You’re a new man! You’re a new woman! The world is finally working in your direction! You’ve got a JOB! You’ve got a CAREER! The world is your OYSTER!

Your bank balance is rising from the pits of being heavily within the red, to a big fat £0 in the black! You’ve gotten incredibly excited about buying yourself slightly more expensive cutlery than usual at your slightly-better-than-sub-standard flat! You see yourself growing up to being a fiery independent, mature man or woman, no longer having to resort to ringing your parents for money, advice or “advice” (a clever disguise resulting in more money). You’ve got a smartphone with a contract and not a PAYG Nokia 3310 with Snake II on it! Sentences are ending in exclamation marks!

But then you go home for Christmas and…

  1. You bring home all of the clothes you’ve ever owned in a large bag for your Mum and Dad to wash because not only do they have that real nice fabric conditioner, but you also can’t be arsed to wash it and you know that they won’t care.
  2. You spend approximately 87% of your time whilst at home sitting on the sofa watching telly in exactly the same angle as you sat when you were 17, watching exactly the same programmes as you were watching when you were 17.
  3. You proudly boast to your parents that on your ‘first graduate job’ wage you can now afford really nice food items from Tesco and Sainsbury’s – “like seriously guys on some days I get the Taste the Difference range” – but then you open your parents’ fridge and you see so much food you feel like sticking your head in said fridge for about twenty minutes. You then realise that some people are so rich they can buy food items that DON’T have a heavily discounted price on it because it goes out of date within two days.
  4. You go to your room to see that it has been changed into a spare room and that everything about your past and personality has been DELETED. The walls have also been painted a nice cream white colour for NO REASON.
  5. You check your post. There’s a letter from the Student Loans Company, which you open with some level of confidence before becoming confused about why you have been charged £600 interest on your loan between this Wednesday and last Wednesday (but then you stop caring), as well as an invitation to some slutty nightclub you signed up for on your 18th birthday without realising. You spend more time than strictly necessary looking at the slutty nightclub invite.
  6. You head into your local village, town or city and pass the place that you used to work when you are 14. You walk in, expect to be welcomed with open arms and asked about your WONDERFUL NEW JOB IN THE CITY. Instead, you get a slightly confused look by a retail assistant you don’t recognise called Brenda. Everyone else there doesn’t recognise you either. Brenda asks you whether you want something. You just opt for anything as soon as possible so you can leave with some dignity. You then get ID’ed buying a National Lottery Ticket.
  7. You pass your old secondary school whilst driving in your car. You don’t look at the school. Instead you have this cold shivering feeling down your back and this empty dead feeling inside, so you look directly at the road ahead and put your foot down.
  8. You contact some old friends from the area and decide to head out to a cool bar or restaurant for some food and a good old catch-up. Unfortunately, since 93% of your youth consisted of you hanging around the local abandoned park collectively bitching about your parents until it got cold (and your ‘drinking’ consisted of drinking off a park bench out of a bottle with its label ripped off) because you were so cool, you have absolutely no idea where to go.
  9. You don’t want to go home. You don’t ever, ever want to go home.
  10. You then spend another three days there. Actually, nah, when’s the next train? Adulthood? What adulthood?

Merry Christmas!