21 (Alternative) Things You Should Do Before You’re 21

19878371245_0938b2ff1e_zEVERY ONCE IN A WHILE, a list article comes back into vogue, swimming into my social stream or pricking the little blog bubble I house myself in.

Many such articles go viral.

I get it. Lists are popular.

Concise, bite-sized information in an age where our patience is finite – no one has the time to wait fifteen seconds for a YouTube advert to play out before listening to a free audio recording of your favourite band.

  • 30 Things to do Before You’re 30.
  • 100 Things to do Before You Die.
  • 10 Ways to Increase Your Blog Traffic.
  • 20 Books that will Change Your Life.
  • 5 Steps To Improve Your Toilet Wipe

Everyone’s an expert.

In a world where anyone, anywhere can blog and share their worldly experience with a potential audience of millions, much of what is spawned is regurgitated, recycled tripe.

However, what worked for said writer, might not necessarily work for you.

  • Seeing my favourite band Oasis before I was 30 was an anticlimax with lead singer, Liam Gallagher in full-blown twat mode, spitting and cursing at the crowd.
  • A skydive was an exhilarating moment but felt hollow to include on a list of things to do before I die.
  • Longer Tail Keywords for my Blog Posts only served to isolate my audience instead of increasing traffic.
  • James Joyce’s ‘classic’ book Ulysses was an absolute chore to get through and changed my life only in a way which I feel like I aged a few years while reading it.
  • The debate on whether ‘Back-to-Front’ wiping DID change my life continues.

At the risk of sounding like a hypocrite, I wanted to prepare an alternative list that I would have appreciated before I reached 21 years old. It goes something like this:

  1. Don’t listen to your elders. You’re right. You’re ALWAYS right.
  2. Get disgustingly drunk as often as possible. Here for a good time, not a long time.
  3. Have as much sex as possible. Apparently men hit their sexual peak at 21 and for women it is 30. Men, things go a bit limp as you climb towards thirty. Ladies, enjoy the ride.
  4. Surround yourself with twats. You’ll realise the value of friendship when they backstab, lie and cheat behind your back.
  5. Work in shitty, badly paid jobs. You’ll soon learn perspective when you graduate into higher salary roles and slot into your 9-5 Corporate Coffin.
  6. Stay in and play loads of computer games. Trust me – the graphics are much better than real life plus the storyline and game play are more fun.
  7. Live in a crap apartment. Nothing says you’ve made it after fleeing the home coop for University than having your own pad where you can take a dump, cook eggs and open the door all from the comfort of your toilet seat.
  8. Eat your way through the entire chinese/indian takeaway menu. The selection is diverse – live a little.
  9. Gorge on box sets. Study can wait – gorging on DVD’s is your mind’s way of preparing itself for the load in your final year when you rise like a phoenix from the fag ashes.
  10. Take up smoking. Ignore what others say – it’s still cool.
  11. Spend what disposable income you have on new clothes. Appearances are important, especially at Uni.
  12. Don’t call your parents. Unless of course you need a fresh injection of cash.
  13. Grow a beard. Bum fluff TOTALLY counts.
  14. Start a Blog. You are unique and millions are dying to hear what you have to say.
  15. Buy a phone you can’t afford. Others need not know – their jealousy will be totally worth it.
  16. Learn Guitar. EVERYONE will be raptured with your flawless chords and dulcet tones.
  17. Don’t wear protection. STD’s are the new Pogs/Pokemon – both fun and a badge of honour to joke about with friends.
  18. Make time for more Soaps/Reality TV and Chat Shows. They are the antidote to your stressful life and provide an education about the world which is completely realistic.
  19. Question nothing. Your teachers, the media and your idols in entertainment are all telling the truth and have no ulterior motive.
  20. Stay rooted to your town/city. Travel is over rated.
  21. Take more selfies, pictures of freshly poured pints, healthy meals, takeaway dinners, drunken nights out and other pictures of your mental antics and high jinks. These are all valuable, historic moments that the world has never seen before and we will collectively drop everything to receive the next instalment on your fifteen connected social streams.

Suggested Reading – My Year of Living Without a Mobile Phone, Reality Bites, Questioning the Norm

pathfinders chapter 1

image attribution Alexander Mueller

4 thoughts on “21 (Alternative) Things You Should Do Before You’re 21

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