5 Things You Should Be Able To Do By 26


1. Write a check.

Remember when you actually had to pay a bill by writing a check and physically mailing said check to your shylock (bank, landlord, credit card company…I just wanted to use the term shylock). Oh right, you don’t remember because we never had to do it! Ah, the beauty of PayPal and e-checks. However, there could come a time when you actually have to write a check. And you should know how to do it so you don’t feel like an infant. Plus, you can put all those cursive lessons from second grade to good use.

2. Change a tire.

Disclaimer: I have never changed a tire and probably never will. I will sit in my car and call AAA/my boyfriend/my dad/seductively allure a good Samaritan type by showing some Angelina Jolie leg on the side of the road…but I’d probably just stick with triple A. I don’t know how to even begin the process of changing a tire. I think people, especially women, who can change a tire are badass and way more grown up than the rest of us.

3. Cook a meal.

An actual meal. Something you could serve to your mother and not have her half-smile and say, “I’m glad you’re using your oven for something besides shoe storage.” It doesn’t count if you have to read the recipe on your iPhone. Even if it’s super simple, you should be able to take a few ingredients and make a meal that won’t make your friends become bulimic.

4. Attend a work event and not get wasted.

But there are free drinks! How can I waste this golden opportunity?! You can and you will if you want to be taken seriously at your company. As a young professional, old people co-workers are just waiting for you to slip up and confirm their sneaking suspicions that you just like the rest of our narcissistic, entitled generation. Have a glass of white wine (not red to avoid wine mouth) and sip it. Sip it, dammit! Don’t drink hard liquor and dear GOD, do not order shots. This is not a frat party. Your boss will not be impressed that you can beat the interns at quarters.

5. Say “I’m sorry.”

This is a biggie. At this point in your life, you should be able to swallow your pride and admit that you were wrong. It’s not as shameful as you expect. It’s kind of liberating. Mastering the art of the apology is useful in both your personal and professional life. Telling your boss, “I screwed up, but I learned from it and it won’t happen again,” will likely yield better results than acting like it never happened and stalking your ex on Facebook continuing to run those reports incorrectly.