Marti Schodt
February 24, 2015 6:00 am

When I entered my 20s, I firmly believed that it would be just like T-Swift’s 22 music video. I was expecting lots of red lipstick, pretty dresses, BFFs, and inexplicable cat ears. I was not expecting lots of peer pressure, bad dates, and drunken texts from boys seriously expecting me to leave my warm bed to “hang out” at 3 a.m. on a Tuesday night. As if.

I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling twenty-something and tired. What is it about this age bracket that makes everyone think it’s okay to treat us like donkey drool? We deserve respect, darn it! We deserve opportunity and love and friendship and also maybe some inexplicable cat ears! Here’s some things we should all stop putting up with—because let’s be honest, we deserve better.

1. Flighty friends

They make plans and cancel them. They’re nice, then they’re not. They’re up, they’re down, they’re here, they’re gone. If they can’t commit to being a constant presence in your life, you can’t commit to their antics any longer.

2. Breakup texts

No. No, no, no, no, no. People of the world, stop it. Advanced technology is not an excuse to be a jerk.

3. Pressure to be in a relationship/settle down

This is the time for you to sow those wild oats. Don’t let anyone make you feel like you need to be in something committed if you’re not ready or haven’t found someone worth committing to.

4. The slow fade

If you think you’re being slow-faded, straight up ask your potential lover what’s up. Even if it hurts, it’s better to cut to the chase than to get your hopes up and waste your time.

5. Body shaming

You are fierce, you are fabulous, and you don’t need anyone in your life that makes you feel otherwise.

6. Having to defend your sex life

If you want to have sex, then you should have it, and you shouldn’t feel guilty about it. If you don’t, then you shouldn’t, and you shouldn’t feel pressured to just because you think everyone else is. You do you, girl.

7. Lazy coworkers/teammates

I could complain forever about group projects so I’ll keep it simple: if your teammate isn’t pulling their weight, you have every right call them on their crap and maybe even tattle if the message isn’t getting through. Don’t let others take credit for your hard work.

8. Being afraid to ask for things

Whether it’s a raise or an extra side of ketchup, never be ashamed or embarrassed to ask for what you want.

9. Apologizing for what you like

Haters gonna hate. If you have a secret love for My Little Ponies or a closet shrine to Nickelback, you should just own it.

10. Dating mind games

While you’re busy playing hard to get, I’m gonna to be over here getting pizza with someone that actually likes me.

11. Terrible landlords

If you’re paying money to live in a place, then you should be able to comfortably live in it. Know your rights, and don’t be afraid to send some aggressive emails if your landlord is less than helpful.

12. Comparisons with your peers

You should definitely never let anyone make you feel small because you haven’t achieved the same things someone else your age has. We all move at our own pace (especially in our 20s), and success isn’t a race! Never base your self worth off someone else’s accomplishments in comparison with yours.

13. Not being taken seriously

Age isn’t the end-all be-all indicator of skill. You deserve respect at any age. Your opinions and feelings are legitimate and deserve respect.

14. Having to explain why you said “no” to a dating prospect

If you weren’t feeling it, you weren’t feeling it. End of story.

15. Disrespectful roommates

A bad living situation can have serious effects on your sanity. If your roomies are being rude, stand up for yourself and tell them how you’re feeling.

16. Inconsistant suitors

They loved you on Monday, but now it’s Thursday and you haven’t heard a word. If someone likes you, then they’re going to want to actually talk to you sometimes.

17. Playing chauffeur

It’s one thing to offer to pick someone up from the airport because you’re so super excited to see them after their trip, but it’s another when you become their personal Lyft service! Not cool.

18. Judgment for not having it all figured out

You’re learning, you’re falling, everyone just needs to calm down, you’ll get there eventually.

19. Forced flirtation on public transit

Riding the bus alone is a constant source of anxiety because I know that no matter where I sit or when I ride, someone will try to get my number. It’s a bus, not a club; everyone back up. Put in your earbuds and don’t feel a bit guilty for ignoring advances.

20. Frenemies

TBH you should never have to put up with frenemies, but once you leave high school (where, you know, you don’t have a choice) there’s really no reason for you to be hanging out with mean people.

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