Opinion

How to recover after the 21-year-old at work doesn’t get your MySpace reference

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When you started at the company you were youngest person in the office; the go-to source for any youth culture-related query. Despite the fact that five years have passed and you’re now pushing 30, in your own head at least you still align yourself with the office’s gang of hip, young graduates.

So, it was a blow when your reference to popular mid-noughties social media platform, MySpace, was met with a blank stare from the office’s newest staff member.

How do you handle the realisation that your cultural references are now deemed irrelevant by the horde of Gen-Zers about to inundate the work force?

Here are the five stages of grief you will go through on realising you’re not actually that young anymore.

Denial

Your initial response will be to refuse to believe that anyone born in 1998 is old enough to have an actual, proper job. I’m sorry what? People born in this millennium are legally allowed to drink? Fuck off! That can’t be right.

Anger

This isn’t fair! How did this happen? Why didn’t anyone think to mention that youth was fleeting? You were under the assumption you were going to be young forever! Who do you complain to about this?!

Bargaining

But 30 is the new 20, right? Right? Rihanna’s 30! Beyonce’s 36!

Depression

But Lorde is 21! And Willow Smith is 17!! There are Instagram influencers you are biologically old enough to have mothered. Face it, you might as well just die now.

Acceptance

If you’re truly honest with yourself, 21 was kind of terrible. You wasted a lot of time faking an interest in electronic dance music and having terrible sex with guys you thought were cool because they owned a Stussy hoody and claimed to be a “DJ”. Getting older means not having to deal with that bullshit anymore. Thank God!

Billie Cooper

"Your daughter shows an aptitude for reading and writing, but can get wriggly during carpet time" was what Billie Cooper's year two teacher wrote on her report card back in 1997. In her 26-year existence, no combination of words have gotten closer to articulating the essence of Billie's soul.