When I was 14 or 15 years old, I started a to-do list I called “metrics of adulthood.” It was a list of 40 items my precocious teenaged self considered essential to being called an adult. “Get a credit card,” I instructed myself. “Tip someone. Be able to navigate the public transit. Sign a contract. Have my own keys. Be able to wear heels easily.” Sure, I’ve nearly given up on that last one, but over the years, I’ve ticked off nearly half.
Now that I have a better grip on my plans, prospects and fears as a woman starting her twenties, I think it’s time I revisit this topic by asking few extremely important questions of my future self. So, Aysha of 2026…
1. You don’t feel old, do you?
If you do, don’t. Right now, the phrase “30 is the new 18” is all the rage. The creative writing teacher at your high school who all the boys drooled over was at least 32 when you graduated. You’re probably doing alright. Honestly, you still have time to change your career twice, pick up a few degrees and turn out to be an award-winning professor or something.
2. You’ve turned into our mother, haven’t you?
Do you say things like “Go ask your father” and “You’ll understand when you have kids of your own”? Don’t try to lie to me — I can feel the transformation happening as we speak. What can I do to halt this process in its tracks? Has the medical field not advanced at all by 2026?
3. Are you still writing?
Please tell me you’re still writing. Or reporting, or editing. Coding? Designing? Tweeting? Heck, even photographing or filming? Anything to prove that your college education, internships and hours of redesigning your resume weren’t total wastes of time and money.
4. Things have gotten better, right?
When you look back at your youth, do you think of it as the worst part of your life or your golden era? By which I mean, like, is this as good as it’s gonna get? Please respond with something motivational about the beauty and excitement of the New World ahead of me so that I don’t refuse to get out of bed tomorrow morning.
5. Are listicles still a thing?
Related: Is BuzzFeed still a thing? Have they taken indeed over the journalism world, too, through a savvy strategy of stealing investigative reporters and producing high-quality storytelling alongside admittedly trashy but utterly relatable ~content~? These questions keep me up at night.
6. Did my undergrad GPA have any effect whatsoever on your life?
Half the people in my life told me very knowingly that I should have dump all my extracurriculars and focused on keeping my grade point average as high as I can; others say your college years don’t matter at all. So, O Enlightened One…what’s the dealio? Did anything I did before graduation have any impact on how you’re living your life today?
7. Before you go — is J.K. Rowling still releasing random tidbits of Harry Potter-related information?
Who am I kidding? Yes. She is. Of course she is.