Note: This first appeared on the now-defunct comedy website, Nearly Robots in 2012.
(Inspired by: 20 Things I Should Have Known by 20)
- Watch TV and Eat Junk Food. Your parents may tell you not to watch upwards of five hours of TV an evening or not to eat stacks of Oreos covered in peanut butter, but THIS is the only time in your life you will ever be able to do these things without feeling like a pathetic waste of human existence. Live it up! Plus, most intelligent people will tell you that they learned everything they know from The Simpsons.
- Do Not Expect People to Keep Secrets. If you tell your new best friend Sally that you still wet your bed, you better believe everyone is going to know that shit by recess. Gossiping about other people’s secrets is one of the purest human joys. This does not change as you get older.
- Avoid Getting a Nickname. What may seem like a passing joke can often result in you being referred to as “Scooter” for the rest of your adult life.
- Those Weird Feelings You’re Having About Boys/Girls Will Only Get Weirder. Enjoy the simplicity of this time before you begin to view your sexuality as a spectrum and realize that every potential romantic partner you get involved with is an ersatz version of either your mother or father.
- Your Teachers Are Not Necessarily Smarter Than You. Yes, they are older, and have more life experience, but you should still question the things that don’t seem to make sense. For example, that time when 5th period Geography became “put your head down on your desk and close your eyes” period.
- Puberty is Going to Suck. You’re going to do a lot of stupid things like shave your eyebrows, wear terrible cologne to cover up your B.O., wear terrible makeup to cover up your acne, and maybe wear a lot of fleece for some reason. There’s no advice that can help. You’ll just have to go on autopilot and get through it. It’s like the dark ages of your youth, but if you’re lucky, you’ll emerge from it with minimal trauma and some sweet secondary sexual characteristics.
- Keep a Diary, But Only the Good Kind of Diary. By this I mean, don’t just write angsty emotional things. Reading that stuff later feels like the equivalent of reading the manual for a refrigerator. You’re always going to be confused, sad, and angsty, that won’t change. What will change is who you’re friends with, where you hang out, your hobbies, who you have a crush on, the things you want to do, etc. Write factual accounts of your days, then read it when you’re in your 30s, and be shocked that there was a time when your days didn’t consist of working, running errands, cooking, and watching re-runs of the Big Bang Theory while essentially comatose.
- Get Really Good at the Computer. Forget about going outside and getting fresh air. Do you think the guy who invented Twitter spent his evenings in the park playing tetherball?? Hell no. Like learning a second language, if you want to be a computer wiz and invent the next Facebook, you have to start young. And like learning a second language, you will probably drink all that knowledge into oblivion in your first year of university.
- Have Lots of Sleepovers! Sleepovers are just fun. And when you get older, the only sleepovers you get to have are sexy sleepovers or Puke-And-Pass-Out-Somewhere-You-Don’t-Live sleepovers.
- Don’t Worry About Anything. Unless you want to be rich, famous, or successful in any way. Then worry, a lot.