With all these “100 Things” and basic How-To live your life articles floating around the internet, I figured I’d put one of my own out there.

1. Go tanning.

Tan on the roof, on the beach, on the patio at lunch, everywhere, at all costs. Say NO to sunscreen and hats, and YES to bronzing beachside. Get some wrinkles on that skin. Oil up.

tanning gif

2. Eat a shit ton of food. And don’t stop.

Pizza, cheesecake, and coffee galore (not a food, shut up I don’t care) is the way to go. You know you love food, and food loves you too. While there may be some slight disagreements along the way, you and food go way back. Why would you turn away a friend that has helped you survive life thusfar? Maybe you shouldn’t have pizza every single day of your life. Maybe. But didn’t “they” decide pizza was a vegetable earlier this year? Pizza earned your trust and deserves it. Ain’t nobody got time for some list to come in and soil the beautiful relationship between me and my pizza.

eating chandler full

3. Have lots and lots of sex.

Good sex, bad sex, drunk sex, sober sex. You can have it all. While responsibility and stupidity should always be taken into consideration, the moral of the story is that sex is good for you. It teaches you self awareness and confidence. Ignore what people tell you about “your number” and enjoy your prime. Indulge while you can.

friends with benefits

4. Spend money.

spend money

Get used to it. And good at it. This is basically unavoidable whether you want to look 60 at 30, 90 at 60, 20 at 30, etc etc etc.

5. Watch television.

Different kinds of television. Strain your eyes. Self-heat the couch. Subscribe to Netflix. Seriously, why television gets a bad rep is beyond me. There is so much intelligent and crazy television available to the world right now, from HBO to SHO, AMC and back again, and to lump all reality TV or “trash TV” into one unintelligible category is ignorant and assuming. Television has become more immersive than ever before and deserves some props.

tv gif

6. Make friends. And enemies. And try not to judge them.

Hopefully they’ll try not to judge you too.

omg not judging

7. Make excuses.

And get good at that, too.

girls do you realize

8. Never assume ANYTHING is an end-all-be-all.

Nothing is as one-dimensional as a list. An extreme advocate of lists myself, I hate to admit it, but it’s often a use of sweeping generalization, and shouldn’t be taken completely at face value. However, when the list is a horror story of subjective and offensive “rules for life” slathered in sexism and assumption, it deserves to be called out.

welcome to real world.

9. Stop reading articles on the Internet for life advice.

Nobody should be living according to a set of ridiculous guidelines that were written to gain web traffic. Hypocritical, sure, but I’m not writing to put you down. I like my snooze button, and I’m not going to stop using it because it’s on a list of things “every twenty-something” should realize.

Sure, not everything on these lists is total bullshit. “Drink lots of water” is great advice.  But when it’s preceded by a statement like “It is morally wrong to be obese,” it’s hard not to call bullshit and get offended. You don’t need to live in New York, time is not an illusion, you don’t need to want what you can’t have, and you don’t need to listen to infuriating bullshit like “If you sleep around with a lot of people, then you are a whore.” Statements like “They stopped making good music in the 90s” come from a closed mind, a mind that will never know true comfort or satisfaction. Living by a set of preconceived notions like “being smarter does make you the better person” and “you don’t have ADD” isn’t living at all.

Every twenty-something should realize they have their own way of living life, and if you can wake up, get ready, and get to where you’ve got to be with a snooze button, there’s not a pretentious list on the planet that can tell you to do otherwise. Facebook, oily pizza, casual sex, blasting headphones, maxed out credit cards, giant tattoos, hashtags, love bites, drugs, bullshit, cell phones, depression, euphoria, family, friends, fake I love you’s, oral sex, free cake, mistakes, dirty sex, yoga, violence, high expectations, crap food, and cheap liquor are where experience is born and life is lived. Fuck the rest.

After a day of first-world torture and #problems, it can be hard to stay a sane, normal person. Here are 20 different ways to handle a bad day. They are most definitely not all recommended. Side effects are likely. We’ll begin with a classic.

