19 Things You’ll Regret Doing in Your 20s

By Patrick Banks

Posted 2 years agoGROWTH

19 Things You’ll Regret Doing in Your 20s

Your 20s may seem like a perfect age. Is it even possible to have regrets during this decade of your life?

Apparently, yes. Reddit users recently voted on the things they regret not doing in their 20s.

If you’re about to embark on the exciting journey of your 20s (or are just trying to make sense of the past), let us and the Reddit community make sure you won’t have any regrets during some of the best years of your life.

1. Being afraid to take risks

Consider your 20s a time for new experiences. Don’t let your fears hold you back. Remember – you’ll never be young again! Right now—when your responsibilities are minimal—is the time to take risks and pursue your dreams. Don’t be afraid to dream BIG.

2. Not getting fit

You’ won’t regret taking the advantage of the fast metabolism you have as a 20-something. Don’t be cheap – saving money and time on your health is NOT a good long-term strategy. Taking care of your health and fitness NOW is the best investment you can make in your 20s. Moving your body, no matter if it’s running, cycling, or swimming can get you in great shape – your future self will thank you! Also, eat fresh, high-quality foods to nourish your body and mind.

3. Not enjoying being young

Yes, you should invest in your future—but don’t worry about it. You’re probably eager to start a career and family; however, take some time to really enjoy the experience of being in your 20s. Don’t act more grown up than you are – you risk missing out on the best years of your life!

One Reddit user said, ”A lot of people I know who were in a hurry all through their 20s are now ending their 20s and feeling a bit depressed because they quickly extinguished their youth and hit all the goal posts and now they’re like, ‘What now?’”

4. Committing too much, too young

Don’t feel obligated to follow a certain timeline.  You don’t have to marry the first person you meet and sign a mortgage by age 27. Enjoy your “careless youth” while it lasts! You can catch up with almost everything else in life—but not your youth.

5. Taking care of people who don’t deserve your time

The more you “grow up”, the less time you will have for your friends. Focus on the people you want to keep as lifetime friends. Make sure the time you spend with your friends is well-spent and fulfilling for you. Accept that not every college acquaintance will stay in your life forever.

6. Don’t get out of bad relationships

Bad relationships (whether requited or platonic) can drain your energy and negatively impact your self-esteem. Don’t let them drag you down; only invest your emotional energy in people who treat you well. Your 20s will pass in a flash—don’t spend them with someone who isn’t worth your time.

7. Not studying or moving abroad

In your 20s, you have few serious obligations and a strong motivation to live life; this is the best time to go abroad and see what it’s like to live somewhere else. Expand your comfort zone and nourish your mind with new cultures and habits. This priceless learning experience will open up your perspectives, worldview, and opportunities!

8. Not saving money for your retirement

Retirement may seem ages ahead of you; however, the earlier start contributing to your retirement fund, the greater rewards you will gain. You don’t have to invest a lot but start as early as you can.

Virtually every personal finance expert recommends you start putting money into your retirement fund as early as possible.

9. Putting pressures on yourself

Society, parents, teachers—they all put different kinds of pressure on us as kid and teenagers. Free yourself from this inner struggle and don’t let the “shoulds” hold you back. You really must not so many things in life. Isn’t it relieving? Yes, you can spend your time thinking how you “should” get a steady job, “should” find a significant other, and “should” start  a family. Free yourself from these expectations and enjoy your life—just the way it is right now.

10. Comparing yourself with others

Our lives all move at different paces; it’s absolutely pointless to compare yourself to others. Don’t believe (or let others convince you) you’re a failure if your life differs from the norm.

11. Caring too much about other people’s opinion

The sooner you stop wasting time and energy caring about what people think (especially those who don’t care about what you think), the better. You simply don’t have time for this.

12. Not choosing the right work path

Make good employment decisions in your 20s; the skills and contacts you acquire in this decade will set you up for the rest of your life. Don’t let yourself get stuck in a job you don’t like. Your time is precious—don’t exchange the best years of your life for something you don’t really want.

13. Not getting to know yourself

How can you decide what’s best for you if you can’t even make quality time for yourself? Make time for yourself and follow your passions. Putting your needs first will make you happier, improve your relationships and your motivation to work and study.

14. Wasting time on negativity

Focus on “the brighter side of life” and appreciate what you have. Happiness is a choice and a skill you can practice. Avoid negative people and learn to “flip away” every negative thought that comes into your mind. If you can’t control certain situations, just let them go.

15. Choosing things over experiences

You remember your experiences, not your things. While you’re still young, free, and full of energy, don’t get into the vicious circle of buying unnecessary things. You’ll never regret taking diving lessons—isn’t that worth a couple of pairs of expensive shoes? Look for opportunities to rent the objects you need or buy them second-hand. With the money you save, treat yourself to a vacation or another type of special experience. These memories will cheer you up on rainy days.

16. Being irresponsible with money

Don’t waste your money. You (or your parents) exchanged precious time for every dollar you have. Spend your money slowly and wisely. If you’re not sure what to spend your money on, saving is always a good idea. You won’t regret having these funds later in life.

17. Not spending time with parents

In our 20s, we focus on “growing up” and often forget that our parents are getting older. Soon, they may be too old or sick to travel, hike, or play sports. Enjoy your parents’ company whenever you can.

18. Not being active enough

Treat the world as your playground; have fun exploring it. Many older people wish they had travelled more before having kids, run marathons before their knees started aching, biked more, or join a soccer team. Be active as a student, enjoy the learning process, and go out a lot, too. Fully explore all the activities you should when you are young.

19. Thinking 20 is old

How will your future 40 or 50 self feel if you tell yourself that you’re “getting old” when you’re still in your twenties? Of course, we age a little every minute of our life, but don’t obsess about it. Take a chance, live, and enjoy life like the “young’un” you are—and never lose your childlike spirit!

About the author Patrick Banks

Patrick is a Berlin-based dating advisor, motivational speaker, a huge fitness and vegan diet enthusiast and the main editor at Wingman Magazine, specialised in men's health. His ultimate goal is to share with men around the world his passion for self-development and to help them to become the greatest version of themselves. He believes a healthy body and successful social interactions are two main keys to happiness.

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