You always hear your 20’s are the best years of your life. Well, they might be. But, I’m more excited about my early 30’s. Whatever decade is better, one thing is for sure, being young is the best time in your life, but it’s also the worst. Everyone I know, including myself, is trying to discover their identities, find their true passions and determine what really makes them happy all while working endless hours to climb some ladder in whatever field. Your 20’s is like a winding roller coaster with no end in sight. You gain friends. You lose friends. You break-up. You make up. You say I love you. You say I hate you. You fall asleep wondering how the next five years will play out. You wonder what challenge the next day will bring.
Everyone goes through the same things, and there are a few things we should stop beating ourselves up for. So, I’ve put together a list of the things I think no one in their 20’s should feel bad about. Like everyone over the age of 50 tells us, try to enjoy everything about this messy, beautiful time in your life.
25 things no one in their 20’s should feel bad about
- Not being on the ‘right’ track. Who said you have to finish college at 22 and grad school at 25? No one did. Do what you need to do, and don’t let anyone make you feel bad for it.
- Telling someone the truth. Unless it’s your mother-n-law, be honest with the people around you. Honesty is a trait that will serve you well in life.
- Hurting someone’s feelings. Inevitably, we will all hurt someone’s feelings. It might be a friend, a lover, a family member. But, it will happen. The key is to apologize, understand what happened and move on. Don’t dwell on it.
- Lying in bed all day eating pancakes and watching movies. I once dated a guy who all he wanted to do on Sundays was just that. I eventually had to go along with it. I had to realize nothing productive was going to get done on Sundays anyways. Just face it. You won’t be productive every minute of every day. You can’t be; and it’s okay. The world won’t come to an end.
- Telling your boss you’re feeling overwhelmed. Unless you work for the devil himself, which some of you might, your boss will want to know how you’re feeling. Believe it or not, they want you to be happy.
- Not getting everything done you wanted to in one day. Unless you’re on deadline, don’t sweat it. Come back to it the next day. It’ll still be waiting.
- Staying in on a weekend night. Just because you’re 20-something doesn’t mean you have to go out every weekend. Staying in is just fine. And, if you want to get ahead, it might require a few Saturday nights with you, the couch, your laptop, and a glass of red putting in some serious overtime.
- Going to happy hour two days in a row. It’s called happy hour for a reason. Enough said.
- Making a mistake at work. It will happen. Some might be larger than others, but everyone’s human. Your boss doesn’t expect you to be perfect. You will make mistakes. Here’s how to fix it. Admit the fault, and immediately implement a procedure to never let it happen again.
- Rewarding yourself for a job well done. It’s okay to spend money on yourself. And if you’re young and educated, like most of you reading this are, remember, you worked hard to create a nice life for yourself. Don’t forget to enjoy it.
- Feeling crappy on a Monday morning. Its Monday. You’re allowed to. And don’t schedule any meetings before 1pm. They’ll be wildly unproductive.
- Losing touch with a good friend. It’s bound to happen. It’ll hit you like a ton of bricks when you realize it. But, at this time, you’re going through so many changes, personally and professionally, there’s bound to be some casualties along the way.
- Going out on a weekday. Just because it’s Tuesday, doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time. 8am the next day will come fast, but that’s what coffee is for.
- Wishing you could throw rocks at all the people who went to high school or college with that are now engaged, married or have kids. This might rattle some feathers, but I don’t feel bad for telling anyone I meet my age that is any of the above that they’re stupid. You’re stupid. There I said it. You have been hit upside the head. What the hell is wrong with you? Date, be in love. Be crazy in love, JUST. DON’T. BE. STUPID. You can send hate mail here.
- Being Single. To piggy back off the last one, don’t let anyone around you make you feel bad for being single. Let things happen naturally, and don’t force a relationship, just to be in one. It’ll end poorly.
- Turning down the advances of someone you’re not interested in. If you’re not attracted to the person or if they don’t spark your interest, don’t waste your time. And no need to bring up the ‘let’s be friends line.’ No, that’s awkward. The both of you have enough friends.
- Doing something you’ll regret or putting yourself in an uncomfortable situation. We’ve all been there. Just try not to freak out about it too much. Whatever it was, it made you who you are today.
- Giving your heart to someone who didn’t deserve it. It’s okay, everyone does it. But then one day, you’ll come to your senses and ask them to give it back. Maybe not literally, but you get the point.
- Crying in public. It’s like the whole puking in public concept. It’ll happen and you’ll feel like an idiot. But, oh well. I once found myself crying on a COTA bus. My boyfriend, at the time, was moving away for work and had left the day before. But, don’t worry, it wasn’t the ugly cry. It was the much more subtle tear up. Also, crying in general, i.e., in private, is also totally acceptable.
- Asking for help. You can’t do everything on your own, no matter how strong-willed you are. I hate asking for help. It makes me feel weak, like I can’t take care of myself. But, then I have to realize, no matter how hard I try, I can’t be superwoman—and I have people in my life who care about me for a reason.
- Spending half your paycheck on something frivolous. Yep, it’ll happen, maybe a few times—most likely after you get that first “real paycheck.” Just only let it happen after your bills are paid.
- Asking stupid questions or questions at all. You can’t know everything, even if you tried. And with barely living any life, it’s impossible. So, ask questions. Ask as many as you want. If you meet someone with a cool profession, grill them. Get the dirty and file away that information.
- Being jealous of someone more successful than you. Everyone get’s jealous. But, don’t let it eat you up. Throw that energy into something productive.
- Someone under appreciating you. This could be anyone, a friend, a boss, anyone. Don’t take it personal. Whoever they are, they probably don’t even mean it. You’re awesome, even if the people around you forget say thank you.
- Reveling in your hobby. Whatever it is, no matter how nerdy or weird it might be, do it and don’t let anyone give you grief for it. In order to stay sane at any point in your life, not just your 20’s, you need a hobby.
I’m sure you can relate to at least one thing on this list. But, do you think there’s something missing? Tell me.