12 Pieces Of Advice For Twenty-Something Women From Jane Austen Novels

Sure, she lived 200 years ago, but Jane Austen still knows what she’s talking about.

1. “‘What is passable in youth is detestable in later age.’” (Emma)

Modern translation: When you’re young and hot, you can pretty much get away with anything.

2. “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.” (Pride and Prejudice)

Modern translation: A single rich dude likes to have someone around to sleep with…you know, in that way.

3. “She hoped to be wise and reasonable in time; but alas! alas! she must confess to herself that she was not wise yet.” (Persuasion)

Modern translation: You will not figure out life in your twenties because you are young and stupid. But it’s okay, no one does.

4. “‘No man is offended by another man’s admiration of the woman he loves; it is the woman only who can make it a torment.’” (Northanger Abbey)

Modern translation: Men like competition, especially when it comes to the chick he’s trying to hook up with.

5. “‘There is something so amiable in the prejudices of a young mind, that one is sorry to see them give way to the reception of more general opinions.’” (Sense and Sensibility)

Modern translation: It’s so cute that you like outdoor music festivals and universal heath care now, because you’re going to become a cynical jerk soon.

6. “Her mind was all disorder. The past, present, future, every thing was terrible.” (Mansfield Park)

Modern translation: Oh, my god, like everything is going wrong, isn’t it?

7. “‘If there is any thing disagreeable going on, men are always sure to get out of it.’” (Persuasion)

Modern translation: Men HATE drama.

8. “‘Mama, the more I know of the world, the more I am convinced that I shall never see a man whom I can really love. I require so much!’” (Sense and Sensibility)

Modern translation: The older you get the more picky you are.

9. ”’…there are very few of us who have heart enough to be really in love without encouragement. In nine cases out of ten a woman had better show more affection than she feels.’” (Pride and Prejudice )

Modern translation: Men are kind of dense. If you don’t throw yourselves at them, they won’t really notice that you like them.

10. “‘A single woman, with a very narrow income, must be a ridiculous, disagreeable old maid!…but a single woman, of good fortune, is always respectable, and may be as sensible and pleasant as any body else.’” (Emma)

Modern translation: It’s all well and good to be single in your fourties if you’re also rich, but it’s just terrible to be poor AND alone.

11. “‘I think it ought not to be set down as certain that a man must be acceptable to every woman he may happen to like himself.’” (Mansfield Park)

Modern translation: Just because a guy likes you, does not mean you have to like him back. In fact, it’s rude for him to assume this.

12. “To begin perfect happiness at the respective ages of 26 and 18 is to do pretty well;” (Northanger Abbey)

Modern translation: Really, cannot stress this enough, if you’re not miserable now, then you’re lucky.

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