The twenties are the age when we are just starting out being an adult. And more often than not, life is just not making any sense. We are not experienced enough to handle the curveballs life loves to throw our way every now and then. Add to that our own flawed decision-making and you have a golden recipe for disaster.
Here we’ve compiled eleven most common mistakes that adults make to screw up their twenties which, if avoided, might make your twenties a whole lot better.
1. Partying too much and working too little
The twenties is the era of freedom. It is the era of “you only live once.” It can, however, prove tough to handle this lack of accountability to anyone but yourself. But if you don’t handle it carefully, you are going to be screwed, my friend. If all you do in your twenties is parting, well, the party isn’t going to last long. It is important to find a balance between work and play. Your efforts in this age will set you up for success in the years to come.
2. Not taking care of your body
We don’t really care what we consume when we’re in our twenties, and exercise is a major snooze. Surviving on junk food, not working out, sleeping all day and staying up all night – it’s all good. Well, you are going to be in pretty bad shape in a couple of years, and I mean that literally. You may feel fresh and energetic at the moment, but the truth is that if you don’t take care of your body NOW, you are going to be plagued with multiple health problems down the line, and then it’s going to be much harder to get back in shape.
3. Trying to please everyone
In our twenties, it may feel like it is important to please everyone we know which is a very toxic social approach and comes at the expense of our own values and personal growth. Trying to please everyone only results in low self-esteem and, ironically, fewer friends. This is the age of discovering who you really are, and by trying to please everyone you will only lose your own sense of self.
4. Focusing too much on education and not enough on skills and experiences
Education, while an integral part of your professional growth, is not enough to ensure that you succeed professionally. You need to focus on developing a skill set as well as learn from practical experiences. Succeeding in the real world is not learned from books; it is learned being exposing yourself to challenging situations which allow you to learn and grow as an individual.
5. Not planning the future
The twenties are about spontaneity and adrenaline. They’re about being bold and fun. They’re about doing exciting things, just for the hell of it. And while it may all seem amazing at the time, failing to plan the future will come back and bite you in the ass. As you grow older and the adrenaline rush abates, you will start to believe that impulsive decisions are stupid decisions. You will realize that not knowing about the future is not always exciting; sometimes it’s scary as hell. You will wish that you had made a plan earlier about what you wanted to do with your life. I’m not against spontaneity; in fact, I am a strong advocate of being spontaneous and having fun. But don’t be so busy enjoying the present that you completely screw up your future.
6. Acting entitled
Entitlement is the enemy of growth. It makes you complacent. You start to believe that you just deserve everything – money, fame, success – without actually working for any of them. This destroys your work ethic and is terrible for your personal and professional growth.
7. Working for money and not fulfillment
It’s easy to believe that money will bring you happiness and contentment. But once you begin to earn, you realize that it is not the sole contributing factor to happiness, in fact, it is only a small part of it. There are much more important things in life, like pursuing your passion, having fulfilling relationships, and working towards something bigger than yourself. It is important to plan what you will do for the rest of your life very carefully, as it will be a major contributing factor to your overall quality of life.
8. Being obsessed with finding “the one”
Ah, this sweet, poisonous mistake. Where do I even begin describing this one? It’s inevitable that your raging hormones will force to you make some very bad decisions in your twenties. Trust me – we’ve all been there. Staying with abusive partners and toxic relationships and believing that they are your one true love. Wasting all your time and energy into a relationship that just isn’t right for you is the most suicidal act you will commit in your twenties. The years in which you can live your life to your fullest potential will be wasted crying over stupid fights, stuck in the vicious cycle of on-again, off-again relationships and trying to make it work. Trust me, one day majority of you will look back at that toxic relationship and cringe – and wonder why on earth you wasted all that time.
9. Making impulsive decisions
This was my poison of choice in my twenties. I was a serial impulsive decision maker. I thought I was being “decisive” when I was just being rash and stupid. The decisions you make in your twenties will make you or break you for a long, long time to come. I will not go so far as to say that they will stay with you for the rest of your life – they won’t. Life is intricate and multi-dimensional and gives you many chances to redeem yourself. But wasting away your twenties due to impulsive decisions and getting deeply scarred in the process is surely not worth it.
10. Failing to save money
When I see quotes on the internet saying things like, “You only live once, so take that trip, buy that dress, tell him you love him…” all I can do is roll my eyes. Just because you live once doesn’t mean you have to be stupid. It doesn’t mean you have to waste away all your money on fleeting fancies only to be broke and feel humiliated and small as a result. You need to invest your finances wisely and save for any future contingencies. You are now an adult – need to start acting like one.
11. Wasting time
This is what the present generation is probably guilty of most. Time is the most valuable resource we have, yet we waste away hours chatting, texting, watching movies and playing video games. We have no concern about our personal growth and learning new things. We always feel like we still have a lot of time. Well, guess what, time will run out before you know it, and all you will be left with is regret as to why you didn’t treat it with more respect.