I have been on this planet for twenty-seven years. Thirteen of those years were as a child, six as a teenager, three as a student and now, supposedly, five years as an adult. I actually laughed into my drink as I wrote that and have now dribbled it down the front of my t-shirt, which incidentally is a t-shirt that I’ve owned since I was sixteen. There are many, many ways in which I feel as though this whole “adulthood” thing hasn’t really kicked in yet, but I have come up with four general behavioural patterns that I feel many of my peers share – if you don’t, you’re either lying to yourself or have got this adulthood thing locked down, well done you.

Having a Strained Relationship With Alcohol

 Before:

As a student, alcohol was the social lubricant around which all festivities occurred. If you weren’t pissed, you were studying or playing sport (though I frequently rocked up to Saturday morning matches still absolutely steaming). While you may have felt a bit tired or a bit rough the next morning, at some point someone would suggest hair of the dog and you’d merrily throw on your trackies and go to the local old-man pub for some alcoholic reinvigoration. While it may have hit your bank balance a bit, your relationship with alcohol was largely positive.

 

Now:

  • Hangovers are less “chill on the sofa” and more “chill my body in a medically-induced coma until they discover a hangover cure.”
    • Feeling genuinely like you might die is now a common occurrence if you dare to defy the alcoholic gods by mixing drinks, drinking just one too many or, heaven forbid, skipping dinner.
  • Trying to drink like you’re a student ends exceptionally badly. e.g.:
    • Falling asleep in pre-drinks.
    • Chundering in the cab on the way to the club.
    • Falling asleep in the club.
    • Falling asleep on the night bus.
  • Forgetting that you’re getting older means forgetting the unfortunate side-effects of getting too tight with that dangerous bro, alcohol.
    • Not good for the waistline.
    • Not good for the mind.
    • Not good for the combat-effectiveness of your hip-loaded trouser canon.

 

Money Disappearing Up Its Own Arsehole

 Before:

Ah, student loans. Worry-free booze money, possibly aided by a bar job, and an overdraft the size of a small African country’s GDP. While everything was on a tight budget, your student friends and you were all in the same boat and struggled on by, safe in the knowledge that you’d get into the world of work and be rolling in it within a couple of years – more craft beer, less Ruddles.

 

Now:

  • Common Occurrence: It is six days until payday, your Oyster card is running low, the only food you have in the fridge is two days out of date and your bank balance says £18.43.
  • For some reason, you got in last night having thrown up in the cab, gone onto ASOS and bought a Tommy Hilfiger jacket that was reduced from £450 to £425. You just can’t resist a bargain!
  • Somehow you always end up getting stuck into bar rounds with those friends who have actually gone on to go and earn a decent wage and who have an unhealthy love for Patron chasers between pints.
  • You accidentally set fire to your friend’s carpet and now owe them £400 (this is from experience).
  • Will one day get on the property ladder at the age of 79.

 

Not Taking Care of Yourself

Before:

Uni was not a conducive environment to healthy living. As the Domino’s boxes started to stack up next to the empty beer cans and bags of wine, you might have taken up a sport to try to ensure you didn’t turn into a total potato. Either way, you didn’t eat well, exercised sporadically at best and somehow didn’t become morbidly obese – thanks, early-twenties metabolism!

 

Now:

  • As much as you want to emulate those colleagues who bring in home-made quinoa, asparagus and kale salads for their lunch every day, there’s a Pret literally around the corner. Give a shit.
  • You sign up for a gym but quickly realise that it is a sticky, over-crowded cesspool of “macho” men and weights-hoggers. That work-discount is only actually a good deal if you actually go to the gym in the first place.
  • While you do make a conscious effort to try and have a balanced diet, any time you are drunk/hungover/planning on drinking the diet goes out of the window and you make a call to that old friend, that old fiend, Domino’s. Get in my face, Meateor.
  • What kind of tosser orders a salad at a restaurant anyway?

 

Having Zero Game

Before:

Maybe you had a partner at uni or maybe you were single. Either way, a load of pissed-up youngsters in an environment like halls meant that you probably engaged in some kind of interaction with the opposite sex either socially or horizontally. The fact of the matter is that if you went out looking for it, you could probably find it – ‘twas the time to live fast and free and experiment a little, after all.

 

Now:

  • Maybe you’re one of the ones locked down with a significant other. Good for you… Good for you.
  • For singletons, the rules of the game have changed. No longer can you swagger out into the dancefloor of a manky uni club, get away with forgetting the other person’s name and then not minding when they’re sick into your bin the following morning.
  • It is actually much harder than you think to meet new people – you could try some work-flings, but that isn’t always advisable. Just look at Jerry in IT having to move companies because of his Christmas party fling with Beatrice from accounts.
  • Let’s face it, Tinder is shite.
  • Your friends in relationships start to take pity on you and set you up with a mutual friend of theirs who’s like, really lovely and just needs a nice person to meet and you’d like, get on so well, TRUST US, you would, hahaha ok no but seriously when are you going to marry them.

 

Maybe one day we’ll get our acts together, maybe one day we’ll feel at home amongst the ranks of the adults, but in the meantime I’m going to crack open a can of Tesco special-brew, munch on my two-day old Domino’s, buy myself an unnecessary hat and desperately swipe right on every profile I see.

 

M.Underhill