34 years’ worth of lessons to learn. Brace yourself. The next chapter is a big one.