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10 embarrassing things that'll happen to you before you turn 20

May 29, 2014 17:16 IST

10 embarrassing things that'll happen to you before you turn 20


Paloma Sharma

Ah, the beautiful spring time of youth!

As I extoll the virtues of being young, I'm also skipping around Wonderland in a tutu, sprinkling fistfuls of glitter into the air with a rainbow coloured unicorn in tow -- because that's just what us 19 year olds do, since adolescence is such a dream come true.

No, really.

Society and the media will try to sell you the idea that your teenage years will be the most glorious ones of your life -- and they will be -- just about as glorious as the final battle in the movie 300.

You catch my drift...?

These illusions will throw you off your guard when faced with an unsettling issue. Nobody will warn you about these but it’s about time someone did.

The following are 10 embarrassing things that will happen to you before you turn 20.

1. Puberty

Listen, I don't care how many times people tell you that your body changing is a wonderful thing -- if it bleeds in all the wrong places, something is NOT right... (...and I'm not even going to get into the male side of things.)

Puberty has been globally responsible for turning cutesy little babies into gangly, pimply beings whose natural reflex reaction for everything is to slam the door closed and yell "LEAVE ME ALONE!"

If you still think that, that one little wiry hair growing on your underarm is just about the best thing that happened to you since Jism 2 became available for unrestricted viewing on YouTube, consider this:

Puberty is the beginning of all bad hair days.

Oh, yes it is.

Puberty will never be your friend. It will embarrass you at all the wrong moments and make you the butt of all jokes.

As far as puberty goes, always remember Murphy's Law: anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

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2. Your first crush

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So you think that your first crush is going to end happily ever after?

Awww, that's so cute (and while you're at it, why don't you just wish Tinkerbell back to life?)

Although often one-sided, a first crush is never a private affair.

All the hearts you've been drawing with both your names written in them, at the back of your rough notebook -- a task executed with the stealth of Johnny English -- are bound to bring your friends to the right conclusion.

That is, if you don't blurt it out first.

Once your friends know, you can just forget about privacy or civilised conduct.

They will hoot like rabid monkeys on cocaine every time your crush walks through the door, they will push you into his/her path every chance they get and will inevitably confess your feelings on your behalf (even though you may not want to) because hey, what are friends for?

Teachers will obviously become aware of the situation and give the two of you The Look when they enter class.

Eventually, in an assembly conducted soon after, your principal will deliver a speech on morality and how students must focus on their studies and nothing else, in front of the whole school -- and everyone will know that you two are the ones being talked about.

If your crush doesn't pepper spray you right in the eye after this, you're lucky.

First crushes may not be meant to last but they sure are meant to be embarrassing.

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Image: Switzerland's Roger Federer poses with a fan for a selfie after winning his Davis Cup quarter-final tennis match against Andrey Golubev of Kazakhstan in Geneva April 6, 2014.
Photographs: Denis Balibouse/Reuters
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3. Your first job interview

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What do you do in your free time?"

"I like to watch wild videos on YouTube."


Wildlife videos is what I really wanted to say. However, I tend to eat up the last few words of my sentences when I'm nervous; and boy, was I nervous!

The good news is that you will now know that this can happen when you're nervous during an interview.

The bad news is that you'll do exactly what I did.

You will fumble.

Unless you have nerves of steel/valium, you're going to embarrass yourself in your first interview.

Everybody gets anxious.

Everybody messes up.

Its natural.

But its also really awkward, especially when your sweat glands go into overdrive (re: puberty) so carry deodorant.

All you can do is hope that if you do get picked, your interviewer will have forgotten you.

Mine didn't.

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Image: A still from the movie Corporate

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4. Your first time on the blacklist

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College is all about hanging out with friends, they said.

You're free to do whatever you want, they said, the canteen is a temple you must visit everyday.

They lied.

Sometime around August every year, millions of college students find themselves in deep water when...

(Drum roll, please)

...the Blacklist is revealed.

The Blacklist is more than just a piece of paper.

It’s is a tarot card that predicts the future of students and for most college goers it is nothing short of a death card.

Not only will a note be sent to your residence but your parent will also be summoned before your principal so that the two of them can discuss how useless you are and tell each other that its not the other one's fault -- while you're still standing in the room.

There's a reason why home and college are different entities but their coming together can be just as disastrous as a merger of Church and State.

You can try (not) to run, you can try to hide (in class) but your name will find itself on the Blacklist.

Don't try to wrap your mind around it.

It is simply the law of education -- no child will be left behind.

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Image: A still from the movie 3 idiots

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5. Your first hangover

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We all have that one friend who says, "What men? Beer is not even alcohol!"

We have all believed that one friend at some point in our lives.

We have all regretted it.

It starts with one bottle. But plain beer tastes horrible, right? So you move to an orange flavoured Breezer. Orange tastes good. So now you want to try lemon, and cranberry too; and before you know it, you're driven home in an overcrowded rickshaw, you black out and 20 minutes later your mother comes into your room to find you browsing the internet on an open black briefcase.

