Life should be about constantly learning, and constantly trying to improve yourself.
You go through a lot of ups and downs during this interesting ride, and sometimes you just have to experience things firsthand for them to really sink in and force you to make changes.
BUT…I have to admit that if I could do it over again, I would’ve done some things differently in my twenties so my thirties would have been a little bit easier.
But we all live and we learn…
Check out these words of wisdom for twenty-somethings from AskReddit users.
“If a job pays good money but it doesn’t fulfill you, STAY THERE!!!
I’m 50 and I’ve left good paying jobs because I wanted something better or more “fulfilling”, only to find it was never there. So I’ve jumped from job to job pursuing that “kick *ss” job. Instead I should have invested more time and effort into the decent jobs I had and built up a better portfolio.
All jobs will suck or parts of those jobs will suck. If you can pay your bills and take care of your family then it’s worth putting up with some BS.”
2. Keep working on it.
“Find a skill-based activity that you can work on and improve at over time.
Piano, calligraphy, jiu-jitsu, golf, whatever.
It’s good for humans to have something they are constantly working on improving.”
3. A good idea.
“Take care of your mental health, see a psychiatrist and a therapist if you need to.
Don’t be afraid of the stigma.”
4. You’re gonna need ’em!
“Take good care of your teeth.
Two adages to remember:
“Brush your teeth in the morning to keep your friends. Brush your teeth at night to keep your teeth.”
“If you ignore your teeth, they’ll go away.””
5. Avoid the big ones.
“You will make mistakes. Don’t let that hold you back.
Just try to avoid the big ones (I.e. things that will land you in jail, marrying for the wrong reasons, having kids with a dumb*ss).”
6. Put yourself out there.
“Date, date, DATE!
I have some friends who are in their late 20’s and its a struggle to have them try to meet people. Not saying its pivotal to date, but its good to know how work with other people who’ve been in relationships.
And recovering from a breakup seems like a good life experience prior to 30.”
7. Words of wisdom.
“Learn what kinds of problems you like to solve and build a career around that. Don’t build a career around tasks. There’s always going to be things you don’t like to do. If you’re solving a big problem the crappy tasks are easier to endure.
Learn good work ethic and develop good habits: be clean, show up on time, be rested, etc.”
8. Own it.
“Don’t blame things that are out of your control before you’ve taken care of things that are under your control.
As an example, if you are obese but also don’t eat right, don’t exercise, don’t get good sleep, smoke, and drink too much alcohol, then don’t blame genetics for your obesity.
After you’ve taken care of those other things, if you are still obese, then you can talk about your genetics.”
9. Do it your way.
“Don’t live your life by the subtle pressures and expectations of family and society.
I lived my life way too long doing what other people told me was right. Women don’t get an education unless it’s to meet a husband, have your babies before your 30, build your life around your family, always do what your elders tell you to.
Now I’m a closeted 36 year old divorced single mother who’s husband left her for someone younger and more pliable, with no education, no friends and a family who looks down on me because I am CLEARLY built wrong.
Live your life on YOUR terms. Take into account the advice of those who have more experience, but ultimately it’s your life and your choice.”
10. I like all of this!
“Life is short.
When you’re 20, it feels like 40 is really far off (after all, that’s twice as long as you’ve lived). It’s not. It’s right around the corner and even then, you’re only half way thru your life.
Take care of your body. You’re tough now, but all that abuse will catch up with you.
Drama is a success killer. If anyone (ANYONE!!) has a habit of starting drama, drop them from your life now. No one is so important that they are worth being dragged down into that pit.
Live off of less than 80% of your take-home pay if possible. Take 10% of that, drop it into savings and another 10% and put it in investments.
Have a plan. Doesn’t matter what the plan is and it doesn’t matter if it changes, but make a plan. Don’t just go through life day-to-day aimlessly doing what feels good in the moment. Decide what you want and go get it.
You will stumble (some people will call it failure) but as long as you keep moving forward, you’re in better shape than most.
Eat twice as many vegetables as you are now. I know you think you’re eating enough, but you’re not. And drink some water, for hydro’s sake!”
11. A good tip.
“No unprotected *x.
One side of my family learned this the hard way. The kids are just terrible as well. Just for your own sake, absolutely no unprotected s*x.
Unless you just so happen to have roughly 40,000 dollars just floating around and genuinely think you’re ready.”
12. Go see the world.
“Travel, live abroad.
I was traveling around taking odd jobs between 23-28 and had a blast and had great memories with ppl from all over.
