20 Things Not to Do in Your 20s

College, bills, deadlines and dishes. Your first “legal” drink. Your first full-time job. Your 20s is the time to take it all in. And after reading multiple articles on what you “should” be doing in this time period, including horrible ideas such as one night stands and falling in love with the wrong person, I decided to form a list of things I think you shouldn’t do in your 20s. Let’s begin.

Hook up with strangers– This is single-handedly the worst advice I see on these lists. Hooking up with strangers is just asking for an STD. Flirting with people and finding out what you like in the opposite sex is one thing, but hooking up with strangers is just guaranteeing to damage your relationships, kill your reputation  and ultimately hurt your self-worth.

Carelessly buy a pet– Too many people I know buy a pet while they are still in college and can’t take care of it. It’s selfish and the pet winds up back at mom and dad’s at some point. Just wait a little bit.

Date someone wrong for you– “Dating someone wrong for you” seems to be a hot point. Why in the world would you want to waste months or years of your life on the wrong person? All it’s going to do is drive you crazy. Alternative: date people, find out what you like about them and try to find more of those attributes in one person.

Lose touch with people you care about– Whether you are in a relationship, single or getting married, make sure you make time for your friends and family. Call them. Text them. E-mail them. Oh, and your parents are right about more than you think.

Only think about yourself– Another big point on these lists is to “Be Selfish,” as if you should only worry about yourself. Yes, your 20s is a time to find yourself, but that can be done through helping others too. Volunteer. Get involved in your community. Find something to fulfill your life besides working and going out for happy hour each week.

Move somewhere just to move there– As much as I want to move to Paris, I’m not going to move there unless I have a job and some financial stability.

Work or play too hard– Balance work and a social life. Too much work and not enough play will burn you out.

Exhaust your savings– Save your money. As much as you may want to buy new things, they can wait.

Throw your dream job away– Never settle. After graduation you will be discouraged. But it’s up to you if you want to stop at the first full-time job you get or if you want to continue to grow each day and set goals to get you to your dream job.

Throw your standards away– Go out. Have fun. But don’t be the person who always needs taken care of or takes way too many “YOLO” moment pictures.

Burn bridges– Everyone you meet throughout college and after is a networking opportunity. Don’t end on a bad note with anyone because you never know who could help you out in the future.

Succumb to societal pressures– Suzy just got a huge ring and all her engagement pictures are posted on Facebook, so obviously I should be getting engaged  or at least have a boyfriend, right? Wrong. Just because you just graduated college doesn’t mean you need a ring on your finger to be fulfilled.

Splurge– Can’t say that I follow this religiously because I am a certified shopaholic, but try not to throw away all your money on clothes and items like a fancy new TV that you could wait a year or two to get when you actually have a steady salary.

Become an alcoholic– Don’t get me wrong, your 20s is a time for you to acquire your taste for what types of drinks you like, and obviously celebrate the big 2-1. Beer, wine and cocktails are good things, but make sure that as you transition throughout your 20s you learn your limit from those nights you’ll “never remember with friends you’ll never forget.”

Let your job consume you– Your job pays the bills. You are motivated to do well there. But when it comes down to it, it’s just your job. Don’t stress too much about it when you get home. Relax and realize that there is more to you as a person than what your job is.

Complain as much– I don’t know if it’s a generational thing or what but it seems like people in their 20s today are always complaining about everything instead of being thankful for what they do have.

Ignore your health– It’s hard to find the time and energy with a full course load or a full time job, but force yourself to workout and eat healthy. Find your routine and try to stick to it.

Be stubborn– Your 20s should be a time when you are open to new experiences. Go out of your comfort zone and participate in an activity that you normally wouldn’t like a boxing class.

Expect perfection– You have come to the point where reality sinks in.  You’re going to make mistakes and not remember things. It’s okay. That’s what your messy 20s are supposed to be like.

Be someone you’re not– Your 20s are a time to find yourself. The bottom line is that you should be doing what you believe in for yourself and no one else. Find confidence that you are choosing the right path for yourself, even if it is a messy, uncertain ride along the way.

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