1) There is a nagging suspicion in your brain that there’s something missing. Not missing as in “Shit I lost my cell phone.” But missing as in, you wake up in the morning not really sure of your path in life, if this is really what you want to do, and if this perpetual hangover is really how life is supposed to feel.
2) Your finances are constantly subject to new “budgeting” attempts, new excel spreadsheets, new financial plans, and yet never really seem to accumulate as quickly as your friends say theirs do.
3) Your friends’ jobs are all better than yours
4) Your friends’ apartments are all better than yours.
5) If you’re single you are worried you’ll die alone, if you’re in a relationship you’re constantly worried if “this is the one” and otherwise you’re newly engaged and everyone else is jealous but you’re worried about becoming a divorce statistic. Really though, everyone just lives with each other.
6) One night stands seem way less appealing than they did approximately 15 months ago and you’re not sure what changed (except your unexpected new devotion to hygiene).
7) Your hangovers last 3 days, but you love dark and dingy bars. They make you feel artistic.
8) Your hangovers are no longer just a headache but defined by ‘booze blues’ and ‘shameover’ symptoms (re: what am I doing with my life?!; oh my god why did I drink so much?;) and losing your wallet/phone/coat/pride no longer seems as funny as it did when you were 20. You find yourself staring teary-eyed into the mirror at your smudged eyeliner wondering if this is really what you should be doing with your time. Then you slowly, and quietly whispering, start singing yourself a Celine Dion song.
9) Suddenly staying home with a bottle of cheap vino, a blanket, a tear jerker, and your cat seem a substantially better way to spend your Saturday nights then standing in line waiting to spend $100.
10) Oh yah, now you stand in line because bouncers don’t find 20-somethings as attractive as just-turned-19’s.
11) Your head suddenly feels crammed with numbers:
a) Cell phone bills
b) Student debt payments
c) Monthly income
d) Booze costs
e) Coffee costs
f) How many centuries it will take to afford a house
12) You remember a simpler time. It included such heart-warming and moral shows as Breaker High, Saved by the Bell, Fresh Prince, CITY Guys, Wishbone, Ghost Writer, Captain Planet, and the Smoggies. A major part of you suspects that your morals and values were shaped by the lessons in these cartoons. Another major part of you suspects the lack of morality in youth these days stems from their inability to watch the same programming you did.
13) You have thoughts that start with, “Kids these days… When I was a teen… In my day…. When I was younger…” and other such statements you never thought would come out of your mouth.
14) You start parenting your parents.
15) You remember a time before the internet. You remember when your family got its first computer. You remember, “Where in the World is Carmen Sandiego?,” “Encyclopedia Britannica on CD-ROM,” and the first Apple computer on the block. You also remember the evolution of social media because you were there for it all. BBS – ICQ – MSN - Yahoo Chat – Forums – Chatrooms – Email – Facebook – Perez – Twitter – Blogs - ?
16) You find yourself sad sometimes because you actually feel like the Internet’s become a bad place.
17) Everything is solved by brunch. 20-somethings love brunch. Post-break-up brunch, post-night-out brunch, before-flea-market brunch, before-shopping brunch, happy brunch, birthday brunch, gossip brunch, ‘wanna go to brunch and catch up’ brunch?
18) Time goes by quicker than ever before, for an unknown reason, and the more you try to slow it down the faster it goes.
19) Going travelling versus paying off your student loan versus buying property is a serious legitimate conversation in your head. Backpacking is as legitimate a rite of passage as college/university.
20) You have a niggling suspicion that someone lied to you and that your twenties are not the huge party previously assumed.
21) You are also starting to suspect that the rumours going around about your thirties being the REAL party are just a ruse to get you through your twenties.
22) You’re favorite saying is, “What am I going to do with my life?” This is usually followed by self-assuring statements that you’ve done a lot more than most people, you’ve got memories if not experience, and that’s really all that matters in the end because YOU won’t have regrets.
23) You find yourself making lists more often because your forget more things: to-do lists are your new bible.
24) There’s something about HBO shows, like unreal shows that seem real, and you HAVE to watch them every week. This is especially true if the shows involve vampires, drug dealing moms, drug making teachers, doctors, or police/fire fighters.
25) You suddenly understand what people meant by, “Generation Why.”