If I die tomorrow I can rest assure I had a hell of a ride back in the days.”
13. Get outside.
“Find and maintain hobbies that makes you active outdoors!
Nothing soothes the soul like being in nature!”
14. Do it while you’re young.
“If you yearn for adventure, go now.
You are young, your body is strong, and your obligations are few. Go now.
It’s so much easier to drop everything in your life for a 6-month hiking trip and then slide back into regular life when you’re 25 than when you’re 35.”
“Learn how to budget. Even if it’s just a simple excel or google sheets file with one column of income, and one of expenses.
When you see everything you buy in a month next to each other, you realize where you can save money pretty well.”
16. Do it yourself.
“Learn how to be independently happy.
I wish someone could have screamed this in my face with a megaphone whenever I was about to do something codependently stupid in my 20s and early 30s.”
17. Good advice.
Don’t drink every day
Save your $ and invest.
Don’t marry crazy regardless of how good the s*x is.”
18. Go for it.
Someone you fancy? Ask them out.
Want to try a new education path or hobby? Do it.
Have trouble with anxiety/self worth/past crappy experiences? Get a good therapist and work on it.
Your 20s are the time you get to figure out who you are.”
19. Very true.
“Protect your hearing!
Wear ear plugs at concerts and don’t always crank up the music in your car.”
20. Goals are good.
“Make sure that if you have a relationship with someone you actually nail down the long term goals and agree on them.
Like kids. How exactly will that work? Marriage? Find your deal breakers and take them seriously.
From 20-30 the time really flies and you don’t want to miss it.”
21. Be active.
Even lightly once a week. Just do something. Stretch too, yoga is great.
Some won’t try it because of the stigma, but just do it at home with YouTube videos if you want to.”
22. Do it!
“Learn how to cook and eat healthy.
You’ll save money and your body will appreciate it.”
23. YOU DO YOU.
“Live your life the way you want to, not the way your parents tell you is “best”, and not the way society “expects” you to. Unless that actually lines up with what you want.
I spent way too much time doing what I thought were the “right” things or the “best” things and I was actually miserable.”
24. Something to think about.
“Don’t get married until you are able to be fully self sufficient. If you get married thinking the other half will “complete you,” you are dead wrong. Make sure you know who you are.
When in school get jobs in different fields that interest you. This will help you figure out what you really want to do.
Realize you aren’t stuck anywhere. You can change, you have time.
Have fun! You’ll have plenty of time to be miserable.”
Find what your goals in life are and set steps to achieve them. Create a minimal workout regimen that you must do (walk, push ups, swim, pullup bar by bathroom, whatever).
Create a diet you want to adhere to. 21 meals a week? You can only do fast food/unhealthy restaurant 4 times or so many desserts a week or so many unhealthy snacks a day.
Read! Read whatever interests you, and always try to find unbiased (yeah right) articles or at least read the side you disagree with too. Open your mind to feel empathy and know others live in this world.
Learn a little more than basic math. Learn an instrument or a couple songs on bass/guitar/drums. Get into at least 1 sport. Last, but not least, learn another language, more if you can.”
26. It’s harder to make friends as you get older.
“Seek out and/or retain social friendships.
College is over, and you probably won’t see a lot of those people very much anymore.
Don’t be afraid to look around for meetup groups or events in your area to meet new people.”
27. Let them know.
“If you don’t want to get married to the person you’re with, tell them.
It’s far better to have some hurt feelings now than to have severe regrets and a lot of legal fees later. Just listen to your gut.”
28. A black hole.
“Don’t get into credit card debt!
if you must get into credit card debt (life can be cruel sometimes), then know the best ways to pay it off over time and set a schedule for yourself. Then stick to it.
The minimum payments will kill you in the long run, but sometimes it’s the best you can do, and that’s okay. Credit card “debt” can save people from being homeless, take care of a medical emergency, help get more time with their kids, etc.
Sometimes it’s okay to but one thing that will help your mental health, too. Just know your limits and stop at one. Then make a plan to pay it off the way that works best for you and do it.”
29. It’s okay to change your mind.
“Always know that change is an option. Many people, myself included, start down a path and think that since I committed to that path, it’s the only path for me.
Don’t get caught in that thought process.
If a choice (career, location, relationship, etc) doesn’t feel right down the road, know you can make a new one. It may be uncomfortable at first, but you can make it through (and likely for the better).”
Now we want to hear from you.
In the comments, tell us what advice you think all folks in their twenties should hear.
Please and thank you!