Millennials Nearing 40 Confess Their Biggest Mistakes In Life
@felipepelaquim on Unsplash

People in their 20s and even in their 30s have enough stamina and motivation to think they are unstoppable.

Because of this level of confidence, the younger generations fail to recognize that feeling invincible can inform reckless decisions that will haunt them later on.
Eventually, reality slaps them in the face and they realize the way they lived their lives led by hubris has taken a toll as they got older.

Millennials looking back on their lives discussed their sobering epiphanies when Redditor Interfeceri asked:
"Millennials of Reddit now nearing your 40s, what were your biggest mistakes at this point in life?"

Millennials expressed many concerns about their health.

Watch Your Back

"Take care of your f'king back. Lift with your knees. Sure its rad when you grab a fridge by yourself and lift it in the back of a moving truck unaided, but one day that sh*t is going to have consequences that won't just magically go away by resting and 'taking it easy' for a week."

– GuyTallman

Hearing Loss

"Not taking care of my hearing, not even 35 and going deaf."

– Kusanagi8811


"Not getting healthy earlier."

– zombiearchivist

"Same. But training for my first marathon now so that is something for someone who spent the twenties smoking and partying."

– run_kn

The Importance Of Maintaining Health

"I'm 37. I absolutely could have taken better care of my body, but I'm in relatively good health. I'm starting to realize how important it is to maintain my health. I do also think I drank far too much in my 20 and early 30's. I'm trying to rectify that now, but it's hard. So that I guess."

"Although honestly? My only real regret/mistake in my life is going back to grad school in 2010. I felt trapped by getting laid off twice and not being able to find any work. I was debt free, but I really felt forced into going back to school to try and make something of myself. It was either that, become homeless, or figure out how to move back in with my parents. Now I have over 100k in debt because my 60k grad loan has ballooned due to interest rates and forbearance because once again, I couldn't find a decent job upon graduation. Student loans are a f'king racket."

– Dartastic

What The Body Is Trying To Tell You

"Try not to get cancer."

"If you feel unwell go to the dr."

"I felt numbness in my fingers and toes. . Let that go for a few months. It turned to arm Pain. Went to hospital and it turns out I have stage 4 renal carcinoma."

"Don’t let any symptom go unchecked. You’re older, and if your body is telling you something is wrong f'king listen to it."

– bakedlawyer

Unhappily Ever After

"Staying too long in an unhappy marriage. I lost the last half of my 20s and most of my 30s because of it."

– Zenstation83

Some expressed regrets relating to their professional careers.

Routine Work

"Staying too long at a job in my 20s, just because it was safe and easy. When I finally got the motivation to leave, ended up with an almost 50% pay boost."

– Hrekires

Antiquated Thinking

"Agreed. But we were on the old school mindset of being loyal to a company only to realize they aren’t loyal to you."

– Cameron783

Not Planning For The Future

"Not saving enough for retirement and not going to college. I have been a stay at home mom for 7 years now and have nothing saved for my own retirement. I have a highschool degree and cosmetology license but that’s it. If my husband left me I’d be f'ked because I wouldn’t make shit doing hair(when I quit working I was a manager/stylist and only brought in 50k a year plus hours were awful all nights and weekends not great for a family since there is no night or weekend daycares)"

"At this point I want to go back to school but not sure how to even do it. It’s also expensive and I need someone to watch the kids. I feel stuck. Wish I’d not gone to cosmetology school and instead got a 4 year degree then I could have kept working when I had kids since I’d have a job that could pay for daycare and had better hours! I guess at least my husband bust his a** and makes good money and is saving for retirement but I feel like I should be contributing."

– Poctah

Unpredictable Strategizing

"Going to university and majoring in business, numerous poor investments in now defunct companies and businesses and not taking care of my health while younger."

– jawaballs

Benefits Of College

"I wish I'd been able to make important decisions - like going to uni - much later in life. Its been nearly 20 years since I left uni and I still haven't used my degree. I didn't go to graduation or pick up the certificate. In fact, I still owe £10 in library fines."

– inthevoidweareone

Lacking urgency and purpose in life were common examples of early mistakes.

Misplaced Priorities

"Thinking that I could and should put myself on the back burner for anything and anyone else."

– lenalily227


"Smoking and not dealing with my sh*t the right way."

– Allenrw3

Love Regrets

"Pining after the wrong person."

– runikepisteme

"Unrequited pining can be a catastrophic drain on time, resources, energy, self esteem and most importantly, other opportunities. For those pining away wastefully, remember this is not necessarily a noble emotion you are feeling. It can be an unhealthy, selfish craving that you can consciously detach from."

– elegance-per-se


"I turned 40 this year and just started liking who I am. Why the f'k did it take 40 years for self acceptance?"

– guscallee

Family Time

"I wish I spent more time with my dad while I had the chance."

– CharlieChooper

Coulda Woulda Shoulda

"Should have bought a home. We qualified 20 years ago for enough to buy a small 2 bedroom but I didn't think we could afford it. That 2 bedroom would be worth nearly 3Xs and paid off by now. We pay nearly double in rent what our mortgage would have been. Gotta love the SF bay area cost of living."

– Thelazywitch

These are examples of Redditors regretting poor decisions. But rather than wallowing in their mistakes, these stories should serve as reminders that there is still time to reverse bad habits or commit to improving our lives.

We're only getting older, and there is no time like the present to tackle the things we won't regret in the future.

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