We’re all dependent on our parents in one way or another, but when do you draw the line and realise it’s time to grow up?
Last month my 24-year-old housemates’ mum came to stay with us for the weekend. We were in the process of moving house, so the apartment was the definition of chaos. My housemate (we will call her Kate) had asked her mum to fly to Melbourne to help her pack up her belongings, as it was going to be a big job.
What struck me almost immediately after Kate’s mum arrived and began assembling boxes was that Kate sat on the couch and did not lift a finger. This continued for the entire weekend. Kate’s poor mum packed boxes, wrapped the television in bubble wrap and folded all the clothes to pack them into suitcases. All while Kate barked orders from either the couch or her bed.
Kate is 24 and about to become a mother herself. And the fact that she can’t do simple things that she should, by now, know how to do makes me a little concerned for not only her but her baby as well.
So this got me thinking – what are the things we should know by the time we turn 24? Here’s what I’ve come up with.
Dealing with a hangover like a legend
Partied too hard at the Christmas party and realised you have an exam or important meeting the next day? By the time we reach the ripe old age of 24, which is actually not that old, we should be well equipped at dealing with hangovers.
And if we’re not, nothing cures a hangover more than a cold shower, popping two panadol and downing a bottle of Gatorade. Trust me, you’ll thank me later.
Lodging a tax return
This is something I always thought would be really straightforward. It is not.
I’m fortunate to have an accountant as my dad, so my finances are always well taken care of. I’m completely in awe of how simple he finds it, and the speed at which he gets returns done (especially during EOFY). Heaven help me when I have to do it on my own!
How to give a great handshake
By 24, you’ve no doubt met a lot of different people, and as a result, you may have had to shake a lot of hands. One thing that can either make or break a first impression is a handshake. It is super important that your handshake is not too firm, and not too weak. The right amount of pressure is all that is needed to make a great first impression on anyone you meet.
FYI – crushing the other person’s hand or throwing their shoulder out of joint is not the way to make a good first impression. Go figure!
How to put together a meal with what you’ve got in the pantry
If you are lucky enough to still be living at home, this may not necessarily apply to you, although you should still know this for when you do leave home. For those of us who have left the nest, it is important for us to continue to be able to whip up a meal at a moment’s notice. But on a student wage, sometimes it’s not always possible and you may need to resort to what is readily available. Some 2-minute noodles, microwaveable Mac & Cheese, or pre-made lasagne from Coles are always a safe option – not much cooking is required (less cooking, more Netflix!). But if you’re semi-talented in the kitchen, combining the bare essentials like corn chips, tinned beans and cheese makes a really good last-minute taco feast. Try it!
Avoiding fuck boys and fuck girls
Yep, I said it. This is probably the most important skill to attain by the time you turn 24. Being able to sift your way through the pile of fuck boys and girls with the hope of digging out one that actually knows how to return a phone call is seriously an art. An art that takes years and years of practice – especially with ghosting growing more popular in the dating world!
Dressing appropriately for your age
Gone are the days of hipster jeans, bare midriffs, and denim underwear. Or low-slung jeans with your underwear showing (boys, I’m looking at you)! It is time to start dressing appropriately for your age. By the age of 24, you will hopefully be in a position where you are embarking on the beginning of your career – so you will want to be taken seriously, yes? Well, dress accordingly.
Smile at old people
Now that I’m thinking about it, this one is super important. You know those moments when you’re walking down the street and you see a sweet old lady toddling along the street on her way home? Smile at her. Because I guarantee she will smile back and you’ll feel a whole lot better about yourself for doing it.
How to remove questionable stains from everything
If there is one thing I’m hopeless at, it’s anything to do with laundry. So when it comes to removing stains, I don’t even bother sometimes. I just spray with Vanish and toss into the machine, crossing my fingers the stain comes out.
But my grandma is always passing on old wives’ remedies when it comes to removing stains. Some sound really obscure but believe me, they actually work! She swears by dipping a cotton wool bud in Domestos and dabbing it onto the stain (particularly those pesky white stains). Try it, it really works! – Lauren Kavanagh
Promotional still from the movie Bridget Jones’s Diary.