We are very sorry, this is going to be one of those lists where you realize that you are, in fact, ruining your own life.
Not to worry-we're in the same boat as you. Your 20s are a hard time, you're just learning what life is, and your expectations versus your reality quite literally never match.
But if you can figure out a plan, you'll be okay. Just watch out for these pratfalls.
Here were some of the answers.
How To Be Immortal
Eat junk and not exercise. Get in the healthy habits early, maybe then you won't notice the encroachment of death as soon.
Taking The Leap
Think that their personality, interests, life, etc. are fixed and not be open to trying something new. I've wished I learned to play guitar since I was 16, but didn't think of myself as "musical." Now I'm learning at 38, and regretting that I didn't spend the last 22 years playing.
Make Sure It's Planned
Have unprotected sex that leads to unwanted children.
I have children that my wife and I planned and wanted in our late 20's/early 30's. We love them and, while difficult sometimes, they have made life better.
We also have family members who had unplanned children early in life and their 20's/30's have been an extreme struggle.
As We Go On, We Remember We're Not 22 AnymoreGiphy
Get addicted to drugs and alcohol. I am just freshly in my 30's now, and my god I squandered the majority of my 20's either being on something or recovering from doing drugs and alcohol.
Luckily I was able to pull myself out of it, but the first 7 years of my 20's were spent getting gradually and gradually more addicted and bottoming out.
Early Back Issues
Lift heavy objects with their backs instead of their legs.
Also, bending down at the waist instead of lowering at the knees.
My back is f*cked, and it didn't have to be.
Winners Only, Please
Stay with fixer upper partners in the hope that they will become better.
There are more dating options in the 20s. Don't waste that valuable young and hot time with losers.
Spent 9.5 years with a fixer upper from the time that I was 19. I'm now 29 years old and single for the first time in my adult life. I wish someone had given me this advice years ago. It was scary starting over again when I did. I wish I had realized I was wasting valuable time waiting for someone to change when he had absolutely no intention of ever even meeting me halfway.
Early Onset Aging
They start slowing down. I'm not sure how else to describe it but once we're out of school and get into a normal work/home/sleep routine most of us slow down our daily activities significantly.
You know how you've read that being sedentary can be as bad as a normal cigarette habit? That's what I'm talking about.
It's not that your metabolism comes to a screeching halt through your 20's - it's that you are freshly in charge of your own habits and have more opportunity to make the choice to slow down. Less activity + same/worse eating habits = weight gain and health problems.
Compare high school where most folks are up and down throughout the day carrying all materials from class to class and then part time work in the evenings usually involving some kind of on-your-feet customer service kind of job. It's no wonder that by the time we only have to put in ~40 hours a week that we're relaxing during our off-hours. But commuting to work to sit on your butt 8 hours and then commute to home to sit on your butt for another 6-8 hours... That's a killer!
I'm not saying everyone does this but a huge HUGE amount of people fall into this habit. This sets the pace for early onset aging conditions that can start popping up as early as your 30s.
Take a look at the humans that live longest. What is the number one thing they all have in common? They kept their momentum and continued to be active.
I'm in my 30's and my circle of friends are 30's-60's. The 'relaxed' friends are the ones starting to have regular standing doctor's appointments to manage their newly developing conditions where those of us that keep up on our activity and exercising are still in relatively good working order.
Ring Ring Ring Ring Ring Ring Ring
Go to concerts and loud clubs without hearing protection. Once tinnitus starts, it doesn't go away. MAWP!
Here's my advice... Go to a music store and buy earplugs that musicians use. They will lower the volume of the sound that makes it to your eardrums, but will do it equally across all of the frequencies so that the.sound doesn't sound as muffled as the old style ear protection sounds. Party on!
Here Today, Gone TomorrowGiphy
Not letting injuries heal.
Ive learned this the hard way. If u keep using something that hasnt healed (in my case , my left shoulder), it turns an acute, very fixable issue into something chronic and far more complicated. If i had spent 2 or 3 weeks away from the gym and the basketball courts after i had first injured it, I would have saved thousands in physical therapy, Dr visits, MRIs and not to mention, drastic quality of life difference.
Unsustainable Financial DecisionsGiphy
Living within your means but not in a sustainable way. Sure, you can afford to order food every day and have nice clothes and still pay your bills. But do you want to still rent a room in a basement when you're 35?
(this is the pep talk I give myself when I want to spend money foolishly)
Definitely Needing Healthy Habits
Don't get fat. If you are fat, lose the weight. Make an investment in your future and change the behaviors that led to your being overweight. It might require therapy to get to the bottom of it—do it.
