15 thirty-somethings share the regrets they have about their 20s

YOLYTO (you only live your twenties once). It's actually a really well known saying.

By Catriona Harvey-Jenner
30 somethings share regrets from their 20s

Despite feeling "so old" in your twenties, especially when you realise you're nearer the big 3-0 than your 20th birthday, in the grand scheme of things you're actually still very young. But regardless, there's lots of living to be done in the decade we tend to make the biggest life decisions; what we want to do career-wise, who we want to spend time with, where we want to base ourselves, etc etc.

There's so much going on as a twenty-something that it's pretty normal to get everything right. It's okay to wish you might have done things a little differently, but if you can learn from other peoples' mistakes; even better. Which is why we were interested to read various Reddit threads asking thirty-somethings what they regret about their twenties.

1. Be bold

"I regret not being more direct when I liked someone. I had no confidence back then."


2. Don't feel pressured to travel just because everyone else is

"I'm glad I didn't travel abroad as much when I was in my 20s. Based on how I behaved during vacations in the USA (I live in the States), I probably would've spent way too much time and money getting hammered and going to clubs. Now that I'm 30 and have toned it down a lot, I have the pleasure of actually remembering the fun times I have while travelling; not experiencing the sites hungover and irritable; and exploring historical and cultural locations that I feel add more value to my life than pounding Jamo at another generic club while surrounded by people I find marginally tolerable at best."


3. Remember your health

"I wish I had taken better care of myself. Instead, I let my weight catch back up with me, I ignored a few dental problems, and I didn't take care of my finances as well as I should have.

I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm 31 now, and none of these problems are dire for me, but God they're a much bigger pain in the ass to deal with now, compared to how much effort it would have taken to not let them become an issue at all."


4. Don't spend money like it's water (because it's not)

"I regret not saving more money and, more importantly, I regret racking up debt. That nearly killed me in my 30s. Some of it was necessary, of course, but a lot was credit card overkill."


5. Make the most of the people you've got around you

"If you have grandparents, call them. Every time I call my granddaddy, it makes his week. I know he doesn't have many friends left and I feel bad that I don't talk to him more."


6. Include yourself in keepsakes

"Including myself in photos. I have a whole bunch of pictures I took while I was in the army. I have pictures from Arizona, Germany, France, Austria, Italy, Great Britain, Kuwait, Iraq, Romania, Afghanistan, and probably a few other places I forgot to mention. And out of hundreds of pictures, I'm probably in less than 10% of them."


7. Don't live my too many self-imposed rules

"I had a lot of rules against dating. Nobody I went to work or school with. I realised that avoiding sticky situations eliminated most of my opportunities for dating."


8. Don't always take the easy option

"Do something hard when you're young. Join something bigger than you. Lose yourself in something difficult and uncomfortable. You'll find out where your limits are. You'll also find out that you can do and survive and handle a lot more than you think you can."


9. Don't be afraid to be completely independent

"[I regret] not living by myself. I always had a roommate or lived with my fiance/wife. I strongly believe I missed out on discovering some level of self sufficiency that I'd never use in the future. It's not the worst thing in the world, but I feel like it could have contributed to my growth."

[Author deleted]

10. Do something

"Something. It's ok not to know what you want to do with your life, but if you use that as an excuse to bum around and no nothing useful, productive or particularly memorable then you'll regret your wasted time."


11. Don't put a timestamp on your goals

"[Don't] live life by a timeline. I think it is fine to set career or finance goals, but don't attach them to an age. I think when you are young it is tempting to say by the time I am 30 I will be married and have a house, etc. Unfortunately life often gets in the way. If you get hung up on the cultural pressure to have life look a certain way at certain ages you will inevitably be disappointed."


12. Stay true to who you are

"Don't be afraid to be who you are. Don't let any 'sacred book', person, or society pressure you into being someone you think people want you to be. Just be who you are, life is too short to be someone else.


13. Go a bit wild

"I didn't drink enough, try any drugs, or party enough. Now I'm in a time of my life when all of my friends have kids or are completely focused on their careers and I'm in a place where I finally want to have fun and live it up, but nobody to show me the way (and I don't want to hang out with people 20 years younger than me).

"I missed out on a lot of experiences because I was too afraid to just give stuff a shot and wanted to focus more on my job/income (which lead really nowhere). I fucked up. I gained nothing by being straight edge and boring, I simply lost out on life experiences."


14. Don't value what other people might think too much

"I spent too much time caring what other people would think about my pure intentions and actions and not enough time doing stuff I wanted to do."


15. Remember you've got your whole life ahead of you

"My advice is don't rush to cram stuff into your twenties because you think you should. Just do what you want, do what feels natural, and take your time with it if need be."


Via: Cosmopolitan UK