Your twenties are meant to be a fun time. It's the time you further your education, network, and make friends and lasting connections. Key words: meant to. Life doesn't often work that way. It's not that simple. In fact, this is the time when many people learn that life can be rather uncompromising. They spend a lot of time just trying to get and keep themselves together.
That's why people going through this transformative period need all the help and advice can get.
People were all too keen to share their thoughts after Redditor shaddow29925 asked the online community,
"What are some common mistakes people in their 20s should be aware of?"
"Damage can happen quickly..."
"Take care of your ears/hearing. Damage can happen quickly and it doesn't come back."
This is a big one. Be careful at those loud concerts! Earplugs are your best friend.
"And what type..."
"Thinking someone can save you or "fix" you mentally and emotionally. Other people can definitely help you. But you're the one in the driver's seat and you need to accept that and be willing to do better for yourself. Even if that's the hardest thing for you.
You control the speed. You get to hit the breaks. And it's your choices that steer the car. So what kind of destination are you searching for?
And what type of journey do you want? The quick route? The scenic route? Do you want to travel through the desert because the oasis is supposed to be stunning and life-changing? Do you listen to the advice of others foremost and just do a "top 10 locations," hoping that'll be fulfilling? Or do you prefer to just drive and see where life takes you?
"Pay your bills on time..."
"Pay your bills on time, stay out of debt, and if you don't like your job: make plans to get out of it, or switch career paths.
If you can, seriously, shoot for a job that is practical (FOR YOU!) not for your parents, peers, or society, that you find doable, on a physical, mental, spiritual, and financial level that you see yourself doing for the long-term."
Too many people waste time––and see their health spiral––by staying in jobs that are not right for them. If it's not right for you, get out. It's not worth compromising your health for a job.
"I'm not saying..."
"Once your teens are over, you'll be much less likely to be taking part in organized or casual sport. You'll find you're living a much more sedentary life in general. You're in charge of your own diet and lifestyle. It can be easy to let it all go. Staying fit is easier than getting fit, so build some good habits asap! When you hit 30 you'll really start to notice the difference between the friends that looked after themselves and those that didn't.
I'm not saying don't have fun, but remember to keep a good foundation of diet and exercise. Find what suits you and find more - you've got to keep it fresh.
If you can get into running, all the better. Whatever you're doing and wherever you are in the world, if you own a half decent pair of running shoes, there's a 30-minute workout waiting right outside your front door."
"Brush your teeth, bro. Trust me. And use mouthwash, too. You'll save yourself a LOT of pain."
Your teeth will betray you horribly if you don't take proper care of them! Excellent advice.
"Don't get me wrong."
"Not using protection. Don't get me wrong. I love my children, and after the initial surprise of me finding out I was pregnant, they were wanted. But looking back, things would be very very different if I had just made their dad wear a condom those nights."
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"You may be able to get away with..."
"Develop healthy eating and exercising habits NOW. You may be able to get away with cheeseburgers and a milkshake at one in the morning and remain trim in your twenties but trust me, it'll start catching up to you once you approach thirty and your metabolism slows down."
This is true: You're much more likely to live a sedentary lifestyle the older you get. It's best to fight that now. Get out there and exercise. It could add years to your life.
"It may seem like you're different..."
"Getting addicted to drugs or alcohol. It may seem like you're different, you can handle your booze or drugs, but the thing about addiction is that it creeps in. It fools your mind, you make justifications about how you're actually doing it of your free will and you can stop any time. By the time you realize you're addicted, you're pretty far gone. It's a lot harder to break an addiction than most people realize, it's hard to understand what it's like until you've experienced it."
"The novelty of a new vehicle..."
"Don't buy a brand new car. The novelty of a new vehicle wears away fast. And you pay significantly more than buying used."
Many people need cars to get around; they're a necessity, not a luxury. But it makes sense to be sure you're making cost-effective decisions. Is that new car––and those high insurance payments––worth it? Definitely not.
"You can be with someone..."
"Staying in a relationship that you're not happy in.
You can be with someone for years and fall out of love, or learn more about them, or learn more about yourself, etc, and realize that the relationship isn't worth it. But I feel like a lot of young people (myself included in my last relationship) hold on for so long because they're scared of being alone, or they think that they're already too old to start over.
You have your whole life.
It's easier to start over when you're 23 in your college dorm than it is when you're 40 with a house and kids."
The world can be a harsh and unforgiving place. It can also be really beautiful and fruitful. And it is even moreso when people are willing to offer their sage advice.
Do you have some advice for young folks that will pay dividends in the long run? Feel free to tell us about it in the comments below!