Why your 22nd birthday sucks

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A month from today, I will turn 22. You remember when your fifth grade teacher would always say ÒRemember, tomorrow is the first day of the rest of your life?Ó Your 22nd birthday is the first day of the end of your life. Because itÕs all downhill from here.

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HereÕs why:

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1. Your 21st birthday is spent getting hammered with all your friends at the bars downtown. Your 22nd is spent with a couple buds and a pitcher of Coors Light at Applebees. Applebees!

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2. For every person you date from now until you die, you will wonder if youÕll marry him/her.

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And in case you arenÕt wondering, your mother will most certainly call you some Sunday afternoon and say awkward things like ÒSheÕs a really nice girl,Ó and ÒYour cousin DannyÕs getting married, heÕs only a year older than you.Ó Ma, you know I love you; IÕm speaking in generalities.

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Thank you, UVM, Magic Hat, and Pretty Lights for promoting such a hookup culture. But you grow past that. ItÕs time for grown-up relationships.

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3. ItÕs not called Senioritis once May rolls around. ItÕs called unemployment.

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YouÕre right in the middle of your last semester and youÕve had it in cruise control and life is good. But then you realize that itÕs all gotta end.

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And that, my friends, is scary as shit. For the first time in your life, youÕre completely untethered to any sort of plan.

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4a. YouÕre no longer underage. YouÕre not even of age. YouÕre overage.

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It used to be cool on the rare occasion that you didnÕt get IDÕd. Now you just get angry when the corner store clerk doesnÕt ask. Their lax enforcement of underage drinking laws aside, youÕre not that old, damn it.

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4b. You come to that point in your life where youÕre at a house party and you realize youÕre the oldest person there. And suddenly you feel like one of those old creepers at RasputinÕs. And that is an awful feeling.

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5. You will very soon be very poor.

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That bubble of not having to worry about money because youÕre in school is about to burst. And you find yourself doing things you told yourself you would never do, like buying PBR for any other reason than stocking the beer fridge for when your friends you donÕt really like come over.

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And you begin to ponder if that $9 a month for Netflix is worth it. But you conclude that youÕd rather skip a meal because you have to know what happens in the third season of ÒThe Wire.Ó

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6. After 21, there are no more exciting milestones. You can buy beer and cigarettes and porn. What else is there to look forward to? You canÕt rent a car in many places until 25. Start counting down the days!

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7. It is no longer acceptable to drink as much as you do. You realize that when all of the bartenders at the Needs know what you order. But you take it in stride and sit down anyway.

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To borrow from Kenan ThompsonÕs best SNL character, this is real! You canÕt take a day off when you want to. The rent doesnÕt pay itself. ThereÕs no such thing as Spring Break.

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8. You will spend much of your twenties horribly lost. Since you were little you knew it was four years of high school and then four years of college. And then youÕre on your own.

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This is how your life begins to end. Not with a bang, but with a friendly email from this fine university informing you of the obscene amount money you will soon have to start paying back. Sorry to bum you all out. But think of it as a heads up.

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I think I might just jump the gun on this one and be a regular at some townie bar. Wanna celebrate my birthday with me? IÕll be at the Old Northender.