1. Drinking! See also: Girls Night Out.

raven margarita

2. Willingly accept rebellion into your life. Take a walk on the wild side.

do not touch

3. Read a book. Or a magazine. Or an article online. For gods sake, read SOMETHING!

jlaw ummmm

4. Angry-break things. Tear shit up. Throw down. Hitting things feels good, and admitting that is the first step of the road to recovery.

angry bang angry table flip

5. Florence.

6. Dance it out.

dance underwear

big booty


7. Bitch about it. And not in a classy way. In a way that not even yourself respects. Without justification, without reason, without having to answer to anyone. Sometimes you need a few moments where your words have no one to answer to except the universe.

annoyed like

girls shosh 4

8. Music therapy. Life’s a song, and sometimes it sucks dick.

listen to sad songs

9. Rise above. You are better than this bad day. Flip your hair, strut your stuff, and make tomorrow a real, real good day.

bitch im flawless

hairflip fierce bey

10. Just lose it. (Also: shaking your face like this feels way better than you’d expect it to.)

computer spaz

11. Watch cat videos. Or cat GIFs. Or Anna Kendrick GIFs. Or ideally, Anna Kendrick cat GIFs.

anna kendrick kitty

12. Eat your feelings. ALL of the feelings.



13. Smile and nod. Smile. And. Nod.

smile and nod


fight club quote

15. Exercise. It’s gooood for you.

fwb on bed

16. Full-screen the GIF below. Maybe make it your background. Laptop, phone, everything. I suggest adding a sound loop, but that’s just me.


17. JGL.

18. Do something about it. If every day is a bad day, something’s off.


19. Admit the truth and accept it as a part of you.

i am not a successful adult

who cares im awesome

Definitely go with Kat Dennings on this one. On most ones, actually.

Follow me on Twitter @sydney_neilson.

This post is both spoiler- and gluten-free.

1. “It’s a great advantage not to drink among hard-drinking people.”

“You can hold your tongue, and, moreover, you can time any little irregularity of your own so that everybody else is so blind that they don’t see or care.” The Great Gatsby, page 77.

ADVICE FOR THE AGES. Seriously. It can be just as entertaining, and less messy.


2. It teaches you something about language.

The book isn’t super focused on character development. You don’t really get a straight-up backstory from Fitzgerald, he winds a tale of sobering language and fantastical word choice that speaks differently. The language isn’t difficult, but it’s woven together in a timeless, sophisticated manner than just flows. You can really sense the textures and feelings he writes:

“She was only extemporizing, but a stirring warmth flowed from her, as if her heart were trying to come out to you concealed in one of those breathless, thrilling words. ”

“Her face, above a spotted dress of dark blue crepe-de-chine, contained no facet or gleam of beauty, but there was an immediately perceptible vitality about her as if the nerves of her body were continually smouldering.”

“In his blue gardens men and girls came and went like moths among the whisperings and the champagne and the stars […] already the halls and salons and verandas are gaudy with primary colours, and hair shorn in strange new ways, and shawls beyond the dreams of Castile. The bar is in full swing, and floating rounds of cocktails permeate the garden outside, until the air is alive with chatter and laughter, and casual innuendo and introductions forgotten on the spot, and enthusiastic meetings between women who never knew each other’s names.”

His words had life and verve, and he was very familiar with Lesson #3.

3. The Twenties were sexy.

gatsby dancing

Everyone is cheating on each other from the very beginning, and whether that’s due to their prohibition-driven lifestyle, or their boozy parties, the foundation of much of their passion comes from taboo illegalities and forbidden badassery. Without all the adultery and cheating that goes on in the novel, there would be little to no plot. Not too shabby for the old days. It’s almost a hundred years old and still reads like new. Hence, these timeless lessons!

4. And jazz was badass.

In the twenties, jazz was an unadulterated, unfiltered, unmoderated, almost underground lifestyle, and the powerful music embodied exactly that. Baz Luhrmann’s new take on the film opts for a hip-hop core to the soundtrack, produced by none other than Jay-Z. Considering hip-hop started out the same way jazz did, it’s pretty damn fitting.

Get a FULL first listen to the soundtrack HERE on NPR Radio! 

5. “Reserving judgements is a matter of infinite hope.”

Basically: we would love to be judgement-free as a people, but it’s a pretty damn unattainable ideal. While that doesn’t slow our love for self-improvement and attempt at impartiality, Fitzgerald knew this in 1925, and it’s gone down as one of the more famous lines from the novel.

gatsby gif new

6. Characters do not have to be likeable for the work to be great.

One of the major reasons I hated this book in high school was because the characters just seemed ridiculous. This Daisy girl really doesn’t seem all that special, and everyone just seemed to be in this weird unreality that I didn’t get. On the surface, it’s a book of first world problems and the dissolution of the American Dream, but gaaaaah it’s so much more than that.

In this fabulous summary by John Green, he lays it out perfectly: “You’re not supposed to like Daisy Buchanan, at least not in the uncomplicated way that you like, say, cupcakes. […] She doesn’t have to be likeable to be interesting.” WITHOUT ACCEPTING THIS, YOU ARE READING WITH YOUR EYES CLOSED. YOU ARE A DEAF MAN AT A CONCERT. I want to shout it from the rooftops: ignorance is NOT bliss.

