Being young has its advantages: many mistakes are reversible or can be attributed to poor choices and shrugged off.
But sometimes these poor choices can have a lasting impact on you as you grow older.
People got together on reddit and shared some things they wish they knew when they were in their 20s.
Now, while these are subjective, here’s a few mistakes young people are recommended to avoid making:
1. Not brushing your teeth
When my father passed away, I slept away each night without taking care of myself. I’ve had so many root canals, removals, and pain because of it – and it only hurts what little self image I have of myself.
When your teeth go, you smile less and hate yourself a little more every day. It just takes so much away from you.
Please, please take care of those chompers.
2. Staying in a ‘mediocre’ relationship
Staying in a mediocre/bad relationship because of inertia or because you’ve already sunk a bunch of time and effort into it.
Dating is hard at any age, but it gets harder as you get older. If you aren’t that into your current SO or it feels like the relationship is always a lot of hard work, consider breaking it off. There are worse things than being single.
3. Drinking too much alcohol
You can waste away years of your life like this, thinking you’re just “partying”. A good friend of mine recently came to terms with his alcoholism. Getting black-out drunk every week for nearly a decade is not normal.
4. Not wearing sunscreen
Seriously people, wear sunscreen. Getting sunburned just once can triple your risk of melanoma later in life.
I work with a lot of older hippies, construction workers, landscapers, and arborists and a lot of them have skin cancer and they all really wish they had worn sunscreen. Listen to Baz Luhrmann and wear sunscreen.
If you’re concerned about certain chemicals in sunscreen there’s always alternatives. Also look into Korean sunscreens. They have amazing sunscreens that go on smooth just like lotion and don’t leave you sticky or contain some of the harsh chemicals in American sunscreens. Make it a part of your daily routine and you’ll appreciate it later in life.
5. Not saving money
Don’t think that there is plenty of time to save for retirement. If it is possible for you to put something away on a regular basis, do it.
The best time to start is when you get a job that offers you more pay that what you were getting. Take a percentage of the increase and start savings that right from the beginning. That helps make it such that you never miss it.
6. Not keeping in touch with your parents
Seriously. It may sound weird but when I was in my 20s I was so happy to be out of the house that I made the mistake of disconnecting with my mom and dad.
I wish I would have done more.
7. Having a bad relationship with credit cards
Not caring about credit/credit score. Getting credit cards and maxing them out and not being able to keep up with the payments. I’m speaking from personal experience here. I was never taught to be financially responsible and it’s been a hard lesson learned.
I’m 35 now, my credit score is slowly creeping up, and I have a three year plan/budget for home ownership. I’m literally a decade behind where I wanted to be.
8. Not looking after your health
When I was 17 I went from being almost completely sedentary to exercising 4x/week when my grief counselor recommended I take a martial arts class. Having people around me who were at varying ages and weight ranges working towards the same goal really changed my work ethic in a positive way.
Years later I weigh roughly 40lbs less than I did at the end of high school (it’s creeping up on me since I took a desk job last year but I’m making lifestyle changes to correct that), I try to lift heavy weights 3x/weekly and – now that winter is truly over – I’m making a point to get outside and move more for cardio. Seeing family in their 50s and 60s and so on struggling with weight-related health complications only encourages me that much more to keep doing what I do.
Put in the work now so you can suffer less later.
9. Waiting for things to happen
Nobody is gonna walk up to you and hand you a meaning to your life or a fulfilling career.
10. Wasting time
When I was talking with an older friend who was very well off, millionaire, I jokingly said, ‘I’ll trade you my age for your money.’ And his reply has always stuck with me. He said, ‘I can do more with your time than you can do with my money.’
I didn’t take it as an insult but as motivation to make the most of my time and not waste it.
11. Getting comfortable
Don’t be comfortable.
Seriously, be UNCOMFORTABLE. Interview for a job that’s out of your league. Ask the girl out that’s out of your league. Apply for grad school that’s out of your league.
When the worst thing that can happen is the same as if you never tried, TRY.