The last thing you want to do is wake up one morning and say…
“OH SHIT I’M 38 AND MISERABLE.”
To avoid that, you should do these things in your 20’s. The question was asked, “What should one do in their 20s to avoid regrets in their 30s and 40s?” on AskReddit, here were the top-rated responses.
1. I’d say follow through with any interest you have. There were a bunch of hobbies/habits I wanted to get into, but at the first obstacle or challenge, I’d just go “eh whatever” and give up.
2. Create some crucial healthy habits like exercising, meditating, saving money, etc. Habits made early tend to stick to you for life and by the time when you’re in your 30s or 40s, you’re already on auto-pilot.
3. Brush and Floss.
4. Save money. Exercise sometimes. Don’t eat complete shit.
5. Wear sunscreen. Your skin will stay good. It doesn’t magically rebound on its own.
6. Clear their social media of pictures from their teen years.
7. Enjoy your body. Build your brain. Create friendships with trustworthy people. Do the things that you are afraid of. Make amends with people you wronged and forgive the ones that wronged you. Show love to your family. Pass on what you’ve learned to the next generation. And, no capes.
8. Avoid debt. When you start planning in your 30s for houses and marriage and children, having debt that you generated in your 20s in order to buy that sweet 60 inch flat screen for your shitty one-bed apartment… you end up hating the 20-something version of you for being that kind of stupid. If you can’t afford to own something in your 20s you pay for it in your 30s and 40s.
9. Start saving for retirement.
10. Choose a partner with whom you connect on an emotional level and share similar interests and most importantly have similar financial and personal goals. Looks and passion fade over time and these attributes have never carried a relationship through rough waters.
11. Drink more water. Look after your joints and back. You will feel invincible until your late 20’s / early 30’s, then it’ll suddenly all start catching up to you if you don’t look after yourself.
12. Exercise. Eat well. Save money for retirement. Travel on a budget. Listen to your emotions. See your family when you can. Work hard. Be kind to people.
13. Work on yourself. Invest in you. Learn, study, improve.
14. Quit smoking.
15. Don’t drink too much. Use condoms. Start working out and eating healthy now.
16. Start investing. Even if it is just a small percent of your income each month. If you have any sort of available funds just sitting in your bank account, truly consider it.
17. Exercise. Your body’s metabolism will slow as you age and if your unfit it will just get worse. Put the effort in early.
18. Stay away from hard drugs. I get the whole “life experience” thing, but it’s just not worth it.
19. Just ask her out, man.
20. Be careful who gets your time and attention. You give it to the wrong people and before you know it you’ve got no close fiends left. Also, I know today’s attitude is free love, and sleep with who you want but in my experience so many people are single because of the terrible relationship they have with love and sex after being heart broken, or feeling used by others. That intimate side of you should be saved for the right people, not saying don’t have fun but just be careful!
21. Your 20s, particularly your mid to late 20s, are a critical time to establish yourself in your chosen career. Make the best of it.
22. Don’t be afraid of missing out.
Your friends will get married, buy homes, have kids, get promoted, travel the world, and you might feel like you are staying still. Don’t feel the pressure. Live your life at your own pace. Make and tell your own stories.
Please don’t pride yourself on sleep deprivation, your drinking ability or your workaholism. Do whatever you want, but don’t let these traits identify you.
Don’t have kids until at least 25. To each his own, but my heart aches every time someone I know get pregnant at an earlier age than that.
You don’t need to go cage diving in New Zealand to explore the world around you. Go for a bike ride, or take a cheap bus to a nearby town/neighborhood. Find a hobby.