Your twenties are like a living purgatory. It’s an entire decade of being stuck somewhere in the no man’s land between teendom and adulthood. You’ve got some responsibilities but few consequences, you’re laying down foundations for your future but still feel rudderless, and every time you learn a new hard-earned lesson, you realize that there are still thousands of big, important questions left to tackle. By the time you reach the age of 30, as I recently did, you get to leave a lot of those vagaries of the last ten years behind, and start to feel like an honest to goodness adult. Below, I’ve compiled a list of 9 things I truly don’t miss about my 20’s.
Living in Squalor
To paraphrase a Dave Chappelle bit, if men could get away with living in a cardboard box, we totally would. I look back at the places I lived during my college years, and I shudder at the memories. The ancient stained bathroom walls and the constantly malfunctioning refrigerators and the mouse who lived in the kitchen that I named Giuseppe instead of, you know, calling an exterminator or something. Now, cleanliness is next to godliness.
Dealing with Roommates
Well, my girlfriend and I do sometimes jokingly refer to each other as “romantic roommates,” but it’s a far cry from the rotating cast of 3 or 4 dudes I used to cohabitate with back in the day. I really don’t miss having to label my milk, or walk around a giant air hockey table to get to my room, or pretend like I’m not hearing what I’m definitely hearing my bro do just one room over, through paper-thin row home walls.
Being Broke All the Time
Seeing as I write stuff on the internet for a living, I know that I’m never going to truly be “wealthy,” whatever that means. However, now that I’m 30, I definitely have way more financial security than I did in my twenties. Remember all of those checks and bonds you had to pretend to be excited to receive from Pop-Pop and Grammy when you were a kid? Hold on to them shits, because they’re going to be a great foundation for your financial nest egg someday. I also have something called a “Roth IRA,” even though I couldn’t really tell you in any great detail how it works.
I don’t miss waking up for 8:30am classes. I don’t miss summarizing readings about the Medici family. I don’t miss 3 hour lecture classes with titles like “Time.” I don’t miss writing term papers. I don’t miss pulling all-nighters studying for midterms and finals. I don’t miss endlessly stressing out over my senior thesis project. I don’t miss dealing with the fucking fascist dickheads in the department’s equipment rental room. Or the goddamn library for that matter. I don’t miss college. Sue me.
Partying Every Weekend
Considering the total homebody that I am now, I can’t believe that there was a time when I actively TRIED to go out and party every single weekend. Be it at a bar or a house party or a DIY basement show or anything weird and in between, I was there, one or two 40s of High Life in my messenger bag, ready to rage until the sun came up. Now I consider it a total victory if I’m able to spend a weekend doing absolutely nothing.
Eating Shitty Food All the Time
Maybe it’s because services like Blue Apron are becoming more and more ubiquitous, or maybe it’s because my body is actively protesting against being subjected to McDonald’s, but I just want to eat better now. There’s nothing more satisfying than a nice home-cooked dinner made with fresh ingredients, and maybe topped off with a few glasses of wine. On the other hand, I’ll never quit you, Taco Bell. Te amo, mi amor.
Saying ‘Yes’ to Things I Didn’t Want to Do
Hey, young folks: the world will not end if you say “No” to some things. In fact, you’ll soon grow to love the power of the word “No.” You’ll get drunk on that power. Say it with me: “No.”
Figuring Out My Likes and Dislikes
Now that I’m 30, I’m pretty much set in my ways. I know that I’ll enjoy going to the movies, or a bar trivia night, or grabbing a drink with some friends I haven’t seen in awhile. However, if you invite me to some fancy foodie place, or a concert with no seating, or an all-night bar crawl, I’m not going to have any fun. Count me out.
Having Everyone Assure You It Gets Better
Honestly, everyone’s experience is personal, and anyone trying to convince you that things will get better is trying to convince themselves of that even more than they’re trying to convince you. I’m no more qualified to hand down world wisdom than the next guy, and it feels great to admit that now that I’m 30. Perhaps I could’ve realized this before I put together this list, but oh well.