Also, props to you if you've ever held the bobdog candy like a cigarette.
We were eager to grow up only to discover adulthood is the greatest scam in the universe. What is up with the whole getting up at 7am thing anyway? Your 20s is said to be the best time of your life, but all I've done since crossing the 19 year-old mark is feel like an old soul.
Some make Taylor Swift's 22 their new life anthem, while others call it a quarter-life crisis. I just sit down and make a list of reasons why this is happening, like an innately old person would.
1. Everyone is getting married
Single Awareness Day was once scheduled on 14 February, but now that you're a grown-up, Single/Un BTO-ed/Unpregnant Awareness Day is every day with internet connectivity to access Facebook.
A wedding proposal with a flash mob caught on camera. A selfie of your girlfriend at a gown-fitting. A picture of your secondary school classmate's newly furnished BTO apartment. Why's everyone growing up so quickly?!
Also, that's a neat ultrasound you have there. But if you would excuse me, I will return to making important life decisions, like the sugar level of my 2nd bubble tea today.
2. Every surveyor you pass at the MRT WILL approach you
Gone are the days where you can easily escape the stealthy eyes of that bank/survey guy just by being in a student in FBTs and flipflops. Now that you look well put together, the general assumption is that you have everything figured out.
You therefore have:
2. A desire for a new credit card (and a free luggage while at that)
3. Valuable insights for a 20-minute survey on workers' rights
Every time someone approaches me with a clipboard, I die a little inside. Can you go back to ignoring me, please?
3. You feel unreasonably happy when they check your IC at the movies
You haven't lived as a teen until you try to sneak into an NC16 movie. You stroll nonchalantly to the entrance, play it cool as the ticket man scans your prepubescent face, and walk away like it's no big deal.
But like the extinction of Eng Wah cinemas and $6 movie prices, such memories are long gone. An ID check is a major cheap thrill now, and your range of SK-II products would be proud. Why, yes. Please take all the time you need to verify my youth.
You shoot your companion a look that violently radiates invalidated happiness, and he is unimpressed. So what? You look barely 21, that’s all that matters.
4. Teenagers are like a different species altogether
There was a time when we did things unfathomable by adults. Like writing testimonials on Friendster, and exchanging autograph books before graduation. Reality check: kids born in 2000 are sitting for their 'O' Levels this year.
Now that our falling off the radar has ushered in a new generation of kendama -swinging teenagers, there's plenty I do not get. Why do they have multiple Instagram accounts? When did 'lol' evolve into ' lel '?
This must be how my mum felt all those years ago, when she saw me in my OP berms, bobbing my head while being plugged into a Discman.
5. You can no longer 'ton' the night
At some point of life, you’ll meet a friend who tells you sleep is for the weak. This guy will be a strong advocate of #YOLO with 537291 unread Whatsapp notifications, and can usually be found at the Zouk VIP area. He will talk you into many skipped lectures and even more hangovers.
Now that you're out of rigour, stamina, and youth in general, you are tucked into bed by 10pm and nothing can get you out unless it’s a fire. On rare nights that you end up at a club, only 2 thoughts run through your mind:
"Why is the music so loud?"
"Holy crap. Is this what young people wear these days?"
You will regret everything, climb into bed at 5am , and wake up 4 hours later feeling like death.
6. You grow increasingly concerned about your health
Even if you're a child at heart, the evil process that is aging makes sure your body receives the memo. Once you hit 25, your metabolism starts to plunge. Eating all you want and still keeping your figure in check will soon be history.
You used to hate compulsory health and dental check-ups in school, but these things become voluntary now that you're ~old~ and health-conscious. Suddenly, everyone around you is either on a juice cleanse, going for zumba after work, or a yoga master!
More than eating clean and medical reviews, it’s also about time you start thinking about health insurance. In fact, be kiasu and buy them while you're still fit and healthy, or risk paying higher premiums when your body starts failing you!
