Photo by Nick Karvounis from Unsplash
Being in your twenties is like living in a (rusted) golden age. Everyone expects you to be happy while achieving extraordinary things without having to suck the fun out of youth. It’s complicated, free, and miserable all at once, and most of the time, there’s no one you can vent out to but yourself. There are several rules of how one should live his twenties and a myriad of things expected of you to do.
When you ask for help, people frown upon your admission to confusion. Plus, the people who are older than you spit insult and criticism, even when you have barely started. If my parents had never repeatedly given me counsel about how life would inevitably turn out for me, I wouldn’t be where I am right now. I know I still have many aspects of my life that need improvement, but at least I’ve gotten to know the rawness of life, of being vulnerable and experiencing many mistakes. As you reach your 20’s, make it your goal not to do these fifteen mistakes. But if you do make them, hopefully, your choices after making them will lead to a better future.
15 WORST MISTAKES YOU NEED TO AVOID IN YOUR TWENTIES:
HAVING NO PLANS/GOALS FOR THE FUTURE
It’s normal to not have it all figured out in your twenties, and in most cases, people don’t figure it out until they’re forty or fifty. Everyone will have to go through many wrong lanes before we go on the right path. However, deliberately ignoring the daunting task to make a plan and having the initiative to try them out is the mistake. Even if you’re not sure what you want to be when you grow up, surely you have a vision of what you want your future to be.
Start from what you’re interested in and look for ways to capitalize on it by searching for inspiration from people who have already done it. Don’t be discouraged when you don’t have a clear plan yet, no one does. We’re all just good at looking for ways to get back on track when derailed. Avoiding the inevitable isn’t going to help; it’s just going to prolong your agony of the uncertainty of your decisions.
SURROUNDING YOURSELF WITH THE WRONG PEOPLE
You may think “fake it till you make it” plays so well in this scenario as it helps your connections and back-ups. Your uncle tells you these “friends” are such a big help so you find a company from these so-called friends, but they can only be such good friends until your friendship ruins you from the inside. Being with the wrong company brings out the worst in you. Usually, it’s the start of making irresponsible choices (and they’re not even the choices you’re willing to risk for). Don’t surround yourself with people whom you know you’re never going to go along right.
If you sense anything wrong even when it’s based on instinct and intuition, don’t bother having coffee with them. Be nice and cordial, but don’t allow them to grab you behind the back and put you in their trap. They can be really persuasive because they approach you in such an intricate way that communicates directly with your demons. Their influence can rub off on you, and you won’t even know it.
CHASING INSTANT GRATIFICATION
In our twenties, the constant pressure of always trying not to be the person behind the line is so strong. The competition in our heads urges us to chase for something easy, for something quick to avail or acquire. Why? So we have something to post, something to brag, something to brag, something to prove to people who matter to us. This is a mistake anyone can make in their twenties, sadly because we’re being forced into this mentality of always being on top and ready for anything.
It’s not our fault that we become pressured by these external forces, but if we choose to be in it, that’s when accountability steps in. When we chase for instant gratification, it reflects how little our patience and spirit are to commitment. It shows how fickle our morale is to fight the struggle and our drive of passion to wait for the best results.
DWELLING ON THE PAST
All your life is going to be filled with making mistakes, but it’s in your teenage years that usually don’t get erased from your head. It’s the time when our innocence is tainted, and everything you see just makes you remember the horrible things you’ve done and experienced. Your past has many strings and somehow you are tied to these issues and baggage. Keep in mind that the longer you allow yourself to be captivated with your mistakes in the past (that happens to everyone), you’re holding back the person you’re becoming.
Now that you’re in your twenties, it’s a mistake to keep dwelling in the past. It’s time to move on and start risking again like you did before. Your twenties is a brand new stage, an age offered to you to start a new beginning. Use it wisely and use it to better yourself, not to entrap you with what’s no longer relevant and important to you.
NOT PREPARING FOR WHAT’S TO COME
At this age, many would prefer living on spontaneity without any regard for the consequences of not planning. People in their twenties like to believe that since they have all the time and energy to cope if ever they fail, they can choose not to bother themselves with preparing for what’s to come (since it’s no fun investing in something that’s not certain). They believe in the negative connotation of YOLO, and for some reason, they wrap around their reasons on that principle. “You only live once so you shouldn’t waste your life worrying about making financial plans and budgeting.”
This kind of thinking will not only get you broke but will also leave you with no opportunities. You should be accountable for your choices, and that includes preventing yourself to be stuck in situations where you’re given ultimatums. A lot of young adults use up their precious time and money to put up a fake image that’s only going to harm them in the long run. Evaluate your priorities and lifestyle right now and start making changes that will benefit you.
NOT LETTING GO OF VENDETTAS
This is a stem effect of not moving on from the past. These vendettas are scars hidden in the deepest crevices of your soul. These grudges can trigger you anytime and can easily put you off in a bad mood because it has that much control over you. If you keep on reopening it, the blood is going to flow until you run out of it. You’ll never heal from that wound. If you don’t let go of vendettas, you just keep going back to the place that brings out the worst in you when you should be improving yourself.
Take all the time you need to let the emotions sink in, and when you’re ready, you can gradually process your feelings, no matter how complicated it is. This is an issue of forgiveness, about finding peace in each other regardless of the ugly things you’ve done to each other. Once you forgive the person and yourself, time will mend all the heartache, and soon when you meet again, you won’t remember anything anymore. By then, you’re now building your path towards success and genuine happiness.
