Still in my twenties – just

cakeYesterday was my birthday!  And I spotted this on my Twitter feed, kindly shared by the great Vagenda.  It’s an awful list of things that all twenty-somethings need to realise.

I read it with a smile, because I’m still a twenty-something and will be for one more year.  The smile didn’t stay long.

Some of the points are very valid:

20. Friends are hard to come by. Don’t ignore those you have. (sadly true)

100. No matter what happens, never give up. Ever. (persistence and luck are the keys to success.  Unless you’re trying to do something awful, in which case give up now)

Some points are bafflingly stupid:

10. Dating is overrated and usually a waste of time. (say what?)

46. Learn to play chess. (erm…no)

And others are made by an idiot man who should not be allowed to speak to women:

3. Shaving is more than a suggestion. That goes for men and double for women. (stubble is sexy, beards can be sexy, women should not have to look like a child in order to get their lover off)

32. Guys: she may say it’s an exit only, but that’s only because she’s never given it a try. #Shocker (can the same be said of men? If she says no and you don’t believe her, how about trying it yourself first and then, regardless, respecting her decision)

36. Women are never free. (not sure what this means?  Free to make our own decisions?  Or free to date/have a relationship with?  Either way, both are wrong and men who believe it’s true don’t deserve a woman)

80. It is morally wrong to be obese. (go sit in the corner and think about what you just said before I beat you with this stick)

67. Size does matter. It goes for both sexes. (size, for both sexes, does NOT matter.  Everyone is different and there will always be a good percentage of people out there who love the size of your whatever)

Anyway, it made me think about the early-twenty-something in me and all of the things I wish I could tell her about life.  So, because I’m busy and can’t be bothered to come up with 100, here are my 20 things that I think all twenty-somethings should realise.

  1. Life is short, although it may not feel like it now.  So stop putting things off.
  2. Just because people tell you that what you want isn’t possible, doesn’t make it true.
  3. You can do anything you want, as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone.
  4. Sometimes you need to be selfish.
  5. Cynicism may destroy you – if you find a cure, please let me know.
  6. You may be suspicious that work is an awful lot like school.  That’s because it is.  It will not get much better.
  7. But you must remember that you are a grown up.  You have control over yourself and your own life, so while you couldn’t leave school without damaging your prospects, you can change employer, job and career if you want to.
  8. Health and happiness is more important than money and career.  Always.  Unfortunately, they are often tied together.
  9. You know those people that you love, who make you happy?  Never lose them.  You have no idea how rare they are.
  10. Whether you prefer dating, relationships or one night stands, if it makes you happy and you do it safely then it’s all great.
  11. Trust no one except your nearest and dearest but always smile and be friendly to everyone else.
  12. Don’t worry about what other people think (including your nearest and dearest).  All that matters is what you think of yourself.
  13. There is nothing wrong with being different.  It is what makes life so special, so celebrate your differences.
  14. If you eat the same thing over and over there is a small chance that you will become allergic to it (dear twenty year old me, please stop eating so much cheese, it may hold off the development of lactose interolance).
  15. Remember sex education as a teenager and how scared of becoming pregnant it made you?  Don’t worry, the people who get pregnant quickly are in the minority.  Getting pregnant is actually incredibly difficult and heartbreaking.  I promise.
  16. Always listen to your body.  It knows things that you don’t.
  17. Reading is not better than watching TV.  Both are good.  They are completely different mediums for storytelling and research.  Both can be a part of your life.
  18. Sleeping with someone on the first date does not make you a whore/slut/easy/more of a man.
  19. Don’t do something just because society expects it of you.  No one needs to see the world/take a gap year/go to university/have sex by the time you’re twenty/have a career.
  20. Don’t think too much but make sure you have something at least resembling a plan so that you don’t waste your life…unless that is your plan (again, if you know the secret to this one, let me know).
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