When you spend your birthday laughing hysterically as your roommates do uncomfortable dramatic readings of the erotic romance anthologies you were sent to review.
When you leave your publishing internship with hands covered in green ink because you did quality checks on a new run of coffee table books for the last two hours, and then you make the mistake of rubbing your eyes with your stained fingers and walk around Berkeley all smudgy.
When your bank account is full of savings and you know you made all that money yourself, and even though the IRS is going to take a chunk of it when you file your taxes, you feel capable of this whole adulthood thing for a fleeting minute until you remember you never paid your phone bill.
When you are suddenly all about podcasts.
When you make a Facebook status asking people what method of long-term birth control they recommend and a one-night stand from a few years ago—who is a lovely guy, seriously—sees it and calls you to detail the advantages of the IUD and you’re just like, what?
When you get dumped in a city that isn’t yours so you go to the airport three hours early and discover your flight has been delayed so you cry in the terminal for a solid five hours while listening to Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” on repeat. Your teardrops fall not on your guitar but on a copy of People Magazine you bought to read about The Bachelor and the girlfriend he refuses to say he loves. They later break up too.
When you are surprisingly invested in the entire Bachelor franchise.
When you get alcohol poisoning and throw up on yourself on the train right before your stop and then stand up, pretend nothing happened, and exit the train before the conductor notices anything is amiss.
When there is a dirty rag on the floor of the kitchen that moves around of its own accord and finally you ask your roommate if it was left behind by the grad student you’re subletting from and she explains it is there to wipe up spills. And it never gets washed. But please don’t wear your cowboy boots in the kitchen, Ella, it’s unsanitary.
When you find yourself on a triple date at a really nice, expensive steakhouse in Midtown with a bunch of people who absolutely scared the shit out of you ten months ago and it’s suddenly okay to be outside your comfort zone and just have fun listening to their college remembrances that are so foreign to you it’s almost like they went to a different school.
When you make the mistake of reading the #IStandWithJackie hashtag on Twitter at work and find it super triggering and go hyperventilate on the roof during your lunch break.
When you go to Target with your boyfriend to buy various crap for your apartment and you debate which model of toaster to buy and start to get sticker shock until he reminds you that toaster waffles make up like a third of your daily diet so you might as well just invest in a nice toaster oven and you decide to compensate for springing for the top of the line version by buying store-brand trash bags you never wind up using.
When McDonalds comes to mean a lot to you on a deep, spiritual level.
When all you really want is a goddamn chocolate frosted sprinkle doughnut for lunch and so you walk to Dunkin Donuts and buy yourself a doughnut and it is the highlight of your fucking day because as an adult you get to do that and no one can judge you for it.
When you treat yourself to cheese fries from Shake Shack after work because you missed the 6:36pm and the next express is at 7:04pm and you are already starving. A lot of being 22 is about comfort food.
When you make a GIF of a robot kicking a soccer ball to share on the TED tumblr and for some reason it goes totally viral and hits 160k notes and you’re just like, what