One of those sad twenty-something realities is that growing up doesn’t always mean growing out of those tricky/addictive bad habits. While some of us (probably at least a few, right? Anyone?) transition naturally into adulthood, the rest of us still just feel like tall, inexperienced children with drinking permits, biting our nails and having conversations we don’t understand. To the latter, we salute you. Here is our diary of bad habits.
1. The fucked-up sleep cycle.
Our twenties are supposed to be for living, not for sleeping. And staying up until 4 a.m. on Twitter and then sleeping through the next week is not going to be one of the memories we cherish when we’re old and wrinkled and gross.
2. Running every question/decision by a friend/parent/significant other.
Your mom doesn’t give a shit if you buy those shoes. Your boyfriend doesn’t know what you want to eat. And your best friend really doesn’t know which grad school you should attend. Time to put on your big kid pants (which you purchased after consulting with a friend) and order your dinner with no outside help.
3. Eating Easy Mac on a weekly basis.
IT’S JUST SO GOOD.
4. Second-guessing everything.
Being an adult means (or should) that we pick our path and go forward bravely. Unfortunately too often we spend more time looking back and pondering if we should have gone left when we went right, if a different major, job, or significant other would have made all the difference in our lives. It’s time to look forward and live with the decisions we’ve already made to make the best of them.
5. Leaving your dishes until later.
Back at home, perhaps the magic dish fairies (re: parents) went through the house collecting the dirty dishes or emptied the sink, but that shit won’t cut it as an adult. Your roommates, landlord, and/or infestation bill won’t appreciate you leaving the sink full or the dishes to pile up. Use and wash your dishes in the same day.
6. Buying non-practical clothes.
In college it’s easy to find a purpose for frivolous clothes—there’s always some party or function to justify that pleather skirt and rhinestone skull stilettos, and of course you need 14 pairs of PJ pants, and 43 band t-shirts, just because. But as those days disappear and your clothes budget becomes nearly nonexistent, it’s time to prioritize your wardrobe choices. For one, you’re likely to be moving often and into small spaces where you won’t have room for the clothes you wear once every five years on Halloween. Secondly, every little piece needs to have a function—can it double for work? Is it identical to something you already have? Do you own it just because it’s cute? Time to start making the hard sartorial choices.
Yep. The classic. Just like Hallie from “The Parent Trap,” we’ve been biting them since we could chew. Can’t stop, won’t stop. Want to stop… still can’t.
While it was never cute to wait until the last minute to accomplish everything in college, it’s even less cute as a grown-up woman. Yes it will feel really good to watch another episode of “Friends” (and, you know, the 47 episodes that follow), but is it really the best use of your time? Your friends, family, and co-workers will appreciate you when you follow through on the things you say you will do. And they can tell when you’ve actually put an effort into something and didn’t just rush through it in an hour the night before.
9. Ignoring the future.
Planning and saving for the future is like willingly throwing yourself head first off a cliff into the unknown. Why worry about later when you’re comfortably wobbling on the cliffs’ edge now? Even in our twenties, it’s critical we try to make the right decisions for the long term, which means more saving, less splurging, taking the crappier jobs instead of holding off for the perfect one, and sometimes taking the harder path to get the reward we want later on.
10. Not cleaning your room.
In the same vein as not leaving dirty dishes laying around, but more important. Make your bed, buy a laundry basket for dirty clothes, and hang some framed pictures on your walls instead of haphazardly taped-up posters. Get rid of clutter. Dust a few times a month. You will feel more capable of chasing your dreams if you feel in control of your space.
11. Sleeping with stuffed animals.
Ask any female college student if they still sleep with a stuffed animals and 90% of the time their answer will be yes. We are definitely guilty of having slept with the same Goodnight Moon bunny since we were five years old and have since added to the college collection a blue elephant and a Pillow Pet. We wonder how far into one’s twenties it’s OK to keep these furry friends and when it’s time to say goodbye. We have no intention of doing so anytime soon.
12. Coffee after 11:00 pm.
Personally, a cup of coffee at this hour has no effect on us and we think it’s just the knowledge that we guzzled a few more ounces of caffeine that keep us going long enough into the night to finish Milton’s Paradise Lost or some other equally long and equally classical work of literature. Regardless of whether or not we feel its effects, we know the late night java can’t be healthy. Curse you, Keurig, and your conveniently-caffeinated temptations.