Square Fingernails Are Not For Everyone… And Other Life-Changing, Earth-Shattering Tips For Anyone Turning 23

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source: iFunny Brazil

Ah, 23. That awkward limbo between youthful recklessness and adulting like a pro. While turning 23 might not come with the fresh-adult excitement of 21 (and the epic birthday bash) or the (allegedly) developed brain of a 25-year-old, it does bring its own unique set of perks and challenges.

Here’s a quirky guide to surviving the peculiar age of 23, because, well, why not?

1- Your phone cover is more important than you think

source: Pinterest

Because your phone is practically an extension of your hand… What with all those work calls and e-mails, of course. I’m the last person coming for your doomscrolling addiction OK.

But yes, to me, if you’re truly meticulous about the way you present yourself, that should show in the way your phone looks. It’s just as important as your face. Shoes, clothes and hairstyles can vary from day to day, but your phone cover might just be the first lasting impression you make.

It’s also an easy, fashionable way to carry a piece of your individuality with you wherever you go. Cottagecore girlie forced to dress plain and formal for an event? No problem, your pastel pink phone case with mushrooms and frogs will let people know who you really are.

Oh, and if you’re big into mirror selfies, remember that when your followers are done ogling your new fit or unmatched bone structure, their eyes will inevitably swim to the device in your hand that captured the shot.

2- But I want you to know that no one truly cares about your Instagram feed…

source: Pinterest

.. At least not as much as you do. Yes, we all rush to look at our profiles to see what it looks like from a stranger’s POV, especially when we’re mentioned in someone’s story and know that their followers are likely to lurk on us.

But I assure you, no one’s thrown off by that random streak of hot pink that ‘”destroys” your minimalistic curation of photos. Your aesthetic is valuable, but not worth keeping photos you’re aching to post off your feed. Plus, realistically speaking, golden hour only comes once a day, and sometimes a “messy” feed can lend you some authenticity in the eyes of your followers.

3- Take photobooth pics every chance you get

source: My personal IG, @larahaswings.

That annoying timer that goes off one second before you perfect your pose? Yes, the same one that starts counting down again whether you’re ready for the next shot or not. It’s not going to matter when you hold that wholesome tangible slice of nostalgia in your hands someday.

Especially if said photobooth is available at a party, because life’s too short not to immortalise your questionable life choices in a strip of four pictures where you progressively look drunker and happier. One moment you’re posing with a rubber chicken, the next you’re 60 and wondering where your hair went. Cherish those moments.

Oh, and if you do still care for the careful curation of your social media profiles (no judgment), these are also post-worthy and will give your feed an adorable break from your usual selfies and OOTD shots.

4. Take pride in your name

My Gen is heavy on manifesting, and there’s more to that than writing down your crush’s name 33 times in hopes that he’ll text you back.

As I ventured into the working world, I took notice of many things that I felt I could improve, from my appearance to my social skills. Not in a people-pleasing, need-for-validation manner, but with the belief that I knew it would help my self esteem and everything else would fall into place from there.

At work, I’d hear a lot of, “Lara will handle that” or “Lara is really friendly and kind”, and as a result, I found myself subconsciously talking to myself, about myself, in third person too. When I was researching a certain topic, getting challenging work done, or even trying on a new outfit, I’d imagine comments along the lines of “Lara is really smart, beautiful, inspiring”, resounding in people’s heads.

And over time, I’ve come to believe that they had indeed begun to perceive me in the exact ways I intended. Not because what I was doing was performative, but according to the Law Of Attraction, you are what you believe you are, and others will take notice of that person. Take pride in your name and it will take pride in you.

5- Don’t waste money on a manicure if it doesn’t seem to last on you

source: Pinterest

As a writer, I use my hands a lot, and it’s certainly easy on the eye when I glance at my fingers and a fresh set of cobalt blue claws stare back. That’s why it was difficult to part with my monthly manicure routine. It was a small segment of my self-pampering habits, but always one of my favourites.

The truth is, some people just use their hands more than others, and not everyone is blessed with strong, healthy nails that can handle the viscousness of the UV light that regularly.

It’s nice to fit in with the chic crowd. But when your gel mani starts chipping within a week, or when your brittle nails are fighting for their lives… So unless you’re going for a grungey, chipped polish look, you’ll realise that some of us are just better off with a top coat.

6- While we’re talking about nails, overly-squared nails are the DEVIL

source: Pinterest

Tempting, beautiful. But they’re out to get you. Say hello to mysterious scratches all over, and goodbye to your ability to shampoo your hair by yourself. Because they’ll snag on everything, from your wet hair to your delicate dreams.

Here’s a picture of Tom Ellis as Lucifer to make you feel better though.

source: Radio Times

7- Work on your skills. Even the quirky ones

source: De Francis Pastels

Remember, sharpening your skills doesn’t always have to be with the intention of turning them into a full-blown career. I learned to perform hula hoop tricks at home purely out of passion, despite not having a single person (not even myself) believe that I was going to make it big in the circus someday. And you know what? There’s no shame in that. Now, I have a fun workout routine that doubles as a party trick, which some people also happen to find attractive. 😉

Here’s a video if you don’t believe me. And yes I hit into my mum’s plant while practicing. Mum if you’re seeing this, I’m sorry, it won’t happen again.

source: Pinterest

You see, at 23, people are going to give you tons of advice. Almost all your superiors at work are far older than you. You also have those older cousins who’ve made it in life (yeah, the ones your parents are constantly comparing you to), and you’ve probably just witnessed the harrowing concept of the modern dating world. You’re going to get bossed around, hurt and discouraged by people struggling with their own awkward stages in life.

But we’re all 23 once, and it’s important to embrace the mystery of it all. Like my uncle constantly reminds us in the family group chat, “Smile while you still have teeth”.

Of course, there are many other valuable lessons to be learned, but I’ll leave the “make amends with family” and “watch your finances” piece to someone else to write.

Feature image via Pinterest

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