Whether it’s my parents asking me not to borrow their car over the holidays anymore or the government mandating that I have health insurance, it’s becoming abundantly clear that society is beginning to expect certain stuff from me: I need to start being a “grown up.”
Not going to happen. Don’t get me wrong, I’m still going to obey the law and pay my taxes, but I in no way consider myself an adult. My behavior changes very slowly over time, and I can’t just flip a switch and start caring about the strength of the dollar, my ‘to-do’ list, or finding someone to settle down with. In my mind, adults get married and buy houses, which is gross.
I consider myself a young professional, which hopefully is not the same thing at all. I recently slid into a new job, which I’m competent enough to perform adequately, and I’m beginning to realize what it means to have a career. My company pays (most of) my bills, feeds me at least three free lunches a month, and I actually kind of enjoy showing up to work every day. At the tender age of twenty-four, I’ve pretty much hit the middle class workplace jackpot that everyone keeps talking about, but I’m not an adult. Not even close.
I’ll be a real grown up one day, but I want to have as much fun as possible while right now, so sue me. The problem is knowing where the line is drawn. Here are some thoughts that should lift your game to the next level without comprising your integrity.
1. The best way to be memorable is to remember other people’s names. How many times after just meeting someone does one person say, “Wait, what’s your name again?” It’s pretty lame, and you can do better than that.
2. A pitcher has four and a half beers in it. Plan your life accordingly.
3. Give a yearly Christmas present to your entire office. Gum, mints, anything that can be affordably purchased in bulk. You will be universally loved, and probably even get promoted faster than your non-gift giving colleagues.
4. Don’t start sentences with where you are from. Unless you are introducing yourself, or have been asked about a specific event in your childhood, it comes off as smug.
5. Fruit in your beer by logistical definition means that you are drinking a fruity drink.
6. If you order half chicken and half steak, you’ll end up with a larger portion than if you had gotten just one scoop of either.
7. Shooters are easier to sneak into bars than flasks are. Slide two each into your socks, and you’ve just cut fifteen bucks off your bar tab. They’re easier to get rid of, too.
8. The best looking girls you meet will be in person. Tinder and online dating will only get you so far.
9. Befriend the staff at your regular restaurants. You’ll get heaping portions if you show up a half hour before they close. People will heap on extra food to your serving if they like you; it’s instinctual. This has worked at Chipotle, Garbanzo, Qboda, Café Rio, and Coldstone Creamery, among others.
10. Don’t use “human” as an adjective. Some words are constantly overused because they’re all-encompassing and comforting to hear. It’s only human, but please stop.
11. Stash a Red Bull in one of your desk drawers. It’ll be a wonderful surprise pick-me-up for your future hung over self.
12. Only sleep with people you wouldn’t mind impregnating. Children are a blessing, but most pregnancies start out as an accident.
13. Your boss remembers when you leave early far more often than when you stay late. Try to keep that ratio in check.
14. If you hate Mondays, you’ll end up hating a seventh of your life.
15. Your car does not define your station in life. How clean you keep the inside does.
16. Brush your teeth as much as possible. A swig of mouthwash doesn’t count. The twice-a-day brushers start to separate themselves from the pack around our mid-twenties.
17. Do not sext unless a girl really wants you to. Even then, you probably shouldn’t. If you’re the instigator, she might bat the ball back a little at first, but she won’t be into it and you’ll probably end up sending something that you’ll regret.
18. Re-tuck your shirt in when you first get to the office. Inertia of the car braking during your commute causes even the finest tailored to start flying out in back.
19. Organize your music into playlists. It shows organization, which girls like. Also, switching the song on your iPod while driving is dangerous apparently, swerving-wise. Plus, the police officer who pulled you over won’t believe that you weren’t texting and will still give you a ticket.
20. Recognize that you’re in the glory days while you’re still in them. No sense in holding anything back now. A Wednesday morning hangover won’t kill you every once in a while. .