Your twenties are a time of change and development in your life. They mark the death of adolescence and the journey into adulthood. However, it is rare that this transition goes as gracefully as one would have envisioned. In fact for the most part, it’s a big mess.
Lots of wonderful things start to happen as you enter your twenties. Firstly, and most importantly, you can drink. Also there are some other benefits: you gain full independence, you get a place of your own that you can do whatever you want in, you can spend your time with the most questionable, depraved characters you can find in your local alleyway and no one will tell you not to.
But with great freedom comes great responsibility. You have bills to pay, you have to get a job and actually keep it even if it sucks. All of a sudden there are no more scapegoats. No longer will you get a slap on the wrist for messing up; you’ll be reprimanded to the fullest extent of the law. No one will come to shoo away that aggressive looking spider in the corner of your room; you have to pull up your pyjamas and swipe a newspaper at it. In short, it gets real.
In light of this turbulent, distressing time of your life, no one could blame you for making the odd mistake here and there, or everywhere. Check out our list of 15 mistakes everyone made in their twenties.
15. Having Dreams
Perhaps the biggest mistake you will make in your twenties is having dreams. Throughout the course of your young-adult life, you begin to realize that your dreams are really stupid.
For years it was drilled into you;:“You can be whatever you want to be;” “You’re special;” “All your dreams will come true.”
In your twenties, the optimistic part of you will try to stay afloat for some time. It will tell you, “Next time you’ll get the job,” “Soon you’ll be rich,” or “You can still be an astronaut, I swear.”
But reality rears its ugly head. So one morning you gather up your silly ideas and stoically dig a big hole under a sycamore tree, toss them inside and bury them deep.
Then with a deflating acceptance, you go out and get a mortgage.
14. Overestimating Your Potential
Your new-found sense of freedom brings some unexpected displeasures, the worst of which being the struggle to be financially stable. No matter. You think to yourself, ‘look at all the jobs out there, an educated fellow such as myself shall waltz right into one.’
You take to your laptop and begin your job hunt with visions of sugarplums and corporate Amex cards dancing in your head. Three cappuccino’s later, you have lost all self-belief and the world has become a dark place. You grimace at the suit beside you holding his business meeting with a jovial, self-satisfaction.
You wind up at an open call for a retail chain. It’s a $6-an-hour job, but everyone’s got to start somewhere. When you get there, there’s a line out the door. The staff has organized a whole day of team-building exercises to gauge your strengths. They ask you about your desert island playlist and why you are so passionate about retail? Then they tell you you’re super but you didn’t quite make the cut.
13. Not Paying Your Bills
In your twenties, these letters start coming to your house. Till now, all you received in the mail was that book you ordered off Amazon or a lovely birthday card from your aunt. So with much anticipation you open the letter wondering what good news could be inside.
But it’s not good news. It’s a statement asking you for money or highlighting just how little money you currently have, or both! Surely they have the wrong address.
Then slowly it dawns on you. That nice air blowing gently on your face on this hot day, the pleasant sitcom jingle emanating from your flat screen, the smell of reheated pizza in the microwave: none of it is free.
In your distressed mind there is only one way to deal with this. Never open one again.
Ignorance is bliss, until you learn about interest, bad credit, shut off service and collection agencies.
12. Credit Card Debt
While deep in a depression of window shopping, your friend calls you and tells you all about his new credit card. Confused of how something like this could have happened you decide to go ask your bank about it. You are told that they would be happy to give an irresponsible, over-priveledged person such as yourself a piece of plastic with free money on it. Overjoyed, you sign up knowing that nothing could possibly go wrong.
High on free money, you go out and buy everything you dreamed of when you were poor. You throw ten dollar bills at the homeless. You buy two tickets at the movie theatre just so you can stretch out. You buy a Chihuahua and then buy him a hat, all the while laughing manically at how stupid the bank ares.
Ten years later, you realize the happiness you had for those brief moments was not worth the sentence you paid for it and that the bank most definitely had the last laugh.
11. . The “Baby” Returns Home
So you thought you had it all figured out? You couldn’t understand why people complained about being in their twenties. You thought it would be a fabulous time in your life.
But now the pressure of adulthood is weighing down on you with force. No one seems to understand how special and unique you are. Your landlord doesn’t think your excuses are cute, and your boss never smiles at you no matter how nice you are. You lay in bed feeling sorry for yourself and then you realize how to fix everything: mom and dad!
The next day it’s back home for a nice warm meal, a sensitive ear and a comfy bed. There you tell mommy and daddy all about how hard your life is and they nod and agree and tell you how awfully-mistreated you’ve been. They bandage up your wounded soul until you are ready to return to the big bad world again.
10. Thinking Facebook Is Real
When was the last time you took a selfie? Was it on a spectacular day out with friends at a concert? Or maybe it was when you were jogging on that one day last month that you did any physical activity. I’m pretty sure it wasn’t when you had that bout of food poisoning.
Still, in your twenties it can be difficult to realize that Facebook is not an accurate depiction of people’s lives. Everyone looks like they are beautiful and having fun because that’s what they want you to see. You’re life may not be that good, but theirs isn’t either. Just think, anyone taking this many selfies can’t possibly be enjoying whatever activity they are broadcasting because they’re too busy taking selfies!
9. Serial Dating
You are young and fabulous and beautiful and have never been more of a hot commodity. So no one could blame you for keeping your social calendar diverse. You take a little from column A, a little from column B. It’s all in good fun.