The full video is below, and is one of the best, easiest tools to simultaneously enjoy, understand, and respect this novel properly. Watch the intro if you’ve never read the book, but the rest of the video assumes you’ve read the book. So if you haven’t, get on it. Seriously, the book is less than 200 pages, and not a hard read. Just do it.

7. “You can’t repeat the past.” -Nick Carraway

dicaprio gatsby

1) Justin Timberlake.

I will watch any Timberlake interview ever. But 5 tequila shots in 10 minutes, coarse language, and destruction of an indoor mini golf course with the incredible British TV host Jonathan Ross is almost too much greatness for one segment. Plus, watching these two get drunk together is adorable. You can practically taste the tequila.


2) Matt Damon.

My gift to you: a compilation of his impersonations of Matthew McConaughey all in one place below.

3) Kristin Chenoweth.

Kristin Chenoweth is absolutely bad-shit off her rocker. Seriously. Something must have happened to give such a tiny girl such a massive voice that affected her brain chemistry, because she is seriously insane. Next to that insanity, however, she’s absolutely precious, totally genuine, and seriously hysterical. Her size alone makes you want to keep her in your pocket, but listening to her spiel on fast-food chains with Conan is just great. She loses her mic, hikes up her dress, and Conan is surprisingly entertaining as well (coming from the Queen of the Conan-haters).

“If we had a child, it would be normal-sized.”

And backstage in her dressing room before Ellen’s cameo in Promises, Promises, Chenoweth gets even weirder than usual. Just… Ellen’s face.

4) Michael Caine.

Michael Caine does Michael Caine. Self-explanatory. Awesomeness assumed.

5) Mila Kunis.

I love Mila Kunis. She’s totally honest and candid, the staples of a loveable celebrity interviewee. This interview (if you haven’t seen it already), “the best interview I’ve had today,” according to Kunis, was on BBC Radio 1, with the adorably awkward and digressive Chris Stark. She can pour a pint without foam, she knows what she’s doing, and she’s just a boss. The interview is basically just a conversation between Stark and Kunis, but listening to them banter is  “We have to talk about the movie? Let me just give you answers to what I know you’re gonna ask.”

6) Anna Kendrick.

Anna Kendrick is insanely talented (demonstrated in her limited-but-still-adorable dancing in Pitch Perfect, her singing talents, and she’s been a rising starlet in the acting game since she broke away from Twilight with 2009’s George Clooney vehicle Up in the Air. She’s been nominated for an Oscar, a Tony,  Her pint-sized stature paired with explosive personality makes her a favourite of mine, and you’ll start to notice her soon too. Her upcoming film Get a Job stars Bryan Cranston and McLovin, as well as Community belle Allison Brie.

On recording the rap for Pitch Perfect in-studio: “I had to put myself in this zone, where I was standing like a guy, and like, I was imagining that I had a penis, in a hot tub surrounded by like, bitches…”

On her dirty-love of Taco Bell: “It’s like a reverse-Gremlins thing, it’s like, just so filthy, that I can’t do it without the cover of darkness…”

7) Eminem.

He’s the perfect balance of scary and sexy. He’s funny as hell when he wants to be, and he’s a super entertaining guy, but he’s so secluded and sobering that it’s refreshing to remember that he’s hilarious as well. Jonathan Ross talks comic books, nailing Sarah Palin, Em’s singing, and “dissing” people in (his new single at the time) “We Made You.” “It’s kind of like picking names out of a hat, and if your name rhymes with something good…” Plus, every interview with Jonathan Ross is fantastic. He’s flawless.

8) Dustin Hoffman

Life is just better after watching this video. I dare you not to smile.

9) Jennifer Lawrence.

I honestly don’t know if there are many Jennifer Lawrence videos I haven’t seen. From her pre-Hunger Games press tours to the Oscar/Silver Linings buzz, her interviews have been constant, as well as consistently entertaining. Discussing everything from powerful dragon phlegm to anal leakage, the Internet’s favourite Oscar winner corrected and shot down Letterman at every opportunity in one of JLaw’s funniest interviews. It practically defines why everyone loves her so much: she’s candid, she makes mistakes (Obama!), and she’s got balls. AND it explains “I beat Meryl,” for those of you that haven’t seen TFWC.

Bonus: this video will never not be the best.

I can’t imagine this situation being any more entertaining and incredible. Humanity at its best.

Bonus: Kevin Spacey’s Inside the Actors Studio impersonations.

Beeautiful. His Al Pacino is spot-on, and I’m just a sucker for a good Christopher Walken impression.

