We Ain’t Ever Getting Older: 26 Things You Learn At Age 26

Lindsey Washington
Lindsey Washington aka lindsanity to her friends can either be found roaming the city looking for shade or out with friends throwing shade. She is currently trying to work on her obsession with Lil Wayne and accepting the fact that they will probably never get married, also Drake.

My 27th birthday is quickly approaching (by the way this will be the last year I celebrate getting another year older, it stops for me here), and I’ve had lots of time to contemplate getting older, getting wiser and getting drunk.

Now that I am officially legit on the other side of my 20s, I’d like to think I’m somewhat of a life expert. So, I thought I would share the 26 (or so) things I’ve learned since being 26.

1. Let’s talk alcohol.

As Wiz Khalifia so wisely said, “Last night I let the party get the best of me.” Although I still don’t get hungover (knock on wood), alcohol affects me in a whole new way. I can still say (with moderate confidence) that I’ve never blacked out, but ladies and gentlemen, I’m here to tell you that the brownout is real.

Conversations, walks, meals I’ve eaten are just gone. I used to pride myself on my drunk memory, but no more. If I confessed my love for you while on a bender, make a super funny joke and even make fun of you, I probably don’t remember — and please don’t remind me.


2. The divide between friends and their personal lives gets huge.

I have friends that are married and have purchased homes and others that still live at home with their parents. Just let that sink in for a second.


3. You still struggle with independence.

Sometimes as an adult you have these moments where you’re like, “I can do whatever I want, go wherever I want.” Move across the country or the world, switch apartments or jobs at the drop of a pin. Then sometimes you just need your mom to tell you that she’s proud of you or approve of what you’re doing, or to just tell you that you’re doing a good job at life. It’s a struggle.


4. Ice cream is sometimes what you need for dinner.

Remember when you were younger and your parents would tell you that you couldn’t have ice cream for dinner? Then when you become a grown up you realized you could eat whatever you want? I’ve really taken that to heart. Sometimes, when I go to the grocery store I’m actually embarrassed at my shopping cart as I still eat like an unsupervised child. The amount of times I’ve eaten ice cream for dinner would make my doctor release me as a patient.


5. You still don’t know how to dress like a ‘grown up.’

Within one week I’ll wear sneakers, leather leggings, a skirt a nun would blush at and a number of see-through shirts. My judgement is no better than a 7-year-old.


6. Boys are still nasty. 

Remember when you were younger and you said, “Oh, ew boys are nasty and mean and I hate them”?Yea, 20 years later you’ll still feel the same way.


7. Hold on to that childlike you.

It’s important to hold on to certain parts of your childhood and your childhood self. When I was younger, my teacher had a conference with my parents because I was “too bossy.” I was outspoken, I stood up for myself, and I always talked back and questioned everything. My dad said it was one of the proudest days of his life. When you’re a kid and you wanted something you ask for it, you bargain with your parents or you take it.

Granted you shouldn’t steal a bag or a pair of shoes just because you want it, but for many things in life if you want it, ask for it, take it or bargain. Find a (legal) way to get what you want.


8. Chivalry is dead.

Not really, but kind of. I used to think, especially in relationships, “Well if he wants me he’ll come after me.” While that’s very true, you have to give a little to get a little. Ignoring someone, not talking to them and coyly smiling is not a good way to let someone know you’re interested in them.

Sometimes opening up, being vulnerable and exposing your feelings is ok. Do I text first? Yes, will I plan dates, hell yes, but I’ll also take a back seat. Everything in moderation. You never get what you want if you don’t ask for it.


9. “I like, literally can’t.”

This will become your life motto.


10. You miss college.

You’re still just as sad five years out of college as you were the day after. Just now you have your own apartment and $65 throw pillows from Crate & Barrel to cry into.


11. Sometimes, it’s all about the little things.

At age 7, my mom started taking me to the beauty shop with her while she got her nails and hair done. I used to always look at the women with their long nails and think about how sophisticated and mature they looked. I knew that when I was older I would have long nails like them. I’m finally old enough to have those long nails, and while I don’t necessarily feel more mature, I guess it’s just a lesson in how you can finally do things you’ve always wanted to know no matter how small.


12. You’ll always be a kid at heart when drowning your bank account.

When you were younger you probably used to spend your money at Toys r’ Us and Limited Too. Now you’ll spend money on much more useful things, like manicures, handbags and $20 lotions. You will always have frivolous things you like to splurge on no matter how old you get.


13. You feel like your 80-some years old.

My back hurts when I stand up for too long, am I getting old?


14. Going out gets tougher.

Sometimes when you go out for a hard night of dancing, you’ll be sore for about two days after. Is this normal??


15. Still no wrinkles. 

(Thank God)


16. Your drink choices will change.

I prefer whiskey over vodka, does that mean I’m mature now?


17. Shots hurt.

Gone are the days when you feel invincible taking more than three shots.


18. But you’ll still like to take them sometimes.

Because why not right?


19. Sometimes the weekend will come and you will enter into what can only be described as a rage tornado.

You will drink whatever you can get your hands out, stay out all day and night and ignore all bodily and heavenly signs that tell you otherwise. It’s like you’re back in college and experiencing freedom for the first time.


20. Other times you’ll become a hermit.

This includes ordering seamless 4 times a day and pretend like you’re small and don’t exist.


21. People (aka younger cousins) will ask you for advice.

You’ll respond, “IDK lol just do whatever makes you happy!” because you’re barely surviving yourself.


22. Then there are times when you’re actually Yoda.

You drop some serious knowledge, life facts and advice that even surprise you.


23. By the time you are 26 you will learn how to stretch $5 for a week and spend $300 in one hour.

This, ladies and gentlemen, is pure skill.


24. You’ll actually learn to appreciate experiences over things.

Despite the massive amount of stuff you’ve managed to collect since you started getting a steady paycheck.


25. Being an actual grownup is fun.

When you don’t think about bills and big decisions, we kind of have it made.


26. But it’s also super scary, confusing and hard at times.

Even still, adulting is actually alright.