During your twenties you will gain a wealth of new experiences. You will learn how to improve your interview skills, how to understand mature relationships, and how to use a washing machine without shrinking your favorite sweater. However, many of our experiences will come from the awkward situations we find ourselves in along the course of this very crucial decade. Here are some of the (many) awkward moments I have encountered in my four years of being a clueless twenty-something:

• Unexpected visitors will come to your home to say hello. Unfortunately, there is no milk in the fridge. There is wine though. Lots of wine.

• Throwing up after too much pink wine becomes a party trick for many of us. What’s worse, however, is throwing up all over yourself in front of an audience. Abracadabra.

• Getting low in the club and falling over. That’s one way to do it, I suppose.

• The walk of shame. Especially when you are caught cradling your shoes in your Sharpie-covered arms like a baby.

• Next is the college rite of passage. Also known as “friends-with-benefits.” In your early twenties, this no-strings-attached deal sounds perfect. It can work, but occasionally it can turn into an emotional disaster. Eventually you become too old for this “no drama” nonsense.

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• Seeing the final result of your graduation photos and looking more like Zoolander than the poised professional you tried to be.

• Dating. In general, dating has to be one of the most awkward experiences. In your twenties, it’s a complete power play and nobody ever knows where they stand or even what they want. There’s also the problematic complication of shaving your legs at all times. No, thank you. Next!

• Social media tension. For example, the person who blocked you on Twitter last night bumps into you while you’re shopping for giant bags of Doritos. This leads to one of the other awkward moments that we all must experience: the art of polite small talk with people you hate. Being civil has never been more difficult.

• All kinds of rejection. Rejection emails, voicemails, and Skype conversations. Or even worse, rejection texts. Ouch.

• Being the drunk one at the annual family gatherings. Check you out, you delightfully frisky party animal!

• Having to know how to act at a party. You suddenly pretend there is a very urgent and pressing matter taking place on your phone.

• Last night’s texts.

• Seeing your ex out and about is one of the trickiest situations to navigate. Do you smile? Say hello? Maybe throw him a half-hearted wave? Generally we end up avoiding them, and making it even more awkward in the process.

• The ultimate awkward moment for any of us comes when we are still trying to find our way in this world. “So, any luck with a real job?” With a defeated sigh we say, “Nope.” And hey, thanks for the reminder!

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Sometimes, being in this particular stage of our lives is far less magical than we anticipated. There are no soundtracks or movie montage scenes leading us to defining moments. Instead, we have many cringe-inducing memories. Yet, behind every picture you have framed holds a story and probably an awkward moment, too. These are the moments we remember, and the lessons we learn. In the growing scrapbook of memories from these years, these are the ones we won’t be so quick to forget, even though we might want to.