Someone on Reddit just asked people how they “wasted” their twenties. A wave of responses flooded the thread from folks who wish they’d done something differently at this formative time of their life. Here are 12 of the most upvoted answers that cropped up…
12. “Far too much time spent on my career…”
“…and not nearly enough on friends and family. Can’t say it wasn’t financially rewarding, but I’d give that all up for more time with friends and family who have since died.”
“Same here. Now I have nice house, car, financially stable life etc but I don’t have friends. I’m jealous of those who have a group of friends and can have fun together.”
11. “Being too shy.”
“To anyone younger reading this, TAKE RISKS! Ask that person out. Go to that local event you’ve been eyeing. Strike up a conversation with a cool-looking stranger. Get up on stage at a karaoke night. Volunteer. Join a club. Life is not a movie and there is no magical special person that will notice you and come pull you into the light. You have to do that yourself.”
“Gosh this is me right now and im in my mid 20s wondering if it ever changes for the better.”
10. “Fighting endless wars.”
“…Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and everywhere else around the world. Wasted my 20s, all my 30s and half my 40’s fighting. For what you ask? I have no idea now.”
“In a very similar boat…all I can say is to keep your head up. Done some bad ****, but done some good as well, and that’s the part that you need to focus on.”
9. “Letting people take advantage of me.”
“People would borrow what little money I had, with and without permission and never pay me back.”
“This is why people think I’m just a very angry person nowadays but honestly I don’t agree completely. Once I broke up with ex and realized how much disrespect I allowed my entire life, it made me angry that so many gravitated to taking advantage of that.”
8. “No game plan for making a living.”
“I was kinda the same way but got into bartending. Was making ridiculous money but also spending it. Waited way too long to start saving. Instead spent it on vacations, going out partying, and buying all kinds of stuff I probably didn’t need.”
“I’m dealing with the consequences of that now…Went to college fresh out of high school but dropped out within a year due to depression and substance abuse. Kind of hopped between jobs and worked on my mental health for a few years…Definitely wish I could go back a decade and not be [an idiot].”
7. “Drinking heavily.”
“Will never get those years back. Thankfully, I realized while I couldn’t go back and change the start, I could decide to change the ending. Ten years sober this month.”
“I thought I was a social drinker throughout my 20s. Then I learned about binge drinking and I realized I was not the average social drinker.”
6. “I did a PhD.”
“The first time I made more than $30k in a year, I was 31 years old. **** academia.”
“Submitting my PhD a month from now at 33. I have been so poor for so long (my stipend was under the poverty line in my country and I was honestly fortunate to receive even that).
I feel your pain. Probably going to cry the first time I get an actual salary. In my life. At 33.”
5. “I pursued a career in a field that wasn’t right for me.”
“This was me, but I actually wanted to be there. It wasn’t right for me but I wanted to be there. I don’t know that I’d say I “wasted” that time, but let’s just say I spent a lot of time and opportunity to ignore the signs I shouldn’t be here until it barreled into me.”
“Wasted years in a different career because I thought I was too old/poor to go to school.”
“Spent seven years of college in my dorm/apartment reading books and taking naps.”
“Depression is a *****. I have vague memories of my childhood. I have good memories of the past couple of years. I don’t remember a thing of the years between 18-25. I just sat at home, played some games, eat, sleep and just…existed without anything significant happening at all.”
3. “Too scared of my parents to…live life how I want.”
“I wasted the very best 3 years of my life trying to please my father and studying economics. Failed spectacularly.”
“Turning 30 in a couple months and finally ripped the bandaid off and decided going no contact with them is for the best. It’s like a huge weight has been lifted from my shoulders. I wish I had the strength to do it earlier but I’m finally in therapy and just looking forward to the future without them in it.”
2. “I always thought I was already too old.”
“I’m 24 and struggling with this right now. Logically I KNOW I’m not too old but society has a weird way of making me feel like I am just because I’m getting closer to 30.”
“I feel like I’ve spent my 20s flopping back and forth between ‘I’m only 23 – I have plenty of time to work out my career, finances, relationships, etc.’ and ‘Oh my gosh I’m already 23 – why haven’t I figured out my career, finances, relationships, etc.’”
1. “No ambition. Lack of foresight. No goals.”
“I spent so much time stressing out about my future that I never actually lived in the present.”
“For me it was too much ambition early on in life and then by the time my 20s came around I became very disillusioned, felt like life was mundane and nothing brought joy to me anymore so I hardly did anything. Literally wasted a bunch of time doing nothing.”
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