1. How to eat alone in a restaurant without feeling super awkward.
Check your phone, read a book if you need to, but eating alone really isn’t that bad.
2. How to fire up a BBQ.
Why wait around for an invite or a dude when you can simply fire up the ‘barbie on your own? FEAST OF RIBS FOR ONE, PLEASE.
3. How you like your eggs cooked.
Being able to say “Oh, fried but not too runny” or “Poached, bitches!” just makes you feel decisive.
4. How to ask for a raise.
You should be getting paid what you’re worth. Not happy that Mike does the same thing as you but gets paid more? Bloody well do something about it. (Whinging about it in the pub after work doesn’t count as “something”.)
6. How important it is to get your bits checked on a regular basis.
“It’s scary!” “It’s uncomfortable!” “I don’t want to!”
GROW UP AND JUST DO IT.
7. What your actual bra size is.
Go to your local department store, see one of the nice ladies in the lingerie section, and GET FITTED. Bearing the wrong bra size is not only uncomfortable, but it can actually damage breast tissue. Precious, precious breast tissue.
8. When it’s time to go to the damn doctor or dentist.
Your mum isn’t going to call up and book all this stuff for you any more. Stop putting it off.
9. When to stop waiting for him to call you back.
Did he say that he’d call you and he hasn’t? Remember that “he’s just not that into you” thing? Yeah. This is a case of that, and that’s OK.
10. Why it’s so important to speak up if someone is harassing you (or someone else) in public.
Stand up for yourself and stand up for the vulnerable.
11. How to go outside into the actual, public world without makeup on.
What’s the worst thing that will happen?
12. How to buy tampons without buying 20 other nonessential items.
13. Same goes for condoms.
14. How to look the cashier in the eye when buying Imodium.
Even if you look like this.
16. How to travel and go on holiday alone.
There is so much to be said for travelling alone. Just think, you get to eat and do whatever you want (without feeling even remotely guilty).
17. Stop hanging out with people you don’t have fun with or feel uncomfortable around.
If you feel judged or like there just something isn’t right about your friendship with someone, what’s the point in stressing yourself out over it? Break up with them — both online and IRL.
18. If you’re unhappy with something, stop complaining and DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.
19. Learn how to accept that your metabolism has changed…
You’re not 16 anymore.
20. … and take up some sort of physical activity!
Whether it’s Bikram yoga or cycling or hiking or maybe even some ridiculous dance class, work out your body. As Caitlin Moran put it, exercise your body like it’s a dog. You make sure your pet has enough exercise, why aren’t you doing the same for yourself?
22. …And use it to build your own furniture.
LOOK OUT, IKEA!
23. …Or change a flat tyre.
Whether it’s on your car or your bike.
24. That having even just one close friend is better than having 10 who don’t really “get” you.
25. How to say no more often.
Say no to dinner, say no to the charity worker who wants to stop you in the street for your bank details, say NO to person who wants you to move your bag off the train seat so they can sit. JUST SAY NO, it will make you feel ALIVE.
26. Even if you don’t know how to cook, know how to make at least three things.
These are you emergency meals for when your partner’s parents suddenly drop in for dinner. “Hello! Hope you like cheese!”
27. Also know how to make a proper cup/pot/French press of coffee.
28. How to tell a hairdresser the way to cut and style your hair.
If you don’t like fringe, or a side part, or how they hack off four inches at a time when you just wanted a trim, bloody well tell them so.
29. (And don’t do this when drunk/angry.)
It won’t end well.
31. How to do things that scare you without completely freaking out.
You can do this. YOU CAN DO THIS.
32. The importance of getting yourself a nice coat!
One nice coat that costs more will last longer than all over the overly trendy cheap ones that cost £25.
33. That spending a bit more money on T-shirts and cardigans means that they’ll last longer.
34. If you’re in a shop that makes you feel 100 years old, you probably won’t like the clothes that much.
If Forever 21 makes you feel Forever 87, get the hell out of there and head for Gap. Don’t do that to yourself, girl.
35. If you find a good pair of shoes you like, fucking buy another pair.
36. Know your own mental health.
Learn how to respect your own, highly unique mental health. Everyone deals with things differently, so be kind to your mind. If you’re struggling to deal with stuff, there is absolutely nothing wrong with admitting it or getting help from your GP or a therapist to help you cope. Your mind is a beautiful thing, nurture it.
37. How to treat your body with respect.
Get enough sleep. Don’t drink so much you can’t remember what happened the next day. Drink more water. Eat good food.
39. That you should pick up the cheque on dates too.
This isn’t 1956.
40. Have a credit card and an overdraft.
You’ll need them for either big emergencies or even the little ones such as the little thing known as “buying lunch at the end of the month”.