1. Thou shalt not have sex with unconscious people. Even if they were really, really into you before they passed out.


2. Thou shalt say nothing behind a back that would not be said to the face.

bitch nicki

3. Thou shalt not hate thy job for more than a few months. Be happy. If you really, really hate your job, balls up and quit. Quitting a job doesn’t have to be a giant scene or the end of the world. Not all work is for everyone. Do yourself (and all the people you complain to) a favour and find something you enjoy.

good job bb

4. Thou shalt not lie when answering “How do I look?” That shit is sacred. If someone is genuinely asking you, don’t bullshit. Constructive criticism: no need to be a bitch (…unless need be).

you look beautiful

5. Thou shalt not be a digital idiot. It is 2013. Keeping your personal pages employee-friendly, and remembering that every photo, video, and word recorded online can stay in the system forever, is important. It is also important that you outgrow unnecessary habits that may have formed in high school due to the explosion and timing of Facebook: chronicling your relationships, TMI-ing your relationships, relying on your relationship status for any kind of confirmation of anything, and not-at-all-subtle whiny song lyrics directed at people.

texting who

6. Thou shalt not answer a question with a question. It’ll be easier for people to respect you when you sound like you believe yourself. Be confident. Be sure, like Ryan Gosling.

gosling don't go

7. Thou shalt know thy drinking limits. If thou shalt blow chunks, thou shalt apologize profusely upon sobriety, and owe thy caretaker big-time. Drinking doesn’t always have to end in smudgy mascara tears on the toilet bowl and a tangled half-ponytail knotted in a pukey frenzy. Experiment with different wine and beer and learn how to order at a bar. Drink well.

drinking amy

8. Thou shalt recognize that nobody, anywhere owes you anything. You are not entitled to anything from anyone else. You are not owed a job, money, or goodwill. You are not entitled to these things because of your gender, your race, or where you’re from. Life is hard. You will have to work. You don’t deserve more than anyone else because of anything except hard work.

stop condescending

9. Thou shalt stop interrupting. You are not a child, you can be patient. Self-control, baby.


10. Thou shalt not take one’s youth for granted. Go out and do what you want. Seriously. Whether you feel like it all the time or not, being young means being resillient. Your heart will crack and break and get Magic-Bullet-ed back together, and your friends will change and move and revolve and you will learn to love the ones that stay like family. You can bounce back; and you will be more broke than you ever thought, and you’ll save and splurge and figure out what works for you. The world is your oyster, your playground, your dance floor, your blank canvas, whatever you want to call it, it’s yours. So smile, cry, go outside, date interesting people that will open your mind, read something that will change your life, and don’t let your health and vigilance go to waste. Do something!

happy jump anchorman

1. The Productive, Get-Shit-Done-r.

This usually lasts for short, sporadic periods of time in between other 9 people on this list. Enjoy it while it lasts. Bask in it, and remember how good it feels to be productive.

words and ideas can change

2. The Summer Fanatic.

Festival lineups, summer tour announcements, the changing weather, spring can bring a lot of distractions, and the Summer Fanatic lives for this. You thrive upon new announcements, and while most lineups are out, schedules and ticket sales are still in full swing. Social media for the next three months will serve one major purpose, and that is anticipation. You’re following all the festival info pages, checking out contests and basically living in a shell of procrastination until flip-flops become seasonally acceptable once again.


3. The Napper.

Just sleep, it’ll actually be spring eventually.

sleep boo
4. The Jumped-The-Gun-On-Shorts Guy.

It’s still too cold for shorts. It is still a one-digit temperature. You still need a jacket. You still need pants. Granted, sometimes you get caught out for the day in an outfit that you planned based on the weather (these days, you have no idea what to expect), which usually never ends well in these transitory seasons. But usually, if it’s still March, and it’s still under ten degrees, IT IS STILL TOO EARLY FOR SHORTS. Honestly, it’s just upsetting. I can’t wear shorts, so why can you? It’s too cold. Stop it.

shit we will not put up with

5. The March Break Complex Guy.

Whether your school gives you a March break, Spring break, reading week, whatever, it’ll probably fall at a different time than others (surrounding colleges and universities, high schools, etc). Yes, it’s going to be annoying, seeing warm, sandy, beach spam all over your Instagram. Yes, it’s really upsetting that everyone on your Facebook is out for a week, spending their parents’ money and taking family-funded vacations while you’re rolling in debt and midterms/finals/assignments, but you do get out before May, and the high school kids, at least, have got two more months to go. Plus, remember how EARLY you used to get up, like, every day? It still blows my mind that high-school-me had that initiative.


