22 life lessons learned by 22

1. Pop the champagne in an empty room. Every time. Run at the sound of “champagne showers.”

2. Sleeping on the cold, hard floor of Grand Central Station never, ever feels good; no matter how many watered down shots you took or tables you danced on before passing out in the cab-ride there with a slice of dollar pizza in your lap. Make that last train home like your life depends on it (but miss it in good company at least once).

3. It’s okay to fuck up and it’s okay to fail as long as it’s not out of college. It’s okay to let your clothes pile up so high they top your dresser and to hate your ex-boyfriend’s new girlfriend for no good reason or no reason at all. It’s okay to do these things because you will do these things and you’ll get drunk in lieu of them, learning to love yourself with each and every force-fed carbohydrate you stomach the next day.

4. Boxed wine is never the answer. Boxed wine is also always the answer. Proceed with caution.

5. Say “no” more often. Sleep in and watch all the episodes of Ellen you have DVR’ed because, sure, life’s too short, but being social can be suffocating. Treat yourself at least once a week, up to and including rolling around in bed for five hours (getting up only to put in the Notebook and feed yourself cake).

6. Fiats may make it cross-country but they won’t do much to intimidate that stranger looking for a fight in the middle of an Ohio gas station.

7. More people than you think will hold your hair back at the bad end of a bender and just as many will carry you up the stairs, set your alarm and cut you out of the duct tape holding up your strapless bra. Some will even use their teeth.

8. There is a silver lining in every closed door, rejection letter and lost stranger in a crowded bar you could’ve sworn you were hitting it off with. Odds are, that job was mainly coffee runs and that stranger had herpes/a girlfriend.

9. Sometimes you’ll ask Jesus to take the wheel and others, to pull the fuck over. Keep at least one hand on the wheel at all times (and your eyes on the road, or at least open).

10. Do not get a haircut just because you’re sad.

11. Having a full-time job is more strenuous than being a full-time student.

12. A la “Four (best years) later,” they can (and will) kick you out of Pacha for crying.

13. You are either light on your feet or light on your grace. There is no happy medium so don’t break the mold. If you do, there’s a heavy chance you’ll end up on the kitchen floor of a crowded party with a shattered Hookah pipe under your arm and a bloody bruise that says you did it.

14. Don’t spend all your money at the jukebox.

15. Duct tape dresses are hard on the lungs and legs.

16. Ex-lovers are hidden from your timeline for a reason. Don’t go rogue just because it’s three in the morning and your Tinder match won’t text back. You m̶i̶g̶h̶t̶ will accidentally like a picture of him and his new girlfriend and no, you cannot take it back.

17. Set two alarms and, if you have to, set ten.

18. Sometimes sex is just sex. Every once in a while, you will find yourself in someone else’s bed and it will mean nothing but a good (or great) time and that’s okay. Don’t regret a single second or bedsheet, friendly or foreign. Intimacy comes in interesting forms.

19. You are beautiful, even if you haven’t had a thigh gap since you were seven and you have a prominent beer pouch. You are a moderate size and appropriately proportioned. One day, you’ll learn to look past pretentious clothing labels and finally tell Forever 21 to go fuck itself for its not-so-forgiving “larges” (with an extra special “fuck you” for one-size-fits-all).

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A photo of myself (far right in the floral dress) at my thinnest when I thought I was my biggest and joined Jenny Craig at seventeen. No more than fifteen frozen dinners later, I lightened up and let myself eat bacon again.

20. That coffee is hot.

21. Appreciate the time you’re spending and who you’re spending it with. Appreciate every pillow-talk and every dining room dance session, every late night drive over the Brooklyn Bridge and every early morning struggle, every handmade Halloween costume and every drink made way too strong. Appreciate every answer to every problem your parents ever gave you. Every person you’ve ever met and the occasionally outrageous happenings how. Appreciate everything and appreciate it always.

22. Losing your voice is a price well spent on a pitch-black road somewhere in Indiana at three in the morning and, of course, in the crowded living room of your best friend’s first apartment.

Also featured on The Daily Pregame.

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One Comment on “22 life lessons learned by 22

  1. I read a bunch!… Was moved to ponder, to laugh, to feel, and to enjoy every bit of this 20-something life you live. This just made an hour of my 20-something life worth every scroll down, zoom in, scroll up, repeat. My thumb and pointer finger thank you:) I love you.

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