A Guide to Eternal Youth (Or at Least Indefinitely Extended Adolescence)

The Telegraph has handily listed 50 indications that you are an adult. Now you can stay young forever by doing the opposite.

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Are you being kept awake at night trying to determine whether you're a grownup or not? Fear not! The Telegraph has handily listed 50 indications that you are an adult. This is quite scientific or actually, not really scientific at all: "The findings emerged from a study of 2,000 people to uncover the 50 things which show you have become a fully-fledged adult."

In Britain, you must shop for groceries weekly, have written a will, be married with kids, have a mortgage, and have at least two sets of towels—special and everyday—in order to be considered an adult. Additionally, "The research highlights that being a grown up means wearing a coat on a night out, donning comfortable shoes instead of crippling back breakers, and going to bed before 11pm where possible." And probably, enjoying time answering surveys about what makes you an adult.
God, being an adult sounds horrible! On the bright side, this Telegraph list provides us an excellent jumping off point for our own list. For the Peter Pan syndrome-afflicted among us: Here's how to retain your youth forever. Because young people don't have as much time to read as their elders, nor the same sort of attention spans, we've consolidated down from 50 into just 15 key points. 

1. Don't ever buy a house or an apartment. Why would you do that? Don't even rent a house or apartment. Instead, fill a garbage bag full of your prized possessions (don't have too many of these; young people need to be free, maybe just a sock and a spare pair of underwear and a Gameboy or something) and flit from couch to couch or floor to floor, staying briefly with the friends and the coworkers you call your friends until they stop letting you stay there. If you get really tired, go home and sleep in your childhood bed and let your parents feed you for a few nights. In the adult world, this is called "a vacation."

2. Borrow money from your parents forever. This keeps them young, too, so you're actually doing them a favor. Remind them of that when you take your "vacation."

3. Scoff loudly at terms like "corporate matching" and "401(k)." Take anything you'd save and bet it on a horse or drink it or use it to buy expensive face cream or nacho-cheese flavored Doritos.

4. Shop for food by ordering it directly to your apartment in the form of a chicken parm or large pizza. Hang onto those containers, they might be good for something, someday! Like... Forts.

5. There's an "i" in will but that doesn't mean you should have one. Anticipating your own demise is for the olds. Also for the olds: budgeting, cooking your own meals, life insurance, recycling, news programs, knowing about old-people things, smelling like old people, listening to the radio (see: Car Talk), grouching about aches and pains and what makes you old, going to the doctor for "physicals," excessive tea-drinking.

6. If you happen to see what is known in some communities as a child, run from it, screaming in terror. Preferably, live in a place where there are no such beings. They make it hard to sleep in in the morning, and if there's one thing you need, it's your beauty rest.

7. If someone proposes marriage, tell them that you're not old enough to be thinking of such things. Geez! What a sicko. 

8. Live paycheck to paycheck. Or, better yet, don't even have a job. Bum off your parents 4-evah. (See #2.) Also, spell forever "4-evah."

9. You must not now or ever own: A lawn mower. A joint bank account. An iron and ironing board. A washing machine that you use all by yourself. A wee little garden that you enjoy "pottering around in." A green thumb. A vacuum cleaner. Stamps. "A view on politics." Spare shopping bags that you carry around just in case. A "best crockery set." Hairs that are grey. A supply of Metamucil.

10. What is "bleeding a radiator"? That sounds violent. Related: If you know what "shimming a toilet" means, there is no hope for you.

11. Attend "dinner parties" but never throw them yourself and make sure when you go to them you fill your handbag or rucksack with food and wine glasses and knives and forks with which to stock your own cabinets, except by cabinets we mean, the area surrounding the sleep-spot you happen to be keeping at the time. This is called "shopping."

12. Avoid garden centers, leaf-peeping excursions, giving your parents advice (because, what?), wearing anything practical or "appropriate," going to bed "early" or "at a reasonable hour," calling your parents for reasons other than asking for favors or money, calling anything your "career," dressing for "your age," doing "mending," buying the Sunday paper and actually reading it, describing items in your closet as "sensible," washing the dishes without letting them sit in the sink for at least a week, being kept awake at night because of "stress," "bills," or chips in your "best crockery set." 

13. If someone gives you a gift voucher, unfriend them immediately on Facebook.

14. Fall asleep regularly in a place that is not your bed with your shoes and possibly all of your clothes on. Never be "sensible enough to remove make up off before bedtime" or look at receipts after you pay for something. Since you have no money, or rarely do, you're not paying for much in the first place. 

15. Find a fountain and get in it, preferably with your clothes on.

Follow these tips and you'll be young for always or at least, a wee bit longer, until the evil demons of adulthood grasp you finally in their long-fingered clutches. Luck is on your side: As Skipton spokesperson Tracy Fletcher told The Telegraph, "The inability to complete rites of passage as basic as standing on their own feet financially, and owning their own home, is effectively infantilising people and leaving us with a generation of who remain teenagers into their late 20s." With a bit of effort, you can extend this phenomenon into your late-middle-aged years. 

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.