On top of all the stuff everyone knows about with diabetes, and cancer, and dementia later in life, etc., you've got more immediate issues: If you're a woman and you're overweight, you can become estrogen-dominant, which causes a shit-ton of problems (and makes you gain more weight). It can lead to uterine fibroids, worse periods, irregular periods, bad cramps, fertility issues, etc. Your hormones are way more important than you know. Throw one thing out of wack and other parts of the endocrine system start adjusting accordingly and it causes a cascade of problems. Hormones affect everything. Ev.er.y.thing. Help them stay where they're supposed to be by being a healthy weight.
If you're a guy: Belly fat decreases your life expectancy, increases risks for cancer, heart disease, and all the rest, but more immediately: excess weight can make your peepee not work right. Fat messes up men's hormones and can lead to erectile dysfunction. Plus, gain enough belly fat and get enough of a fupa, and whoosh! You have smol peener.
Lose the weight while you've got youth and metabolism on your side. And if you don't have a healthy relationship with food, GET ONE. Go to therapy and work your shit out if that's what it takes. You will save yourself a world of angst, medical problems, and money in the long run.
It Does Take Tons Of Work
Not work hard enough to build a career. It requires sacrifices to become established, and you cannot mix business with pleasure. You either party with your friends or you work for your boss and climb the corporate ladder. If you value financial and professional security then you have to give up your childish ways.
The Dang Capitalist SocietyGiphy
Everyone in there 20s make poor life choices. They think about the present and not the future. They want the next best thing such as the new iPhone or a new TV and start using credit cards or start gambling. Then when they're in there 30s they're still paying of payments from those things.
Best thing you can do is never take out a credit card, because it's there for you to just keep using. You never actually pay it off because as soon as you've paid for something, you end up putting something else on it.
If you can't afford something then save up for it until you can. Don't pay monthly for anything other than your gym membership and phone contract.
Just stick to using a direct debit.
Only Onward And Upward
Dwelling on what you did or didn't do in your 20s while you're in your 30s will get you every time.
You'll miss opportunities, have too much fun, or not enough, no matter what you do, and that's just life. You will have regrets.
If you want your life to go somewhere, make goals and do your best to achieve something, but keep in mind we can't all be Bill Gates... Or even Keith Richards. Most of us will be average worker bees, just keeping the bills paid to fund our true passions, and there is nothing wrong with that.
Try not to f*ck your credit score or your back too badly, stay out of jail, and try not to get too fat, and odds are you won't have it too rough when life hands you some lemons.
It Is Still Early
Smoking. Not to imply that once you're addicted it's forever, of course, but starting a drug habit in your 20's because you think it makes you look cool can and will fuck you down the road. I'm talking about more than just cancer- my grandmother smoked for half of her life, and she can't tell when food in her fridge is rotten when for the rest of the family it's pungent.
Sunrise, Skin Set
Suntanning, using tanning beds. Acting like 'that first burn' is a good 'base' or at all wise. The effects are so delayed it's hard to be motivated about protecting your face *(and shoulders, and all your skin), but I'm paying for it now with interest.
I wore more sunscreen than most of my peers, used tanning beds sparingly, but still have to pay the piper with all the spots and sun damage that finally showed up in my 30s. more than just the vanity is the risk of skin cancer after all the years of damage.
I love characters I love to hate.
Even when I hate them I can always find the reason they're involved in the story, so I find it difficult to want them to be erased.
Certain characters flaws and the most heinous decisions are written to further story and bolster the audience's love for the heroes.
So as much as we loathe them, we need them; much like our enemies in real life. That is what makes compelling drama.
Redditor u/nekoandCJ wanted to spill the tea on the characters we could do without in our favorite stories by asking:
People of reddit, what fictional character do you hate with a passion?
The list is long for me. It all starts with the guy who shot Bambi's mom. Lord, to this day that is still traumatizing. But she had to go to give Bambi a story. And Michael Douglas's character in "Fatal Attraction," what a putz. He got what he deserved. But how else would we be able to sympathize with Glenn Close? Even though... well y'all get it.
Family FailHome Alone Christmas GIF by FreeformGiphy
"Kevin McCallister's uncle… "look what you did you little JERK!"
"Percy from the green mile, that freak can DIE IN THE MENTAL WARD!!"
"That was what was so good, there is a Percy in every large group and more that one in any team where failure isn't punished, like a government job working at a prison. He was a great comment on humanity."
Love Sharon Though
"Ginger from Casino."
"Major kudos to Sharon Stone, her performance made me utterly loathe that character. She was a manipulative junkie who tied her young daughter to a bed so she could go out to score. I wanted to reach through the screen and choke her."
