Mistakes everyone makes in their twenties

You’re not the only one who’s committed these doozies…

By Edwina Carr
Mistakes everyone makes in their twenties

Your twenties are a magical time of life; you're old enough to be earning some serious cash but young enough to avoid all the pitfalls that come with being a legit adult. To make this time of your life EVEN better, we recommend avoiding the following...

1 Trying to get a tan

Ladies, smooth, non-sun-damaged skin will always win out over leathery skin. Two words: fake. Tan.

2 Living on social media

Got a spare five minutes? Are you more likely to a) scroll your Instagram feed for new pics or b) call a friend/take in the world around you/do something productive in life? It’s time to chose option b a little more. “When you spend your time checking your Facebook newsfeed you’re not living in the present and could be missing out on random opportunities or experiences,” says life coach Lisa Phillips.

3 Not realising your twenties are going to fly

One second you’re blowing out the candles on your 21st birthday cake, the next… You’re 30. Your twenties will be one of the best decades of your life where you can get your career on a roll and forge great relationships; don’t waste it!

4 Constantly complaining

Sometimes it feels like life is offering you one sh* sandwich after the next but at the end of the day, YOU are responsible for your mood and the direction you life is going. So choose* to be positive and proactive.

5 Picking a low-life roommate

That weird backpacker who makes you pay him when you use a squirt of his tomato sauce? Yeah, he’s the kind of flatmate you need to avoid from now on.

6 Never being alone

You know how your calendar is packed with social events and parties? It’s time to schedule in some time where it’s just you. No friends. No phone. Just you. “It's really healthy to spend time on your own, whether it is at home or taking some time to go for a walk with your own thoughts," advises Lisa.

7 Wasting time in a job you don’t like

No, constantly complaining about your job or feeling a sense of dread when your alarm goes off in the morning is so not normal. Admit that your job isn't for you and start formulating a plan to work in a field you love. It’s not too late, we promise!

8 Being jealous of so-called "perfect" people

They’re the people you seek out on Instagram just to feel crappy by comparison. “Instead of feeling jealous, write a list of your own achievements and feel good about them,” suggests Lisa. Newsflash: there are always going to be prettier, smarter, seemingly “better” people out there. If you’re happy and do your best with what you’ve got, you’ll never need to feel jelly of others.

9 Counting calories

Ugh, your twenties (and any other age for that matter) is the time to blacklist the word “diet”. Adopt the mantra “everything in moderation” and apply it to food and alcohol. It’s the easiest, most effective way to keep a healthy weight.

10 Beating yourself up when you screw up

We all make mistakes but if you put yourself down when you do, you’re making a double mistake. “If this becomes a habit, it will ultimately affect your confidence and self-esteem. Instead, look at what you could do differently going forward and then let it go. There's no need to punish yourself,” recommends Lisa.

11 Acting like you’re the office intern

It’s time to start acting as though you’re someone worth respecting in the office. “If you act like a doormat, people will walk all over you. Look after your own needs as well as the needs of your boss and work colleagues. People are far more likely to respect you if you respect yourself,” explains Lisa.

12 Hoping you’ll fall in love with your (boring) BF

Ladies – if you’re not that into him do yourself (and him) a favour by calling it off. You deserve to be with someone your 100 percent in love with. "Don’t settle for second best just because you feel like you should have a boyfriend. Create some space for the really great guy to come in,” says Lisa.

13 Putting up with bad friends

Your mate who constantly calls to talk about her life and who makes you feel bad about yours? Spend the time you’d normally waste on her hanging out with friends who value you instead.

14 Living at 100 kilometres/hour

You’re in your twenties – you do not need to find a husband and have children immediately. Nor should you feel pressure to become CEO of your company overnight. These things take a long time and hey, life would be pretty boring if you accomplished everything by 30, right?

15 Being afraid to fail

Have you ever looked at someone who’s taken a risk, even if it didn’t totally pay off, and thought they were a loser? Didn’t think so. Laughing failure in the face guarantees you’ll succeed – even if it’s not straight away.

16 Letting your job consume you

It’s OK to treat your job and career seriously but it’s important to not let yourself become your job. Having interests outside of work and realising that the things that happen from nine to five don’t have life or death ramifications will mean you’ll be a more balanced, happy person.

17 Getting lax with birth control

If it’s not on, it’s SO not on. Don’t drop your standards with contraception, STIs are on the rise amongst young people so ensure you don’t become another stat by using protection.

18 Drunk texting

As a general rule, if you don’t have the urge to call someone you want to speak to/have sex with when you’re sober, then you sure as hell don’t have to have our permission to do it drunk. Sober dialling is the new black, ladies...

19 Wasting your money on stupid stuff

Somehow spent your wage on lollies, unnecessary snacks and cheap clothing you’ll wear once or twice? It’s time to be smart about your cash. “Start writing down everything you’re spending on in a month so you can see where your money is going. Try to bring lunches and snacks from home and keep an eye out for places that do happy hours to save your cash," advises Lisa.

20 Letting other peoples’ opinions sway you

Have you avoided doing something because you know your mum/friend/judge-y BF doesn’t approve? Stop what other people think from holding you back and do what you feel is right – it means you’ll have no regrets later on.