The age of 25 gets overlooked grossly.  It’s all about 21, and 30, and then…death I guess.  25 is halfway between your youth and your desperate thirties, it’s the year when you realise everything is changing, and if you don’t face up to it now you’ll spend your 29th year crouched in your shower fully clothed, as cold water floods over your face and hides your tears of mourning for your flabby tummy.

Well.  Don’t worry.  This will prepare you.  Kind of.  You just need to find yourself.

1. Finally be ready for “love”, and tell all your friends about it in a really smug way.

On US sitcoms the women are always really desperate for babies and getting married, while the men are these commitment–phobes who wait 4 years before texting a girl back, and vomit with fear in your chicken kiev if you so much as mention maybe wanting to see them again.  In reality there’s not really that massive a split between the sexes – women get just as scared of being trapped as men do.  We get worried we’ll end up married to some ex-Art Student douchebag who was really attractive when we were 19 and he was 24 and living in some squat with a musician out of that band who toured with that band who are managed by the guy who used to manage Elastica.  Or something.  But now we’re 25 and he’s thirty, and we’ve got some crappy temping job in order to afford some nice crockery and so that we can stop buying all our clothes off Australian ebay because, while in Australia their vintage is much better than ours (insider tip), we’re getting tired of going to family functions in some 70 disco queen’s wedding dress that smell s of damp no matter how many times we cover it in febreeze.  Meanwhile we still have to keep him stocked up in rolo yoghurts and loo roll, and that beard is no longer attractive – if anything it just accentuates his receeding hairline.  So yeah, we get scared too.  I can’t remember what my point was…Oh yeah, be ready for a serious relationship, but make sure it’s not with some gronky bogan.

2. Go away for a long time, but don’t call it travelling.

In the year before or after Uni you have carte blanche to go to Thailand and act really stupid for six  months, spending all your money on chicken curry that tastes like feet, and going to about 23 of those full moon parties.  Then after that your nose is really sunburnt and you can’t face going home and getting a job so you run away to Sydney for 3 months to stay with some guy you met at full moon party no. 18.  At the time you described him in self-indulgent “Update Email 12!!!!11” as, “really sweet and caring”, but on arriving you realise he’s actually a sleazy gym instructor who charges you an extortionate amount to sleep on his sofa, and gets really weird when you tell him you’ve got a boyfriend.  Doing all of that is fine in your early 20s, but by the time you’re 25 you need to be going away to build shelters in India, or living in Paris for three months and doing a History of Art course, spending your evenings attempting beat poetry in a vegan cafe in Montmarte where you can only wear black.  You should return full of pretension, and constantly insert foreign - or even better, Latin - terms into your conversation.  Only drink coffee, and make a collage called ‘You Live Today, I Live Tomorrow’ on your living room wall.

3. Have Therapy

Therapy, or analysis, became really cool after Woody Allen started talking about it in his stand-up.  It was elevated from being doctors in white coats talking through the problems of dribbling wrecks, to a necessity for glamorous and creative people to ensure they weren’t holding onto any resentment about their fathers.  Fathers who were actually paying for said therapy.  It’s that, “I think I’m happy, and I’m happy all the time, but my therapist says I’m in denial, so I’ve booked in 80 sessions” thing.  Yeah, you need to get you some of that.  Word of warning though, don’t start lying to your therapist, or making your problems sound worse than they are.  You should go in with something really simple like, “My intolerance to wheat is really getting me down.  What can I say? I love bread!” And let them twist and unpick it, till by the end of the hour you’re face down on the carpet screaming about that time at school some kid ate one half of your sandwich without permission, and how could you not have realised that was the key pivotal moment in your entire existence?  Those guys are good.  They know which side their bread is buttered.

4. Watch ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’

This is really a Christmas film, but don’t let that put you off.  It’s black and white so you can feel a bit intellectual about it, and it’s one of those really famous and iconic films that a lot of our generation haven’t seen, so you can be smug.   “Oh you’ve never seen it?  You’ve got to watch it.  Changed  my life”.

*******SPOILER ALERT*********

It’s all about this guy who wants to do his own thing, but every time he saves up enough money to make his dreams come true something bad happens.  He’s a really good guy, so he always opts to stay behind and help everyone else out, but eventually it backfires and he thinks he’s lost everything, and he tries to kill himself.  Then something happens and he realises how much everyone around him loves him and values him and he understands the TRUE meaning of life.

*******END OF SPOILER ALERT*********

Watching it will make you a). Cry, and b). Start to ponder your own life wistfully – “You know Sandra, I gave up a chance to be an extra in a film because Kev wanted me to help him move house.  Now he and I aren’t friends anymore because of the whole American-accent-impersonation thing, and I often look back on that day and wonder what could have been.  Perhaps I would have actually met Kirsten Dunst.  Or perhaps they would have realised how much I look like John McEnroe and I could have been his stand-in and been paid loads of money” (guess the film).  “Then I could have killed the real McEnroe and stolen his identity, and made a career as a sports presenter with that nice Sue Barker.  ‘You cannot be real!’ Hahaha.  Oh no, it’s ‘You cannot be serious’, isn’t it.  Damn”.

You’ll think you’ve found the true meaning of life, and will convince yourself you’re a really good guy too.  When in reality you’re not, you’re just some 25 year old who watched a black and white film.

5. Go Vegetarian/ Stop Drinking

Look I’m not doing this because I think it makes me better than anyone, it’s just that I’ve been reading loads of books (on Wikipedia) and realised that I don’t need alcohol/meat any more.  Looking back I can see that it was getting me down, pumping those toxins into me body.  It’s probably why I went so crazy at you when you started saying I always sounded like I was impersonating an American accent.  No, don’t worry about it mate, all in the past.  Anyway, yeah, our system actually rejects the complex proteins - did you know that?  We don’t need meat.  I think it’s also because I started following Yoko Ono on twitter and she’s always saying such peaceful and calming things about life and a vegetarian/sober lifestyle.  So now it’s just become something I now associate with being happy and, like, spiritual.  Plus I just feel better.  Oh yeah, so much better!  Seriously.  I can’t believe it.  You must be able to see a difference in me, even stuff like my skin.   Have you noticed?  It is literally glowing.  You must have noticed, and yeah, I  just have so much more energy than I did before.  I’m gonna start cycling to work.

I wouldn’t advocate it for everyone though because it has to be something you want to do for yourself.  It’s a powerful thing, it can change the way you see the world.  I know this sounds lame, but I genuinely think I am a better person now.

6. Start listening to 90’s Acid House without irony.

This is actually just great music.  Reminds me a bit of The XX really.