"Loathe the character, but that performance is absolutely god-tier. Helluva an acting job. Her and Pesci just freaking nail it to the stratosphere, playing thoroughly unlikeable characters in the absolute most realistic way. Ginger is the holistic ideal of the gold-digging party girl. And Pesci is that moron Dunning-Kruger guy we all know."
"Manny from Diary of a Wimpy kid I think there's a while subreddit about that little monster."
Call a Doctor!Giphy
"Nurse Ratched in One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. My favorite antagonist ever. Louise Fletcher was perfectly cast for the role, too."
Ohhhh... good choices thus far. Although, I found Sarah Paulson's Ratched more detestable. You know who else is a mess? Elmira Gulch. Love the Wicked Witch. Hate Elmira! Go figure...
True Evilthe sopranos hbo GIFGiphy
"Livia Soprano made my blood pressure rise every time she was on screen. Great acting. Mission accomplished."
"I will say, I've seen Comic-Con panels with him and his smarta** sense of humor fit Micah perfectly. He may have hated the character, but boy oh boy was he a fantastic casting choice. As were all the main cast, for that matter."
All the Drama
"When I tell you I stood up and cheered when I originally saw Heather from Total Drama Island finally get booted out of the competition. 'Twas a good day."
"Season 1 I HATED her and loved when she lost her hair. But then it was more of a love-hate relationship with her. She's a fun character. Owen, now that monster I hate. Loved him season 1, but then he just got reduced to fat guy who farts and contributes nothing."
"Craig from Malcolm in the Middle. He's a selfish, annoying coward. Like the episode where he's injured and he makes Lois drive all over town to different restaurants for him. I love when the helper monkey turns on him, that's what he gets for treating it like crap. I especially hate the episode where Hal asks Craig to help him buy a comic book for Malcolm."
"And Craig also makes Hal drive him all over town for different meals and treats and gifts, then when Hal dares to ask when they're actually going to the comic book store Craig flips out and demands to be let out of the car and says he won't help Hal anymore. Like come the hell on, I just want to slap him."
"Do you need a cough drop, Dolores?!"
"I loved Umbridge for the simple fact that she brought out McGonagall's savagery like no one else, and it was glorious."
"Voldemort is just another generic, pointlessly evil type of character that only seems to exist in fiction. Umbridge is the type of tight @ssed bureaucrat that mimics the actual villain in many average people's real lives."
This thread could be endless. So many villains and loathesome characters so little time. But Lord the drama is good!
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Everyone has their own little quirks.
What's the weirdest thing you find attractive?
Perhaps the thing you find the most attractive is completely unnoticeable to the average person. As in, if you weren't looking for this one tiny, small, completely negligible thing, you would never notice it.
But these people did.
Whip It Back And Forth
"My wife had shoulder length hair for a while. Once, when I called her name and she did the hair-swish-smile thing, I just about f-cking died from cuteness."
Little Stragglies Of Cuteness
"The neck, when a woman has her hair up and those little bits of hair curl around."
"Seeing a girl have to stand on her tiptoes to do basically anything, especially to hug or kiss me.
I think it's the cutest thing ever"
Then there are those people who find things attractive that, on first viewing, someone else wouldn't see as "Wow, that's a real turn on!" However, you have refined and cultured taste. Of course you'll love it when someone's bones stick out a little bit.
"Collarbones. Can't even explain it. Just a shirt low enough to show a pronounced collarbone."
"Omgyes! Protruding collarbones and (at least imo) hipbones are crazy hot! It doesn't have to do with them being skinny though! Slightly curvy people can also have really nice defined collar- and hipbones!"
Controlling A Massive Machine
"My husband reversing the car. He puts his arm around the passenger seat and looks over his shoulder...."
"Oh, man, I love watching people drive. The arm-around-the-passenger-seat-while-reversing thing for sure, but also just people driving in general. There's just something about that focus people get when they're behind the wheel; the way their expressions are usually passive, but their eyes are attentive... oh man. I'm with you on this one for sure."
Someone Has A Thing For "Teen Wolf"
"Long canines. The teeth, not the species.
Not unnaturally long like vampire fangs, but just enough that they're longer than the rest of the teeth."
"Huh, weirdest compliment I've gotten from a guy before was that he liked my 'pointy teeth.' This was at a bar and it made my coworker do a double take."
Then there's these, which you may not have known did it for you, but after reading these there's no going back. You're hooked, now, and that's okay. Embrace the weirdness.
