It’s been a while, but say hello to the (slightly) revamped Scranshums! I’m back to regularly broadcast musings, pop culture waffling, medieval magic research and whimsy in your general direction, whether you like it or not. (Please like it, we aspiring writers need our audiences.)
First off, I’ve got slightly older (inevitably) and may have been having what the media likes to call a “quarter-life crisis”. Back when I was little, I always thought I’d have so much done by the time I was 25 – I’d have written a bestseller, have a house/neighbourhood full of mates, been on several globe-trotting adventures foiling terrorist plots and hunting ancient treasures. This has not happened. I am also not sure who sat on the temporal gearbox, because the last few years seem to have whipped through at an impressive rate compared to the first 20.
So here’s the things I have noticed about being 25. I’m sure all those of you who’ve already passed this point will now nod sagely and go “yep, this is not a profound discovery”.
- Hangovers are more of a thing now. They’re unpredictable. I find myself having to schedule in days off to be potentially ill if I’m planning a heavy night out.
- Same goes for gaining weight. You’ve got to work a little harder to lose weight again than you used to.
- Your culinary skills have vastly improved from your early student days. You’ve got about 4 or 5 classic staple recipes that you can whip out for different occasions. If you’ve not got these roughly memorised, then the page in the recipe book is folded, burnt and covered in splashes of tomato sauce.
- You find yourself looking in clothing shops for replacement items that you bought several years ago and realise that styles have changed and they’re not what you’re after. I miss hipster trousers, everything’s high-waisted now.
- There’s only a year left on my 16-25 railcard, which means I’ve only got 365 days to nationalise the railways and take down the capitalist regime that makes train tickets stupidly expensive for everyone. (26-30 railcard’s helpful but a total sop so the damn government doesn’t address the real problems of the privatised rail system.)
- Friends my own age have varying situations: married with house and/or kids, just taking a sudden career change from an established job, living at home, earning megabucks as something corporate, having sudden epiphanies about what they want to do, being skint creatives, just getting on with a standard job, being able to beat the Devil on Cuphead… Everyone is noticeably different and you realise that the definition of someone “having their shit together” is different for everyone and doesn’t apply to a single person 100% of the time.
- Saying that though, everyone else seems to have their shit together while you’re generally bemused and feel you’re making a total mess of things. Social media doesn’t help.
- Realistically, if I want kids I’ll have to have them in the next 15 years and that suddenly seems quite near. I still have difficulty tying my own shoelaces.
- Npower are a bunch of dicks. This isn’t really one that’s specific to being 25, but I’ve spent the best part of the last year arguing with them, so it counts as part of my 25-learning-curve. Don’t go with these guys ever.
- Mysterious aches and pains start showing up.
- You stop being given free condoms at the docs because everyone assumes you’re earning enough to afford them, or you’re having kids.
- I’m still not sure how taxes work, but more grown-up grown-ups keep asking me about mine.
- I do, however, know that council tax only goes up.
- You start writing a blog post and can’t remember that amazingly funny sentence you had for number 14.
- I know I need a pension, and saving plan, but given the current socio-economic environment they seem like mythical creatures. I’d have better luck hand rearing a unicorn and selling its glitter.
- I know enough about household appliances to know when they’re broken, but not enough to actually fix them.
- Lots of friends have moved all over the country. It is nice having so many places I can visit but I do miss having absolutely everyone within emergency pizza get together distance like I had at uni.
- I don’t listen to Radio 1 often now, but when I do, the music’s crap.
- There’s always, ALWAYS a laundry load or housework that needs doing. But – and younger me never thought I’d say this – having certain jobs all done is incredibly satisfying. Like clearing away all the washing up. Or totally cleaning out hard to reach extractor fans, finishing the hoovering and finding out new household tips that really work – I went on about this way to clean showerheads for about 3 days after trying it.
- Saying that though, I’m sure I know how to use the cleaning products I possess yet I am still convinced that one day I’ll get the combo right and explode the bog through the ceiling.
- It’s not the policemen getting older, it’s pop stars, footballers, actors, activists… How have they done so much before they’re 25?
- Stuff that I remember well feels recent but actually happened up to 10 years ago. I was talking to a work friend, who’s 18, about a lamp that looks a bit like a blank face and she said it reminded her of a monster in one of the “really old episodes of Doctor Who, one from years and years ago”. I said, “which Doctor, William Hartnell? I didn’t know you were into classic Who.” And she says “Nah, David Tennant, one of the episodes with Billie Piper.” That was 2006. And is my favourite series.
- Smear tests.
- I’m well aware that last night “was lit, fam”, but beyond that I’m not sure what some of the younger people mean anymore. I think this is the first feeling of “I am cool…by my generation’s standards” that only increases as you get older.
- Cuddly toys are now “collectors’ pieces” and not just for cuddling.