Are you twenty three? Or have you still to hit the big two three mark? If so, relish it. Enjoy every minute. Appreciate it. It's not going to last for much longer. What is good shall pass. Twenty three seems to be the final mark of student life, of youth, of being a fool. As a fellow twenty-three-year-old in my final days of being twenty three (two weeks of youth left, sob), I'm here to remember the good times, the things in your life that will end at 23, like it or not...
1) The Bank Of Mama And Papa
Having no money and being rescued from the depths of financial despair is something that every student or young person has experienced at some point in their poor little lives. You know what it's like. It's a Tuesday and you're down to your last fiver, the cupboards are bare, there's a party on tonight and the answer lies in your parents debit card. Abuse it now, because once you hit the big 23, you're pretty much a grown up and will have to feed and clothe yourself. Shit buzz.
2) Sleeping In On A Tuesday
What is a lie in? How does one lie in? Every (Arts) student up and down the county could answer this question without pause. Appreciate it now, bitches, because they'll soon be a distant and beautiful memory. What's that noise? Oh, it's our 6.30 alarm. *Sob*
3) Assignments... Assignments Everywhere
This is one of the best things about being 23 and finished college. One of the only good things, in fact. The feeling of being released from the shackles of the assignment train is just fantastic. Freedom, sheer freedom.
4) Midweek Sessions
You're getting old now. Older and wiser (apparently.) Therefore, the choice to go out and get rather shit-faced should be an easy one. Don't do it. Especially when, say for example, you've got work the next morning. That's not the sensible thing to do, after all. Until the thought of a nice cold pint lures you from the house and into a flaming pit of hell.
5) Mild Hangovers
There was once a time where, following a night of knocking back enough vodka to sink a ship, you'd wake up with nothing more than a hankering for a decent chicken fillet roll. Now, after five pints you wake up and omit the contents of your stomach out the window, then spend the next 12 hours lying in the dark and hating yourself. We won't even discuss the two day hangover. Horrific is not the word.
6) Not Having A Life Plan
All the way through college you were fairly confident that once you finished and were out in the real world, the rest would come easy to you. You were wrong. It does not come easy. It is shit. Difficult. Poor. Frustrating. But on the plus side, you'll have some time to reflect and plan for the rest of your career. Hopefully.
7) Living At Home
Now, some of us have been out on our own since we left for college, many moons ago. The rest of us however, well, after 23 years of a full fridge and fluffy towels, to say that we're not quite prepared would be an understatement. Just think of how much peace and nag-free time you're going to have soon though.
8) A Fast Metabolism
Our poor young bodies have been through so much. Drinking, hangover food, thousands of sandwiches, mountains of chocolate and through it all, has pretty much remained a constant. Not for much longer. One of these days you'll wake up with love handles on your neck and calves the size of Cavan and you too will understand that what you put in, is what you get back out.
9) Casual Non-Relationships
Some day soon, you're going to wake up and realise that, at the age of twenty three, you've had bottles of beer in the fridge older than any "relationship" you've been in. Now if you enjoy the single life then more power to you, you're only youngish once, may as well make the most of it, unless you're just dying to meet someone that you actually enjoy shifting on a regular basis, in which case, Tinder me up.
10) Drinking Four Days A Week
This was fine when you had nowhere to be but a Folklore lecture at 11am the next morning, that was obviously never going to happen anyway. When, however, you've got responsibilities like a job and food to buy, perhaps save it for the weekend. Perhaps...
11) Noodles Being An Acceptable Food Source
Noodles are not a nutritionally balanced meal. I have learned this the hard way. Take it from me, sooner or later your brain will turn into noodle mush and the little packet of shitty salt that you sprinkle on top will be the stuff of nightmares. Eat some lettuce instead.
12) Living In Filth
Living in squalor is fine as a student, mainly because you're half cut half the time and couldn't give a flying fuck about hygiene in the first place. When you're actually living in a somewhat decent house that's breaking your bank account every month though, you'll more than likely develop a new obsession with the mop and disinfectant. Unless you're a filthy slob who is destined to remain that way for life. Good luck with that.
13) Pulling All Nighters
Pulling an all nighter was horrendous at the best of times, horrendous but always necessary. Fueled by numerous cups of instant coffee and a sheer amount of terror, you could cram an unbelievable amount of shit into your brain within just a few short hours. Now, no amount of anything could keep us from our beautiful beds. Our favourite place in the world. No joke.
14) Being Asked For ID
Everyone remembers being underage and mentally shitting yourself as you queued up for a nightclub, a nightclub that you would one hundred percent not get into. We dreamed of turning 18 and waltzing in everywhere, not a loss in the world. Now that we're 23, we haven't produced our age cards since our 21st. It'll be wrinkles next.
15) Having Summer Holidays
Remember those long, long, long summers of being bored off your tits? Of, three weeks in, wanting to just be back in college again with people who aren't your family? Yeah, I really wouldn't mind having one of those back again. Thanks.
16) Pretending To Like People
When you're young and foolish, you'll inevitably come up against people you don't like or people who don't like you. It's unavoidable. Unless you're Jesus. Or Jennifer Lawrence. Pretending to be everyone's best friend for life becomes very tiring after a while and when you're finished with the same people every day monotony of school and college, then stop pretending and surround yourself with people you actually like.
17) The Urge To Learn Anything New
After 18 years of continuous school (unless you're a teacher, hate that...), I can safely say that if I never sit in a classroom again, it'll be too soon. There's only so much learning one person can do, after all. Except for medical students. You have my respect and well wishes.
18) Putting Three Hours Of Prep Into A Night Out
This is such a great novelty when you're a seventeen-year-old girl attaching a number of Boots finest to various parts of your body and brushing your hair into a nest that any bird would be proud of. When you've been socialising for years though the urge to resemble an adult version of Toddlers and Tiaras fades dramatically. Jeans it is.
19) Listening To Your Mothers Advice
Mother knows best. No. She does not. We love our Mammies, they've given us so much after all, but if they'd like to increase their donations of brown bread and decrease their giving of advice, then we'd be far far happier. PS. Going to bed with wet hair won't kill you, don't listen to her.
20) Going To Mass
Who else remembers trying to stay awake in mass? So damn difficult. That's why the only one I ever enjoyed going to was Midnight Mass, where it was dark and I could sleep soundly. Who else remembers the first time you tried to tell your parents that you weren't going any more? The words "PAGAN" are still ringing in my ears, four years on. Being an adult now, simply explain to them that you are a grown up with your own beliefs and choices. Then run away.
Time is ticking on. There isn't long left until we hit, oh dear god, thirty. NOOOO. Therefore, things like explaining technology to our older relations, sitting on buses and slow internet connections, all make us far too impatient. It's ok to want everyone to just speed up a little. I want it too.
22) Holding In Your Emotions
Being a crying student is a rare and unacceptable thing. It never happens. Think about it. How many times did you cry in college? That's why turning twenty three and becoming old is riddled with emotional trauma. You've got so much crying to make up for. Stick on Bambi and weep your tiny heart out.
23) Life As A Young Person In General
There's a lot to be said for being young. Being carefree, having few responsibilities, few money troubles, your whole life is ahead of you. Turning 23 means that a whole new chapter of your life is opening up. You're free, you can carve out whatever life that you choose, you can travel, you'll meet more people in a few short years than you ever have before, you can spend time with people of your choice as opposed to people that you have to spend time with. So, for it's many faults, embrace and enjoy being 23, it's going to be great, promise!