Mastering Life in Your 20s…

I recently read a blog post entitled “10 Things Everyone in Their 20s Should Be Doing.” I thought it’d be a good idea to do some research since I am turning 20 in a few weeks.

Turns out I was wrong. This list should have been called “10 Things Everyone Should Be Doing Regardless of Age Because They Are Just Common Sense”.

  1. Eat more fruit and veges
  2. Drink water
  3. Exercise at least three times a week

Blah, blah, blah.

None of this is 20s specific. I already do all of those things. Except number 7, which was “Get involved in a group sport.” The list justified this as a good way to get fit and socialise, but anyone who knows me knows that I generally don’t like people, or groups, or sports that require coordination.
I also don’t do number 10, which is “Travel” because I am an almost 20 year old arts student. I do not now, nor will I ever, have enough money to travel further than my parents’ house every other weekend.

Step Brothers: basically just an entire film about what happens when you fail your 20s…

Since I have a pathological need to be right- and to mock things I find to be outright ridiculous, like this list- I came up with my own list of 10 Things Everyone in Their 20s Should Be Doing.

  1. Learn to Cook.
    Moving away from home for uni/study/general escape from rules and CSI reruns is great until you realise that Mi Goreng and toast are not a legitimate meal plan. Mixing it up with some basics like French Toast, Bolognese and fresh soups is a really good idea.
  2. Master the Washing Machine.
    Whites, colours, darks and towels all need to be sorted, washed separately and ironed once dry.  While my brother chooses to stubbornly ignore my teachings, I have faith that you, the lovely SolSat readers are much smarter than he is.
    The next lesson here is, of course, the machine itself. Hot wash, cold wash, low/mid/high water levels, front loader vs. top loader, and what-the-hell-bloody-brand-of- powder-do-I-buy!? Relax. Set your machine to cold wash and mid water level so you’re always good to go. Get the brand of powder that smells the best and make sure to check that the label clearly matches your machine ie: if you have a top loader, get top loader powder.
    Also, fabric softener is a money making conspiracy. It does nothing. Save your $6.
  3. Learn to Change a Tyre.
    Most people get their license at 18, buy a car at 19 and have a wonderful time with it all. Super, except that about 75% of people in their 20s don’t know how to change a tyre, put water in their washer bottles or change their oil. For the women this isn’t such a  big deal because we can flirt with the guys from roadside assist or convince a passing motorist to take pity on us, but guys don’t have that option. It’s a sad stereotype, but everyone expects you to be able to do this for yourself.
  4. How To Hold A Baby.
    Yes. This makes it into the top 5 because this the point in your life when your friends/siblings/colleagues are about to start procreating and whether you like it or not, at some point you’re going to be asked to hold their offspring.
    Did anyone else play Operation as a kid? Well, babies are a lot like that. One wrong move and they start making a god-awful noise that freaks you out more than the thought of actually dropping them. Remember; tuck their head into the crook of your elbow and support from below.
  5. Tie A Necktie.
    You can’t pass for young and deliberately scruffy anymore. You are, albeit reluctantly, an adult. It’s time to start dressing like one. Leave the pre-ties to the hipster kids and man up.
  6. Master Chopsticks.
    No, not that weird piano piece. I mean legitimate, Mr Miagi chopsticks. In your 20s, you do a lot of hipster/cheap activities (because they’re basically the same thing) like hanging out in China Town or Japanese Restaurants. If you want to immerse yourself in another culture, try using their table manners, too.
  7. Dress To Impress.
    The waistband of your jeans belong- wait for it- on your waist. None of this halfway-down-my-butt nonsense. You look ridiculous, and I think your common sense has escaped, along with your dignity, through your exposed crack.
    Spots and stripes do not belong together. That’s not avant-garde or unique or cool. It’s uncomfortable to look at.
    And just a heads up, real mean wear pink. Ladies love a man in pink.
  8. Argue With Respect.
    No, this isn’t an oxymoron. In our 20s, we’ve all got really strong opinions about everything from politics to which Kardashian we like best. Some things aren’t worth losing friendships over, so make sure you keep their feelings in mind. Use phrases like “I understand where you’re coming from, but…” and “Consider this…” rather than just shutting the other person down entirely.
  9. Make a Fire.
    Not in a supermarket or anything like that – I do not advocate pyromania. What I mean is that 20-somethings should be camping and cooking and all doing all that outdoorsy shit. If the cavemen could do it without a YouTube tutorial, you should be able to do it as well.
  10. Perform Basic First Aid.
    This should probably have been number 1, but I’m not going back and changing things now. The ability to perform CPR or properly splint broken bones is incredibly undervalued. Life skills like this one, quite apart from being insanely practical, look great on resumes and first dates. First Aid Classes aren’t expensive, so they’re definitely something to look into.