7. The songs you grew up with start playing on Gold 90.5 FM
I used to go through my parents’ stash of Bee Gees and ABBA, wondering why anyone would buy an album with silhouettes for a cover. I fear that 20 years down the road, my kids would ask, “What kind of a lame boy band calls themselves Maroon 5?”
And it has already begun. Backstreet Boys, Westlife, N’Sync and U2 have been banished to the depths of Gold 90.5 FM. The ‘oldies’ we held close to our hearts, like ‘I Want It That Way’ and ‘All Rise’, now gasp for air whilst drowning in the fluidity of Drake’s dance moves in Hotline Bling.
8. When you're unintentionally vintage
You know you're young when you dress like one of the kids at Orchard Cineleisure, with jeans in various states of ripped. You know you're old when you're in a zero-effort outfit and said kids go, "I love your hipster shoes! Where did you get them?"
Like vinyl records and polaroid cameras, your fashion sense has gone from yay to nay once, out of trend and then back again after its reincarnation. A true mark of age – when you're vintage and didn't even have to try.
9. You derive great joy from purchasing stuff that serves practical purposes
The day you find yourself enjoying grocery runs and trips to the department stores is a defining one. The adrenaline rush when you spot a bundle deal, the pleasure of unboxing your new air fryer, painstakingly collecting NTUC receipts to be redeemed for a crockery set.
Some say these are the simple joys of life, but really, it's called coming of age. Entering a gadget store to replace a faulty handset used to be exciting, now my heart just aches for the bomb I'm about to spend.
10. You speak the adult language
Welcome to full-fledged adulthood! But first, here's a crapload of administrative duties. Like paying your credit card bills and filing income tax. Dinner conversations were once mindless banter, now they're intense discussions about upcoming BTO locations and the STI's performance.
You'll also see resources like this floating on your Facebook timeline, which reminds even singletons of the hefty amounts they need to get married.
Better save up if you want a spouse at all! If you need some help in the discipline department when it comes to your expenditure, start with a structured savings plan here.
You feel your skin wrinkle and bones ache a little more with every acronym uttered. When have you began to understand this sort of cheemalogy ? With a dull ache in your heart, you recall a time of ignorance when your only financial obligation was updating this:
Good old times.
11. You start making "grown-up" plans
Now that you're all grown up, life automatically assumes that you're capable of sound decisions. You used to laugh at how lame the classic Singaporean proposal is, only to realize it's as practical as it gets. So…want to BTO with me?
Also, congratulations on inheriting the worries you thought were exclusive to your parents! From your first apartment to your firstborn, the woes of adulthood only snowball at every stage.
Should I take a bank or HDB loan for my BTO flat? What if my iPhone explodes while charging and my house burns down? Or if a burglar breaks in to steal my 52" plasma TV?
Getting the keys to your first home is exciting, but having to fret about 101 mishaps that can possibly befall the most expensive purchase of your life? Not quite. Before you become a home-owner, read this guide to cope with these curveballs better.
It's one of life's greatest paradoxes – you can't wait to grow up but when you do, all you wanna be is 9 again, watching Disney channel in your PJs with your sippy cup. Heck, you probably wouldn't recognize anyone on the channel now.
Unless you're Benjamin Button, aging is an inevitable process. You might feel historic now, but many years later, you'll look back on today with the same nostalgia and think, "Twenties. What a great age to be alive."
Instead of feeling wistful about the years that have passed, make decisions today that you'll be thankful for in the future. Go on many adventures, take excellent care of yourself, and make time for your family and friends.
And because life isn't all rainbows and butterflies, make sure you have enough to tide through the rainy days that lie ahead too. Once upon a time when your folks took care of your insurance matters, financial planning was a foreign territory. Now, it's about time you take charge.
Perhaps you're a little too impulsive with your monthly paychecks and want to save in a more disciplined fashion. Or maybe you'd like your savings to grow quickly enough for big-ticket items in 10 years' time. Either way, getting informed is a great start to anything.
Republished with permission. This article first appeared on The Smart Local on 6 June 2016.