I See You Are Also An Individual Of Class And Substance
"Chokers, f-ck those things stir up something primal in me"
"Ah I see you also grew up in the 90s and watched buffy the vampire slayer..."
Wait, That Seems Pretty Obvi-Oh, That's Why...
"Guys who wear glasses.
For some reason I think it's sexy when we're making out and he has to take them off."
Seems Like You Like Everything They Do. Which Is Great.
"I like when women have to go pee really bad and do that dance. Yea it's weird.
Or when you successfully feed your girlfriend at the appropriate time of day and she does a little dance or starts humming a song as she's chewing.
I like watching the daily skin care routine as they furiously and rapidly circulate their little raccoon sized hands in various nonsense that I'll never understand"
Everyone is different. Everyone has different tastes. Everyone has things that speak to them. These are all perfectly acceptable, and steering into them might actually help you along as you continue your search for a viable romantic partner. Don't shy away from the things you find sexy. Embrace them. Be happy.
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When we're kids, we expect the adults in our lives to notice everything, know everything, and maintain a just, sound moral order.
Psh, don't hold your breath.
Whether it's a teacher, the parent supervising a playdate, or mom and dad at home, kids expect them to have eyes on the back of their heads.
That way, when a kid gets into a spat with a peer, has something stolen, or feels a quiet emotion, the adult in the room will respond with full knowledge of all the facts at play.
But adults are just human beings with a limited bandwidth in their heads. Half the time they're doing other things when the incident goes down.
So they weigh in as best as they can with the limited info they receive--usually in the form of two screaming children pointing at one another.
Curious to learn about the times when the adult got it wrong, Redditor Butterat_Zool asked:
"What minor injustice was wrought upon you as a child that you're still salty about today?"
Many people talked about times when a prized possession was stolen, destroyed, or squandered. Sure, things are just things.
But to kids they mean a whole lot.
Covering Her Tracks
"We had a special arts and crafts week when I was about six, maybe younger. I made my dad a Christmas stocking out of clay, because I'd always thought it was unjust that he didn't have one. It was going to be my Christmas presents to him."
"I took it to the teacher to show her, and so it could be fired later. She methodically destroyed it by balling it up in her hands, and then tried to put it down to a brain fart. I was shocked, but mostly I wanted a replacement stocking, since it was meant to be a gift. I asked her to remake it for me, since she, a teacher, would be allowed to use the clay any time, but I only had a few minutes left."
"The next day I was told I'd been bad and I wasn't allowed to participate in the arts and crafts week any more, and that was that."
No Help From Pa
"When I was 4 I had a little red rocking horse necklace. It was my favourite. I wore it to a puppet show my dad took me to one day and took it off and put it beside me."
"The kid next to me picked it up and wouldn't give it back. We fought."
"My dad told her dad he didn't recognize the necklace and let her take it. I'm 45 and still salty."
In-School Pawn Shop
"Teacher took my 2ft long pencil and sold it to another student."
"Yup. A few teachers at that school sold supplies like pencils to students. It just so happened that this one was taken from me because it was 'too distracting' "
All Them Nintendos
"When I was younger I wanted a Sega Dreamcast. My parents wouldn't just buy it for me, since 'I already had enough Nintendos.' I got a job at Hollywood Video. I couldn't even drive yet, so I would ride my BMX to work in my tuxedo uniform."
"When I saved enough money, I told my parents I was going to buy it myself. They told me no. When I asked why, they said it was to teach me that I can't always get what I want, even if I can afford it."
"I bought one anyway and successfully hid it from them. Every night when I went to 'bed,' I'd hook up the Dreamcast and play as quietly as possible. I still give them sh** for that decision, but they stand by it."
Other people fixated on the times an adult embarrassed them in front of multiple people. Of all the examples given, these are enough to make you really worry about some of the people watching kids out there.
"We were on a field trip to some Washington forest and the ranger started asking about products that grow in or are made from forests."
"3rd grade me who had just discovered in some Ranger Rick article that latex rubber comes from tree trunks confidently raised my hand to share."
" 'Uh rubber from trees, now that doesn't sound right does it' and she moved onto another. 35 years later and the salt is still there."
"In 4th grade our teacher told us to write a paper about what we thought of our school, now our school wasn't great and I was homeschooled up until that year and struggling with the change so wrote about my frustrations and how I was generally unhappy with it..."
"...and she insulted me in front of everybody until the point that I cried and then told me I should get up and read the paper to the class, I refused and she made me rewrite that paper until it was positive, you know instead of trying too help me with the problems I had"
Don't Cross a Paleo Nerd
"I was failed on an essay in English class because my interpretation was incorrect. The poet was describing an airplane and they asked us to figure how what it was being interpreted or anthropomorphized as."
