The 10 commandments for how to coast through your 20s and 30s

How to coast through your first act and still succeed at life

We’ve all heard some sort of spin on the phrase “30 (or 40 or 50) is the new 20,” and the message is clear: Your 20s don’t matter!

In in the interest of passing those 10 years in an ineffectual state of bliss, I present the Nine Coasting Commandments. Why nine and not 10? Because I woke up late, that’s why. Get off my back.

Thou shalt date people much younger than you

Nothing says “I’m not ready to be a grown-up” more than dating someone seven years younger than you. It’s an ancient scumbag secret that you can live in that sweet spot of irresponsibility and vapid drug-fueled conversation for the rest of your life if you just trade in for a new model every time your significant other turns 25. You can also swap them out sooner if they start asking nosy questions. “Where do I plan on being in five years? Sitting right here with a different 22-year-old.”

Thou shalt not covet thy neighbors success

Did your friend buy a house out in the burbs? What a square! Did you blow your grocery money on “healing crystals”? Right on!

Thou shalt Have a higher calling

Keep your eyes on the big prize. How are you supposed to go on tour, or write the Great American Novel, or open that yoga studio or bakery you’ve been talking about if you have to work weekends? That necktie is starting to look an awful lot like a noose, my friend.

Thou shalt get a head start

Coasting through your 20s is a lot easier if you start coasting in your late teens. And though college dropouts might acquire useful binge-drinking skills before crashing and burning, you’re probably just as well off hanging around town and playing video games instead. Those interested in a hybrid approach might pursue a degree in something low-impact and unprofitable, like pottery. Or journalism.

Thou shalt have thy priorities straight

It’s payday, and that money is burning a hole in your pocket. Here’s how to prioritize your earnings:

1. Drugs

2. Booze

3. Food (not actual food, mind you, but fast food)

4. Cigarettes

5. Hey Mom, money’s pretty tight this month, can you front me a few hundred bucks to cover rent?

True story: I went nearly my entire 20s without a bank account. When I finally came back to banking, they had smartphone apps that can deposit checks by taking a photo of them. I felt like a caveman staring at a campfire for the first time.

Thou shalt cultivate interests that insulate you from reality

Occasionally, stray thoughts of buying health insurance or having a savings account might enter your mind. Go ahead and watch the seventh season of The Simpsons again. Put on the commentary this time.

Thou shalt not get married (Impulsive disaster marriages are totally OK, though)

Healthy relationships are difficult work that require both parties to be present and responsible, so avoiding them is very important. But if you need to tie the knot at 6 in the morning, then by all means, don’t think twice.

Thou shalt have a safety netsorta

What you need is a friendly group of people coasting at the same speed as you. No go-getters, no eager beavers, no one who gets up before 10, no marrieds, no home owners, no junior executives. If anyone uses the word “networking,” they’re out. My friends and I have repeatedly discussed forming a tontine—a pact where several parties invest equal shares of money and the last surviving member collects the full amount—but have decided that it would only motivate us to murder each other in the pursuit of a hefty payday. That’s a real #squadgoal.

Thou shalt not commit too fully to self-destruction

It’s about coasting, not falling into a tailspin. Your mission is to wallow in irresponsibility and immaturity to the precise degree that you’ll be able to rejoin the human race when (and if) you finally decide that it’s necessary. To that end, make sure you don’t get carried away with any hard drugs, take care to avoid jail by only committing misdemeanors and avoid accruing debt.