1. Keeping up with what the Youngs are into. Sure, your 18-year-old sister knows The New Music and The New Drugs and The New Slang. But can she have sex with her boyfriend without waking up her roommate in the twin bed five feet away? No. Therefore, she is lamer than you by default.
2. What your friends have achieved relative to what you have achieved. Because all that humblebragging Jenna does about the crazy amount of responsibility she has at work or how hard it is to be a published author/songwriter/poet/law textbook writer is overcompensating for the fact that she's just as jealous of you for something you have.
3. Whether you've reached the goals in the appropriate timeframe that you dreamed up when you were 16 or even younger. When I was 16 I thought I'd have a book out at 20 and a live-in boyfriend at 23. Hahahahaha. Sorry, just had to take a second there.
4. Finding a boyfriend, if you're single. Because it's not about filling what you perceive as a negative space — it's about adding someone awesome to your already-totally-full life.
5. Settling down, if you're dating. Dating a bunch of guys is fun, once you get the taste for it, because if one of them's awesome at sex, and another one is awesome at fixing things, and another has a car in a city where nobody has a car, all together it's like you are dating a Frankendude whom you would marry tomorrow. But you're not, so relax.
6. Spending a crapload of money on travel. Because that $900 round-trip plane ticket to Ireland with your friends will be one of the most memorable experiences of your twenties, and your job is (hopefully) still low-key enough to let you take a 12-day weekend.
7. Spending a crapload of money on brunch. Because sometimes you need those $17 Eggs Benedict and bottomless mimosa deal. Alas, there is an expiration date on being day-drunk on weekends, but that time is not yet.
8. Being too addicted to social media. Even the old people who take you to task for being glued to your iPhone had some kind of unhealthy twentysomething addiction. So did their parents. Andtheir parents. Often times, they don't understand that social media isn't just an antisocial hobby, but an important part of many of our careers.
9. Literally anything that has to do with text messages. Do I sound funny in this text? How long should I wait to text back? Why hasn't he texted back? What does he mean by this thing he texted me? STOP.
10. Not making it to all the parties you meant to go to. Sometimes if you don't make it, you really didn't want to go. #deepthoughts
11. Decorating your apartment like a Grown Ass Woman. Company will understand that not every twentysomething woman living in her own place can have beautiful matching Anthropologie flatware, unless she is on SeekingArrangements.com or her dad invented Toaster Strudel.
12. Being skinnier. Have a Ring Ding. Have all the Ring Dings.
13. Skipping yoga a few times. Because sleep is also very good for you, and if you are behind on sleep, first things first.
14. Feeling ashamed for temporarily living with your parents. Honestly, your friends who are being gouged on rent while you save a nice nest egg to move into a place responsibly are the ones who should be embarrassed.
15. Not having plans on Friday or Saturday night. Uhh, Scandal + Chinese takeout + deep conditioning = plans. Don't you remember math?
16. Forgetting math. Literally never matters, because you have a calculator on your phone to figure out tips and nothing else at all is relevant to real life. Unless you're an accountant.
17. Sleeping with too many people. See #5, but with tons and tons of orgasms. Not sleeping with whomever they want in their 20s is the reason women wind up cheating on their husbands and wandering around in muumuus shooting pigeons like Betty Draper.
18. Occasionally getting as drunk as you used to in college. Going on the occasional bender, as long as you're not alone or it's daylight or something, is totally fine! (If you fear you may have a drinking problem, however, it's worth looking into.)
19. Still transitioning from "college wardrobe" to "on-trend young professional wardrobe." First of all, nobody notices you've been rotating the same handful of dress pants and blouses, so put the gun down. It takes a while to build a classy work wardrobe on an entry-level salary. Buy a piece you like every few weeks and it'll build up slowly.
20. What other people think about things that make you happy. Cosmopolitan.com managing editor Alie Martell has a peplum shirt that she loves. Cosmopolitan.com style editor Charles Manning hates peplum. Alie soldiers on.
21. Finding the career field you'll be working in for the rest of your life. This isn't Ye Olden Tymes where everyone died when they were like 25 so yeah, of COURSE they had to be a blacksmith the whole time. It's common these days that people do mid-life career switches. Twentysomethings have decades to decide what they want to do forever, and maybe that thing is a bunch of different things.
22. How many friends you have. Quality, not quantity. It's not high school anymore. At least, I haven't seen any frosted tips and Abercrombie polos around lately.
23. Losing touch with old friends you don't have fun with anymore. I am a firm believer in the unspoken bullshit factor of nostalgia. Why would you continue hanging out with someone you don't really like and have nothing to talk about with just because you went to the same high school? It's one thing to keep in touch with a long-time friend you still like, and another to keep a empty, surface-value relationship on awkward-dinner life support just because you've known each other for a long time. No, thank you.
24. When your boyfriend will propose. Ideally, you've got 99 problems and that's either the 99th or not a problem.
25. Being alone forever if you and your current boyfriend break up. You are smarter than this! This is illogical. It's way more likely that you spend the next few months upping your hotness game, rebounding with a string of super-attractive guys, and then winding up in another long-term thing when you are ready, which is hardly a death sentence.
26. Anything shitty your boyfriend does. You're young! Just break up with him if you don't like him! Don't become one of the friends I roll my eyes at over dinner when she complains about her boyfriend for three years straight and does nothing!
27. "Missing out." Like Valentine's Day, FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is a myth created by the liquor companies to trick us into going to parties we don't really want to go to and spending a ton of money getting drunk enough that we like being there.
28. Needing to have a roommate because you can't afford to live alone. First of all, Elaine from Seinfeld had a roommate when she was in her early thirties, and she is a role model. Secondly, you can afford to eat out more.
29. Buying clothes that are dry-clean only. Because the best clothes are dry-clean only.
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