TAKING TIME FOR GRANTED
They think they have so much time that they take it for granted. They do things that do not help create the future they want. They procrastinate and continue on their lazy habits to fulfill their short-term comfort. It’s a grave mistake to not work driven by passion because it’s the only way to become truly happy with what you’re doing. Don’t be one of those people who think they still have forever, and everything will magically work out when they finally decide to be serious (because 99%, it only happens in movies). There’s nothing worse than having lost the person you love, the opportunity you want, and the day to forgive someone because you lack time.
There’s nothing more you can do wasting your time than wasting your dream, skills to please other people. To fulfill their expectations even when it doesn’t benefit you in any way. You waste your energy and skill doing something that you’re not passionate about just to keep them clapping for you. It’s exhausting to think your whole life is revolved around an opinion of a mere person when you should be the captain of your life. Never allow these people to tell you what you should and shouldn’t do if they hold no importance to you. Don’t spend your twenties living up to the expectations of others because you will not be happy. You will go through far lengths to get their approval even if it means lessening your worth to keep them satisfied.
STILL HIDING INSIDE YOUR SHELL
Stop limiting yourself because of fear. You hide inside your shell either because you think it’s safer and more guaranteed with a positive outcome than to come out and risk it all for your future. You’re in your comfort zone because you think people will recognize your skill and help you to get to where you want to be. You need to be independent and do the work by yourself even without the help of other people. Your twenties should be a time when you explore to the horizons, not hiding behind the spotlight. Have the courage to break free and don’t let the demons inside your head convince you otherwise. Know that you are special, and when you use it to your advantage, you will blossom out of the many.
SPENDING BEYOND YOUR MEANS
Don’t fool yourself by shredding off your dignity for the applause of strangers and competitors. Don’t trade eating decent food thrice a day for going to parties that you don’t even enjoy. Be humble enough to understand that money comes and goes. Not all the time are you going to be healthy and able to work as many hours as you can. If you’re comfortable now, you won’t be comfortable forever. There is a time when challenges will break you and you need money to make sure you don’t drown with the ship. Always make it a habit to save a percentage of your income to savings, emergency funds, and certain priorities. You can treat yourself for a long day but don’t make it too ridiculous that you compromise your long-term financial goals.
MAKING PERMANENT DECISIONS RULED BY EMOTIONS
In your twenties, you can get into serious trouble like falling madly in love with a person you barely know and getting married based on your feelings. Just because we don’t have all the time in the world, that doesn’t mean we have to settle for less than what we deserve. Beware of the common reasons that let you fall into the trap of making commitments you’re not ready for, whether it be a relationship or a career.
Don’t make permanent decisions if you’re not head over heels sure about it if it’s not what your heart truly desires. Don’t be fooled by what losers say about the opportunity will never come back before thinking hard and long about it. If you accept every opportunity that comes your way, you’re making the wrong choice. Major decisions need major thinking and introspection.
NEGLECTING YOUR HEALTH
Many people think they can abuse their bodies to their limit because they’re still young. They live an unhealthy lifestyle by choosing to dive into vices like alcohol and junk food irresponsibly. Young adults take for granted the good health they have by putting it to risk, insisting they still have the time and energy to cope with it. Learn to practice a healthy lifestyle by eating the right diet, exercising regularly, taking in vitamins, not overstressing yourself, etc.
You have to remember that the body can only handle so much until it breaks down and give up. The body will claim what it has endured in the long run, and by then, the repercussions will be far greater. You don’t want to waste your prime youth on too much medicine and treatment just because you made poor choices before.
HAVING “TOO MUCH” FUN
The context of too much fun here is making irresponsible decisions without taking accountability. This doesn’t only limit to vices such as drinking and smoking. In your youth, you get too carried away with the ideal, typical fun teenage dream. People stuff your head with stories and you expect to follow them so you can feel like you enjoyed your youth. Don’t stress yourself over following their version of how they see fun because you can make your own without involving permanent, irreversible damages. It’s all fun and games until something goes wrong and you have no idea how to fix it.
A lot of young adults in their twenties, especially the privileged ones, don’t find it important to put their money to good use. They find it so easy to spend their parents’ hard-earned money on posh things to impress their peers. Being entitled is a poison, and it will kill you in the most embarrassing and distressing way possible. If you do not learn how to manage your finances responsibly, you will suffer a fate where you will literally beg for something to eat. You’re a fool if you do not think about saving your money.
CARING ABOUT OTHER PEOPLE’S OPINION
If you want to do something, do it not for them but yourself. People will always have something to say because it’s much easier to confront other people’s decisions than to deal with yours. Don’t let their trouble of finding their passion confuse you. Many insecure ones think you can’t do it simply because they think they can’t. Don’t let them put you in a position where they judge you when in truth, they’re judging themselves. You have more ability than you think. You can do so much with hard work and persistence, and this starts by doing it with or without their input.
We try to view life like it’s one huge to-do list. Our desperate need to control everything goes overboard, and that’s why we tumble on situations that we aren’t supposed to be dealing with in the first place. But don’t worry, we all go through that, even ridiculously successful people in the industry right now. We don’t always know what to do, but that doesn’t make us any less capable of what we’re destined to have. However, it’s still much better to be aware of what’s to come than having not to.
“Even though my life is scarred with mistakes, I refuse to rummage through my trash heap of failures. I will admit them. I will correct them. I will press on.”Max Lucado, God Is With You Every Day