All the same there are only so many getting-to-know-you conversations you can handle before you feel like you’re doing job interviews that never progress to the second round.
And while you didn’t call them back, you also are disappointed to know that they didn’t call you back either. Soon the confidence begins to fade and you realize that maybe you should be aiming for quality instead of quantity.
You’re in your twenties now so you can be selective about your alcohol purchases. No longer must you chug through whatever crap you bought off your older neighbor. So you get sophisticated, you learn of aperitifs, digestifs, and liqueurs. One day you come across an exceptionally-civilized elixir from the Germans named Jägermeister.
It is black and gooey and when you sip upon it you are taken by forces unknown, and circumstances and activities ensue of which you have no control over. At some point your innocent self awakens surrounded by all manner of obscurities, at which point you conclude you must have been drugged.
So in your fragile state you go to your doctor and explain the horror that you have gone through and the doctor goes shuffling through his desk drawer and surfaces with a bottle of Jägermeister and asks “Is this who did it to you?” You break into tears and the doctor comforts you and gives you the name of a good shrink.
Then next weekend someone shouts “Jäeger!?” And before you know it, the gloopy, venomous temptress has enveloped you again.
7. Taking The Scenic Route
Being in your twenties means you can party all the time. So naturally you are taking full advantage. In the club you realize that the night peaked hours ago and it’s time to say an Irish goodbye to the few stragglers left.
Still, you’re feeling pretty chipper with those shots still swimming in your bloodstream and somehow at this hour, everything seems so right. In light of this you decide to skip the taxi ride home, listen to some tunes and just take in what God’s green Earth has to offer.
Look at how pretty the streetlights are, you think. Look how sweet that young couple are as they walk linking arms. What delightful dew forming on the grass. Even the homeless man on a nearby bench seems to have a certain ‘je ne sais quoi.’ How wonderful life is!
After a bit though, your feet start to tire. The streetlights start to seem harsh against your eyes, and the happy playlist on your phone is beginning to seem pretty irritating. And then you realize you’re in the middle of nowhere with a hangover.
In your twenties, if you have a mind to, you can find all manner of delicious things to eat. Unfortunately you also learn the hard way that your metabolism doesn’t quite kick in the way it used to and your gut is getting rather round-looking. It’s terrible, especially because you were getting pleasantly used to washing your meals down with frozen mudslides. Who could have known that liquid had calories?
Weaning off these habits and learning that excessive intake of anything has consequences is tough. You have to make a concentrated effort as you age to stay away from all things dipped in other things and then fried. You have to close your mind to the allure of that kebab truck at midnight, glaring at you like a desert mirage.
Throughout your teenage years you were told that drugs were bad. You decided that you would try a little to make sure; you liked them but you got sick of hiding paraphernalia from your parents and having to exercise extreme effort to find an undetectable place to consume them.
Now that you’re twenty you have disposable income, a comfortable home, and no curfew. So hey, why not indulge? You take a few lines of blow and everything is great. A rich guy chats you up at the bar and what do you know, he has more coke in his apartment. How convenient!
Before you know it you’re in a penthouse suite squawking like a chicken with someone who was a stranger two hours ago.
4. Trying To Appear Smart
In your twenties you may still have that teenage urge to make everyone like you. You’re becoming more self-assured but you still just want to be liked. This seemingly well-intentioned virtue can steer you wrong.
You are in a conversation with a really cool potential friend. You long to be approved by someone so interesting and exciting. Then they bring up a word you’ve never heard of. Is it a politician? A video game? A place in Africa? Maybe it’s a breed of cat? Either way – you’re at a loss.
You should have just asked what the word was but you’ve already nodded in agreement to the statement. So you do what any rational person would do: you momentarily excuse yourself and then run off into the night.
3. Being Small-Minded
As a twenty-something you often think you’ve gained a lot of insight in your years to date. That may well be true but you still have a long way to go. With this sense of maturity and knowledge you can sometimes forget that seemingly big things in your life are actually very microscopic things.
For instance, your roommate leaving a saucepan in the sink may not be a pre-determined middle finger to you. Just as you being laid off from a call center may not mean you are doomed to career failure for eternity.
These hiccups along the road can cause us to act out in expressive and embarrassing ways. We eventually learn it’s best to keep things in perspective.
2. Trying Out Every Fad There Is
As a twenty-something you are on top of every trending topic. You can name every Kardashian, you know a brief biography of every musician in the charts, and you take it upon yourself to Google the slang you don’t understand in your favorite rap songs.
With all this information, it can be challenging to know just what your niche is. So you try Kimchi, you drink flights of craft beer, you wear Keds because even though they’ve been around forever, Taylor Swift seems to like them now.
You try it all until one evening you find yourself wearing a moustache t-shirt with a colorful bowtie and playing shuffleboard, and then you kill yourself.
1. Not Growing Up
Yes, even in your twenties you just can’t grow up. You are still an immature, easily-distracted, self-righteous idiot.
You still cry when Mufasa dies in The Lion King. You still laugh when people fall over. You still sleep in until 2 p.m. You still sigh heavily when your parents offer valid advice.
The only difference now is that in order to be socially accepted, you must hide this childishness deep down.
You must get a good job, obtain a stable relationship, adopt an abandoned kitten, decorate your home, and get a fancy briefcase, even if only to fill it with Snickers wrappers.
You must create an external image of sophistication so that maybe by your thirties you’ll actually get it together.