Also, a mate of mine really wanted me to add “Dispose Of A Body” to this list. I’m slightly concerned as to why, but here is his justification:

“Not because I need to hide a body at the moment, or plan to at any stage, but hey – we can’t predict the future. I just think everyone should have a plan in mind. I, for example, would probably dig a big hole on a farm somewhere and just drop that sucker in. Or feed it to the pigs that live on the farm… yeah, I’d probably go with the pigs.”

And on that note, I’m off to make sure my doors are locked.

− by Blaire Gillies

Adult Skills

Over the age of eighteen? Well this article was written for you – unless you have your shit together, than you can ignore all of this. But don’t lie to yourself. If you’re that twenty-something year old who just moved out of their childhood home, or that middle-aged man who just separated and realised that they actually don’t know how to wash their own jocks then read on.

I don’t care if you’re happy to keep letting the people around you do every job that you haven’t bothered to learn; you’re an adult. There are some things that you have to know before it’s too late. But before we continue I admit that I don’t know how to do half of these things, however I am aware that I should.


Is this you?

Is this you?

I don’t expect even the most pro-active of people to be great at this, but if you’re at least able to not make yourself sick then that’s good enough. Cooking is the shit. It satisfies your mind, your tum-tum, and if you get better at it, your ego. Domino’s pizza and two-minute noodles can only satisfy a person for so long; ditching the microwavables and deep-fried crapola means that you’re on your way to becoming a well-balanced adult. Don’t fool yourself buddy; it doesn’t matter how many KFC coupons you’ve saved up, in the long run learning to at least fry an egg will keep your wallet and stomach comfortably full.



How not to clean

What the fuck are you doing mopping the floor with detergent? You obviously didn’t help your parents with the cleaning, did you? You can’t survive simply off of windex and detergent, you need various chemicals for various things. You could ask your parents because they are probably real adults and will help you out. If you don’t want your dishwasher to overflow with bubbles or you’re wanting to get rid of those weird mushrooms growing out of your shower, it’s time to pick up a Chux and read some instructions.


I don’t mean this in a general way like “you’re not an adult unless you read x amount of novels,” but there are some things that might prove helpful to read. The older you get the easier it is to get fat. That grid of numbers on the back of food packages could help you determine what you should eat, how much and why. Buzz-words like “low-fat” and “90% of your daily fibre” may lead you to think that some products are superior, but this deception can vanish when you read its Nutritional Information.

Another thing that should make sense to you is analogue time. For some people it really is a problem. But not every watch and clock in the world has switched over to digital just yet, so don’t assume that you don’t need to know how to read them.

Mend and Spend


Time to get a new shirt

Calm down; you don’t need a sewing machine just yet, but you should have a few things in case of emergencies. Thread, needle, and maybe some buttons will come in handy (On another note: KEEP the spare buttons that come with new clothing). Before planning a trip to K-Mart really look at the damage. If it’s a small hole or a lost button chances are you can mend it yourself rather than spending more mulla.

Another part of being an adult is realising that expensive clothes are just that for a reason. As a rule of thumb these clothes will last longer, assuming you care for it responsibly. It means that instead of getting a pair of skinnys from Target that will last a month or two, you should maybe check out that fancy looking denim boutique.


Even though many adults are still supported by other people (no shame) there is still a certain level of responsibility you have to have. It’s dependent on the person but simply budgeting or tracking what you buy can help you save money. This is a tip I’ve heard over and over again but it still rings true: When you think of buying something, think of what you would rather be given by somebody else; that thing or the equivalent in money?

Always making sure you have some sort of income is essential to live a good life, this means not quitting a job before you find a new one, remembering to report to Centrelink or even being grateful for the money someone else is supporting you with.

Long story short: Money keeps you alive, always make sure you have a steady supply of it.

Listen to your body


Ow! My spraying hand

After eighteen years of your life you should be used to your own body, but sometimes it’s easy to forget that you are responsible for it. It seems like common sense but sometimes we neglect going to the doctors and certain specialists because of the time, effort, and expenses that come with it. These things can exponentially rise if left alone; toothaches can turn into expensive root-canal procedures, intolerances can lead to severe allergies. And the routine things we have to do; pap smears, STD checks and breast exams are things that could potentially save your life. Keep up with your checkups.

Wrap A Present

Seriously, it’s not funny anymore. Nobody likes a nice present bundled up in butchers paper and masking tape.

−  by Josefina Huq