1. The first time a high school classmate listed themselves as “married” on Facebook. Unironically.
2. The first time someone younger than you made a reference that you were too old to get.
3. The first time you and your friends fought over the check.
Instead of throwing in all of your credit cards and splitting even like you used to.
4. When you ran into an ex with someone new… And were OK with it.
5. The first time you sincerely said some variant of the phrase “kids nowadays.”
6. And the first time you thought it in reference to an established celebrity.
7. The first time you were in an argument with your parents and you knew, with 100% certainty, that you were right.
8. When a former classmate Instagrammed a baby. THEIR OWN BABY.
9. When your parents dropped you off at your first apartment…and left.
That moment standing by yourself inside the doorway, thinking, Well, now what?
10. When you got your first paycheck! The jubilation! The joy! The sheer terror of financial independence!
11. Aaaand when you spent it all in four days and finally learned the value of money.
And the value of ramen.
12. The first time that a bartender asked for ID and, instead of being nervous, you were flattered.
13. The first time rent was due. On your own apartment. From your own paycheck.
14. When a band you grew up with releases a “greatest hits” compilation.
15. The panic of realizing you have no idea when your next vacation will be.
16. And when you do take one, the fact that you have to fund and plan it yourself.
17. The first time you were left alone in your significant other’s apartment.
18. The unparalleled horror of staring at your first W4 form, literally understanding nothing.
19. The first time you start a story with “When I was your age…”
20. The first time you made a doctor’s appointment by yourself, no mom and no dad and no family physician.
21. When you seriously started saving for retirement.
Thereby being forced to acknowledge that at some point, you will retire aka be old.
22. The first time you handed someone a business card with your own name on it.
23. The first time you hosted a dinner party. Not “had friends over to pregame and play drinking games.” A frickin’ dinner party.
24. When you started caring about the economy because you realized it had actual repercussions for your life.
25. The first time you went to a large family gathering and weren’t made to sit at the kids’ table.
26. The first time you went grocery shopping and felt a real need to buy things aside from beer and Cheetos.
27. The first time you looked at a picture of yourself from a few years ago and had hairstyle regrets.
28. The first time you return to your alma mater as an alum.
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