"I was a paleo nerd and chose a pterosaur, because the author described the engines as screeching, and heaving, wings outstretched but still, etc. This was in 6th grade and in my essay I wrote 'and pterosaurs weren't like modern birds, they certainly didn't chirp!' "
"The teacher specifically read my essay out loud to the class as an example of something bad and wrong and 'incorrect.' She also didn't know what a pterosaur was or how you say pterodactyl. Big Salt could mine me until the sun explodes."
And finally, others shared the times they found themselves doing the wrong thing, in the wrong place, at the wrong time. The adult only saw a snippet of a much broader context of behavior.
And the minimal knowledge led them to punish exactly the wrong person.
"Someone's phone went off in class, so teacher demanded that person turn their phone it. No one budges. She holds us in class for a good 20 minutes into the next period antagonizing us about this phone that rung. Eventually she let us go and warned all other teachers about this phone incident."
"My 8th period teacher then gets involved and antagonizes us all again. Said he was gonna stand out in the hall and whoever knows anything to report to him. Some kid went out there and said it was my phone. I got yelled at, got written up for Saturday detention, and later that year found out the kid who told on me was the one who's phone rung in class."
The One Time
"In kindergarten, we sat on this foam mat made out of large puzzle pieces, and we were all assigned one. My puzzle neighbor, Tommy, threw his garbage onto my square. Every time I pushed it off, he'd put it back."
"I eventually got mad and told him to knock it off, and the teacher noticed and yelled at me for throwing garbage into his square. I sat out for the rest of the day and my pin was brought down to 'bad day'. I accidentally broke his nose on the metal spider a few weeks after during tag, though."
Pulled In to the Chatter Hole
"Once a week, in kindergarten, they would pick a name of a kid who would win a toy. Only good kids could participate."
"I was alway a good kid, but not really lucky. My name got picked only once in the whole year. That day, unfortunately for me, I was next to a kid who would not shut up during the lesson. I spoke once to ask him to please stop talking. Guess who the teacher chose to punish for disturbing the lesson? That's right. Me. Didn't get my toy."
Until some kind of horrifying technology comes out that allows adults to see and know every facet of their child's existence, tiny injustices like this will proliferate.
But perhaps those couple slights are totally worth the freedom of adults that don't know everything we're up to.
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Modern medicine is a marvel. It's the reason why we've been able to effectively eradicate some serious diseases and improve the quality of health care around the world. When you take these two things into consideration, it's easy to see why vaccine hesitancy can be such a frustrating topic for people right now.
Many people would not be able to survive without the benefits of modern medicine. That's what we learned after Redditor forevernostalgic23 asked the online community,
"If modern medicine didn't exist what medical condition would have died from or been severely impacted by?"
"Bad vision alone would have made me terrible at most things."
I had bad vision until my early 20s. I second this.
"I would have had a very short life..."
"I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age seven. I would have had a very short life without modern medicine."
Having known many people who live with diabetes, I am glad that they are still here.
"I probably would have died..."
"I probably would have died at 6 years old from strep throat."
This is a big one: In the past, it commonly killed many people. And guess what, it still does? The CDC estimates approximately 11,000 to 24,000 cases of invasive group A strep disease occur each year in the United States, with 1,200 to 1,900 of those cases resulting in death.
"I was born..."
"I was born with a bilateral abdominal hernia and amniotic fluid in my lungs, no way I would have survived infancy without modern medicine."
"My brother and I..."
My brother and I were bitten by a rabid farm kitten when we were 6 and 4 years old. Without the foresight of my grandfather who had the cat tested and modern medicine creating the vaccine, my parents would be childless."
Frightening! I saw Cujo as a child and that told me all I needed to know about rabies, thank you very much.
"I would have gone deaf..."
"I would have gone deaf from recurrent ear infections as a child and then died at 14 from pneumonia."
"But since that..."
"I was born two months premature, so I'd likely not survive that in an earlier era. But since that, nothing."
"Mom and Dad..."
"The way I was born. Mom and Dad had to feed me through a tube down my nose the first year and a half."
"If the recurrent..."
"If the recurrent tonsillitis didn't get me, my appendix would have been the end of me as a teen."
"Neither kiddo nor I..."
"Giving birth. Neither kiddo nor I would be alive without emergency surgery."
Amazing, right? Be grateful for modern medicine––there are new developments each and every day. And who knows what the future has in store for us? Will there be a cure for cancer? Alzheimer's disease and dementia? The sky's the limit.
Have some stories of your own? Feel free to tell us about them in the comments section below!