20 Things I Probably DON’T Need to Achieve in my 20s

I like lists. I like lists soo much. Any lists anyone posts on facebook I will absolutely read. Some lists are not on the same levels as others. This is a post about a list a friend of mine posted on facebook, about the 20 things you need to accomplish in your 20s. It’s possibly the most bullshit thing I’ve ever read.

Now, I’m literally the first person to admit that I’ve not exactly gotten my 20s exactly perfect. Like, I’ve screwed up a lot of stuff, but this list is surely designed to make anyone feel like a failure. The first clue, admittedly, is that it’s from a website called ‘elitedaily.’ Hmm.

This list of things that you MUST accomplish, or your life sucks, is also complete with with pics of super attractive healthy looking fuckers who presumably have no real life problems. I’ve included a selection of some of the pictures.

I think this is a terrible list, and here’s why (complete with pictures I consider a little more….accurate of a view of a 20 something.)

20. Let go of the past and look forward to the future:


This one I’m okay with the list including. You should absolutely learn from your mistakes and move forward. Having said that, maybe it’s just me, but I’ve never made a mistake that involves a suitcase full of money in a swanky hotel room. (Is it just me?)


19. Accept that you are an adult:

“By the time that you reach 27 years of age there should be no doubt in your mind that you have reached adulthood. This is the time to accept that you are an adult and that it is time to act like one. This does not necessarily mean to tone down your crazy escapades, but it may.”

My happiest memories from this year so far include running and playing on a playground, going to a museum of childhood, and playing dress up in the V&A. Those are also some of my happiest memories from my childhood. And you know what? There’s nothing wrong with that.

18. Learn to maintain and keep your environment organized.


Yeah I could keep my shit a little tighter. Like this fine fellow in a restaurant. Look how tight his shit is!! Compare it to me at a restaurant. Gosh I have some work to do.

3 emily daily

17. Learn to maintain your body.


“Exercise is important.”

Yeah it’s also crazy dangerous, so…. Good luck with that.

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16. Learn to dress well.


“People judge you on how you look and how you dress. Wearing the right clothing for each occasion will make whatever you wish to accomplish a bit easier”

If I had worn nice expensive clothes every time I needed to get dirty at my last job (read- every day) the only thing people would be judging me for is covering expensive clothes in paint, ergo, they’d think I was an idiot. If dressing well is part of how I accomplish a career goal, then I’m not interested. I don’t want to be judged on how I look. I’d rather be judged on merit. I cannot walk in heels, and I do NOT think that makes me less of a success in either my personal or professional life.

Work Clothes

15. Start to accumulate a fortune.


Sure. I will get right on that.

6 emily daily14. Learn to adapt.


“We must all embrace change — the sooner the better.”

This is another good one- but what is he wearing? Is that….pleather? And what is he changing in this picture?

15. Outline your perfect partner

“You may not be able to find a woman that matches your dream woman 100%, but you should have a good idea of what you do want in a partner and what you don’t want — as well as how important each characteristic or lack of is to you.” Sound advice, for men and lesbians. But it’s also important to not count someone out because they don’t fit into your series of criteria.

12. Reestablish your connection with your family.

Presuming I’ve already fucked it up in the first place, of course. Well, I didn’t lose my connection with them, so I shall keep up the good work.


11. Surround yourself with people that you would like to keep around.

“Building a trusting relationship with someone takes years, so it’s best to get crackin’. Do people make new friends in their 30s?”

Do people NOT make new friends in their 30s? What a terrifying scenario – heads up everyone, don’t move anywhere new after 29 or you will never ever ever have friends again.

10. Find work that you love doing.


“If your work doesn’t give meaning to your life, which honor may very well be reserved for your friends and family, then it must at the very least not make your life more unpleasant.”

Well, yes, work shouldn’t make your life unpleasant, but I don’t think they should discount the value of doing work you don’t enjoy for a limited amount of time. Not everyone can walk straight into your dream job (although perhaps you can if you are dressed well and wearing heels, I dunno) and it’s incredibly valuable to gain a variety of experience in whatever you can do, and then apply that skill set to your dream job when you do find it. I spent 4 years selling soap…to everyone… every day… and then got to have my dream design job as a direct result of that.

11 emily daily

9. Get that body you always dreamed of.


“Have you ever tried to get into shape for the first time at 70? Me neither, but it must suck.”

Okay this is the same shit as number 17. Also I never work out in a leopard print bra and full nighttime makeup; is that what I’m doing wrong maybe?

8. Learn to keep up to date with current events.


…by that you mean adverts for watches? “There are other people on this planet — people that you share a common bond with.” Ah, now I understand. They must have watches too.

7. Learn to read regularly.


The fuck do you mean by ‘learn’?


6. Clearly outline your life goals.

This is actually a good one, I’ll give them credit for it. I could work on my life goals, as right now they mainly involve getting a kit to teach my goldfish how to swim through hoops.

5. Get out of debt.


Who is the photo editor for this site? Is that what debt looks like? This picture makes me feel like I want debt. I don’t have any, so I’ll check this one off the list.

 4. Begin to put money in the bank and learn to leave it there.

“Putting your money into the bank, however, is a good practice to learn.”

Putting money in a bank is a skill to learn? In England our paychecks are put straight in our bank accounts so maybe this is easier for us, but still. Also, ‘begin?’

3. Date the wrong person(s).

“Dating can be pricy, so you may just want to skip the dinner and just sleep around a bit.”

Are you kidding me? Are you actually kidding me? Are you advising me to sleep around so that I can learn more about myself, who I am, and my hopes and dreams? You know, I think I’m going to skip this one, and I think I’ll be okay.

2. Get your own place.


“But everyone ought to live on their own for at least part of their life in order to better get to know themselves”

‘Ought.’ Yes I suppose we ought to, but mate, have you met any twenty somethings who live in London?!? We aren’t living with flatmates by choice. I know some fantastically hard working and talented people and let me tell you, we all have flatmates. It’s not because we are SOOOOO social that we can’t bear the thought of eating pizza and watching criminal minds on our own in the evenings (aka my ideal Saturday night) it’s because living alone is CRAZY EXPENSIVE in this country. I can totally deal with coming home and the TV being occupied by the apprentice (flatmate) or some nature show about sea life (the goldfish) for the small price to pay of not being in crippling debt.


1. Support Yourself

“Nevertheless, there is no reason to be nearing your 30s and still living off mom and dad’s dime. If you can’t support yourself financially, then you have not learned how to survive. You must become a survivor.”

There are plenty of reasons. Things happen that we can’t prepare for, or imagine when we plan our twenties. People get injured, relationships dissolve, people lose jobs, and there is NO SHAME in accepting help if you need it. I learned that this year when my life fell spectacularly to pieces, and of all the things I’ve learned in my twenties, how to accept the help of others is BY FAR the best thing I’ve learned.

So in conclusion, fuck this list.


3 thoughts on “20 Things I Probably DON’T Need to Achieve in my 20s

  1. Pingback: I gotta be, I gotta be…101 – Celebrating 100 Marrow Posts! | makingthemarrow

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