22 things to be prepared for as a normal 22 year old

19:46

As current and relevant as always, I started writing this last week when Zayn announced that it felt like a perfect night to dress up like hipsters and make fun of our exes and he was off to be a normal 22 year old. However I then gave it up halfway through as I was "busy" or something (pause for dramatic laugh). I have come back to it now because on Monday night when I mentioned I was born on 1990 a sixth former gave me the most horrified look I have ever seen in my life. It then felt relevant again.

1. There is no chore worse than deciding what to have for dinner. Over and over again you will eat crisps or ice cream for dinner as you often fantasised about as a child, but all it will do is make you feel worse. Many Wednesday evenings you will spend 40 minutes staring at the Tesco reduced section and forget all food that exists aside from takeaway pizza. You will end up having takeaway pizza at least twice a week.

2. No one can afford Dominos as part of a weekly routine. You will become well acquainted with and fiercely loyal to the first pizza takeaway you find on JustEat that doesn't make you ill. When one week they are closed for refurbishment you will feel utterly despondent and not eat that night from the confusion.

3. You will download Tinder and for the four day honeymoon period become completely obsessed with it. You will chat to anyone and everyone, arrange dates and feel better about yourself than you have in years. It will take one month max to feel completely disillusioned and hate everyone who ever just dares to send you a message saying "hi". 

4. You'll go back to where you went to uni for a night out. You'll tell yourself and everyone you knew that you enjoyed it. Privately on the train home you will feel dead inside. 

5. Whereas previously you always stayed out til 5am, by 1.30am on every night out you'll have imposed the "going home on next bad song" rule. 

6. You'll buy a magazine which contains a sample of anti-ageing moisturiser. You will walk around the house declaring "I SUPPOSE I BETTER START USING THIS ANTI-AGEING CREAM AS I'M GETTING SO OLD THEN" at the top of your voice. When no one takes the bait you will spend the next hour trying to spot wrinkles in a magnifying mirror.

7. You will never read the washing instructions on a piece of clothing ever and one day will find out the hard way why this is a bad idea.

8. You will discover dry shampoo and slowly the boundaries of how often you need to wash your hair will be pushed back further and further until one Tuesday you wake up and realise your hair remains perfectly formed in a ponytail as it has not been washed in nine days.

9. You will realise that the more sleep you get the better you feel the next day and begin to hate yourself for it. 

10. Everyone you went to school with will be divided until 3 groups:
a. People who are terrifyingly grown up and are engaged and getting married and having children. Taking care of a BABY? You struggle to take care of the cheese in your fridge!
b. People with amazing glamorous lives who are always out and about travelling and having champagne on rooftops and seem to be constantly on holiday when you've got your fingers crossed you'll be able to afford to go for a weekend in Newquay in late August
c. You and your friends

11. You will face your first Grim Life problem. What could it be? Scabies? Mice? Bedbugs? The full hat-trick? You will spend your days feeling like a medieval peasant but it will shape and change you as a human being forever. Years later sometimes you will still wake up in a cold sweat remembering your Grim Life.

12. Rather than developing more sophisticated interests, you'll easily be able to lose two hours taking pictures of your own hair,

13. Once, the gym seemed like the lair of only vaguely impressive people - an achievement that should be celebrated, but not dwelled on for too long by normal folk, like being a chess champion, or climbing Everest. Now everyone you know goes to the gym. You are the only person you know who doesn't talk about the gym. You will join the gym and go four times.

14. Whereas before coffee was a once-a-day treat it will only be a matter of time before it makes up at least 39% of your constant body mass. 

15. No matter where you live or how sophisticated you want to be, 95% of the times you ever eat out will be at Nandos.

16. You'll start to consider yourself too good for supermarket own-brand vodka. Even seeing it on the shelf will make you feel ancient. 

17. Suddenly you'll have to deal with the fact that there's a reasonable chance that any new partner of your ex is probably going to have a lifestyle blog.

18. You will spend ridiculous amount of money on inessential items, such as £30 on a candle, just to feel a rush.

19. No matter how much laundry you do there will always be more. You do laundry every night for a week and there is still more. You make unexpected plans on one Tuesday night and have an overflowing washing basket for the next four months.

20. If you live in a houseshare one of two things will happen.
a) One of your housemates will be completely terrifying and/or annoying
b) All of your housemates will be fine until one day you hear them talk about how terrifying and annoying you are behind your back

21. There will be a sobering day when you try on something with sequins on that's in the sale and look in the mirror and realise you look like an X Factor contestant in the 'Over' category on Disco Week.

22. Despite all of this you will remain beautiful and impossibly young and impossibly fabulous and you will probably cherish this time in your life forever. One of the saddest things about life is that no one quite realises quite how young they are at the time. (I realise that I myself am only 24 so hardly Old Mother Time - but remember Taylor Swift released a song giving old, age-weary advice to 15 year olds at the age of 18, so it's okay).

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