I’m 23 years old as I type this. And yet I don’t relate to ’23 Signs You’re 23 Years Old’. Or maybe I do… but who is to say what’s real until I have a list to prove it.
The list-takeover of the internet was like Salman Khan‘s bail this year – it happened so swiftly that we didn’t even realize it. My very limited research tells me that listicles became a thing sometime in 2013. From the looks of it, somewhere between Katrina Kaif-Ranbir Kapoor‘s leaked holiday photos and Salman Khan-Shah Rukh Khan‘s first Iftar hug, we were all thinking in pointers. I am not saying that’s a bad thing – hell, we have a bunch of super cool lists ourselves at MissMalini. I’m just saying that the age-based lists, especially for the 20-somethings, is an idea I’m not sold on entirely.
I have friends from a lot of different age groups (hi guys!) and a huge chunk of people I spend my drunk weekends with is 20-something. We sit around, discuss life as we know it – work, parents, boyfriends, girlfriends, ex-lovers, sexuality, anxiety, movies, memories, relationships, dreams, ambitions, jokes, the works! The topics may vary, but one thing does not; the fact that we’re all in this together. The 20s decade seems particularly insecure and vulnerable and it seems like they make for the most perfect target audience for wise-sounding advice about “the future” in list-form. As a struggling 20-year-old myself, I see how I’m an easy catch (like Bajrangi Bhaijaan‘s audience).
You start reading one list, then another, then another and before you know it, you’re on your 20th list about how to deal with life in your late 20s. And that’s not even the tip of the iceberg because what you don’t realize is that none of these lists about mastering life is giving you any information that you don’t already know! Like, did you really need Kuch Kuch Hota Hai (a masterpiece, though!) to tell you “pyaar dosti hai”? You couldn’t have figured that out for yourself?
The thing is that you don’t need 20 signs to tell you who you are and what you should do. The fact that your 20s are a super special time in your life shouldn’t be information that’s dished out to you. And the Take that trip, cultivate your passion, have a life goal, spend wisely, make friends for life, learn a skill, dance freely, laugh louder and do everything you want to do.
So you want to know why these lists work? It’s because you open the listing thinking you’ll find some life-changing tips, but at the end, you’ve not only read these before, there’s a high chance you’ve experienced all 264537 points in the list – because you ARE 20-something, remember?
Yup, that’s the big secret – make your own list! :)