Sure, your parents are mad.

But do they scream at you?

No, not immediately, because they've been there, done that and they know that it’s really going to hurt your head the morning after.

They will also use this opportunity to pour bitter green goo down your throat on the pretext of it being a good "cure" for hangovers.

The best part of it -- they will never, ever, ever let you live it down.

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Image: A still from the movie Hangover

Tags: Breezer

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6. Your first bankruptcy

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No matter how much pocket money you've gotten in life, it cannot prepare you for this.

The first time you sweat blood for a month at the end of which you are handed your own money, an alarm in your brain goes off.

There are red, blinking lights every where.

The shrill siren is screaming -- SPEND! SPEND! SPEND!

Now, of course you're not a selfish person. So you take what you have into the first store that catches your fancy and buy that watch with the pearl strap which your mother really wanted.

Then you move on to a really classy perfume for your father.

After a while you feel that it would be unfair to leave your grandparents out. Maybe you should buy something for your sibling/s too.

It won't be polite not to give your favourite teacher something. Also, you need to get something really good for your nosy neighbour, just to rub his face in it.

By the time you decide to invest your savings in a fixed deposit, you find that you have none.

It’s buses and vada pavs for the next few weeks; and don't make the mistake of asking your folks for money.

You might be on just an intership but that's not going to stop them from excusing themselves.

"But now you are independent."

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Image: Stock brokers engage in trading at a firm in Mumbai April 2, 2007. Indian shares fell 4.7 percent on Monday to their lowest close in two weeks after an unexpected interest rate increase rattled investors and triggered a sell-off across sectors led by banks and software services.
Photographs: Arko Datta/Reuters

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7. Your first trip alone

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So mommy and daddy have finally let you go on an "educational trip" to a remote village/Goa/Manali to do social work (read: PARTAAAY) on your own?

For all the things you hold against them, admit it -- you can't survive without them.

If you're a student, you probably can't afford a hotel and so you will find yourself at a homestay or dorm with a dozen other messy teenagers who think hygiene is for losers -- in other words, you're stuck with yourself multiplied by 12 and there's no one to clean up after you.

Good food is expensive and anything you can afford isn't edible.

Nobody tells you "You can do it!" when you're afraid to try a new adventure sport.

You miss a clean house, fresh food and you just really miss your mommy.

A trip on your own sounds glamorous until you pack your bag, sniff your nose red, tell your friends you're unwell and take the first bus back home.

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Image: A still from the movie Yeh Jawani Hain Deewani

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8. Your first kiss

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Before you start daydreaming of Ryan Gosling/Emma Watson, let me just be the party pooper and remind you that life is not a romantic comedy.

Life is, in fact, a black comedy.

Therefore, your first kiss probably won't even be a kiss.

It will be a whole military operation.

First, you'll have to scout the location (If you see either religion or khakhi, abort mission immediately).

Then you'll have to lure the target to said location. If you do manage to do that, you'll have to engage in actual conversation until the moment comes (which might never happen) and before you pucker up, remember to breathe.

Even if you do follow the above steps carefully, you will most probably only end up with:

a. A bruised head

b. An injured nose

c. A saliva laden eyelid (height differences, don't ask)

First kisses aren't exactly what dreams are made of, but if you want a career in stand up comedy, they just might make for great writing material.

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Image: A couple is silhouetted as they kiss in front of a wall waterfall in a small park in New York City November 8, 2013.
Photographs: John Schults/Reuters

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9. Your first time clubbing

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So you're all dressed up in your best or have more gel in your hair than bees in a hive?

Excited about the night ahead?

You are in for an interesting night.

They probably never tell you this but getting to a club is easy. Getting into a club? Not so much.

Even if you do see the inside of the club, prepare to be blown away by the music.


The music will be so loud, your internal organs will bounce up and down.

The lights will flash in your eyes.

Soon enough you will find yourself in the midst of a mass of sweaty, gyrating zombies moving to the insanely loud music.

If you survive the night without becoming averese to bright lights and loud sounds (as any rational human being would be) or without running into unsightly forms in the bathroom, then you must be the Dancing Queen that Abba prophesied.

However, the rest of us will just end up up in a vomit in our hair and a reduced hearing ability; and will be welcomed home with the words, "Done with your clubbing-shlubbing?”

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Image: A still from the movie Shaadi Ke Side Effects

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10. Rejection

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Yes, you may freak out now.

Rejection is one of the most humiliating things that can happen to you. But that doesn't mean it will stop happening.

Rejection is a life long process.

Before you turn 20, you will be rejected for a job, by a guy/girl, by a college and, perhaps, even for a loan.

But if you get rejected, it just goes to show that you're trying.

At first it’s the worst feeling in the world. You don't know what to do. All your plans have gone wrong. But eventually you will learn to deal with it.

As horrible as it is to hear "no", the more you hear it, the better you'll be able to deal with it.

Rejection doesn't necessarily mean a closed door, it just means a different one.

Photographs: Dominic Xavier/
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