6. Depressed.

You will never get all this shit done. Why even bother? You hated half your classes this semester anyway, why are you even in school to begin with? The government is overcharging you. Your bank is overcharging you. Corruption runs our country. Fuck school. School is for fools. Edison didn’t go to school, right? And he’s fine. He’s allllll good. I’ll just invent something. Like a lightbulb, or ketchup packets.


7. The Admittedly Unproductive/Procrastinater Guy.

You know you’re not getting anything reeeeally accomplished today, but it’s cool. You’ll get there. These things take time. And other things. Like Internet, and cleaning. And basically anything.

pooh eat

8. The Cheerleader.

You’re almost there! Remember why you came to school in the first place? Yeah, there you go, positivity! You’re not wasting your money, you know it’s something you gotta do, and you’re almost at a finish line! Granted, one of many finish lines, most of which are paired with a punch to the gut that takes your wallet and your schedule and tears shit up with each, but you’ve got this, girl/bro/man/friend.

wink devil wears prada

9. An actual student that has to actually write exams and words and functions.

Eventually, actual exam time will come.

lord beer me strength

10. Drunk.

Go ahead, use any money you’ve managed to accumulate this semester for a celebratory liquor feast. You did it. You made it one more year. Take advantage of your time off, whether it’s a few days before summer school, a few months before the fall semester, or whether you’re heading in another direction, take a moment and bask in where you’re at.

jlaw no pants

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What’s your number?

1. The Inquisitive Guy.

There’s one on EVERY street corner. I’m starting to develop a repulsion with eye contact. Eye contact means conversation, with these ones. For whatever reason, they do not read my impatient wheel-rolling in place and staring daggers at the crosswalk countdown as a “DO NOT TALK” sign. They do not see the giant set of proper headphones that encase my ears and entrap my wind-tangled hair. They do not sense my aura of rushed impatience and lack of time. They want to talk. About rollerblading and the weather and the traffic and current events and honestly, I am all for being social and engaging but there is a time and place and it is not while I am wearing wheels on my feet.


2. My roommates, and basically anyone I actually know.

I can’t stop particularly well, especially while I’m moving quickly, so when I encounter people I DO actually want to talk to, I usually whiz by before a) I can catch who they are, or b) words can be exchanged in any way. Plus, my music is loud enough to drown out people, but not cars, so I rarely talk on the way. (Have you ever rollerbladed to like, really, really good rollerblading music? It’s powerful shit.)

3. The wide-eyed foreigner that says nothing.

blank stare

can i help you

4. Pick-Up Line Guy

Oh man, it’s not even entertaining anymore. I am on wheels. I am wearing headphones. I usually am going somewhere, and I am often late. I am very sorry that you caught me at this inconvenient time, but opening with “Hey baby, roll on over here,” or “Check out the wheels on those heels” isn’t really improving your chances. Stop being creepy

prepared to fight

5. The expansive wall of friends that feel compelled to walk in a line and take up the majority of the sidewalk.

bloody accident cat in hat

6. The troupe of small children.

They’re almost too cute to be annoying, but if I catch the midday field trip rush, it’s not the easiest of paths to travel. It’s also incredibly distracting, if you live in a mind like mine, where “BABIES!” pretty much erases any other functional thought.

baby eating

7. The really, really cute old lady that commends you on your initiative.

Exceedingly different from The Inquisitive Guy, The Really Cute Old Lady is just too cute to complain about. Although, she does eat up a few seconds of forced conversation through my headphones that I really didn’t want to have to wait for.


8. The wasted guy/girl/group.

Okay, there are certain streets I don’t take on Friday and Saturday nights. And when these people find their way onto the main roads, there’s not much I can do. The packs grow as the night goes on, people get really impressed, really easily (apparently a pair of roller blades makes you the centre of the drunk-people universe), and they pretty much stop moving.

jlaw who are you people

9. The guy that moves out of the way, the wrong way.

I am not just being picky. If you’re going to move out of the way of a rollerblader, PLEASE, look where you’re walking, and don’t leave the cobblestoned, cracked side of the pavement for the girl on wheels. I can manage weaving through people alright, but when people unpredictably jump in and/or out of the way, it doesn’t end well. For an accurate depiction of the sidewalks of Queen Street West, please see the GIF below.


10. Everyone.

Rollerblading downtown is really stressful. It’s like Mortal Kombat mixed with Mario Kart, but the bombs are cars and the chance boxes are traffic lights and the coins are potholes and the rainbow road is actually all gravel even though it looks alright at first, and the mushrooms are hobos and the other cars are everywhere and it doesn’t really help that I don’t know how to stop.

clumsy bambi