The 20 Ways You Are Wasting Your 20s

by Paul Hudson

Our 20s are the most important years of our lives. We’ve heard it time and time again, reiterated in almost every form of media. These are the golden years, the time we discover ourselves and when we solidify our identities. Our 20s are for deciding who and what we want to be; they’re a time to make mistakes, but also to learn from them.

We encompass and expect so much from a single decade, so it only follows that we must be economical with the little time we have. We have to make sure we streamline all the things we expect from ourselves in order to ensure that we never look back at this time with any hint of regret.

Below I have listed the 20 ways we waste time in our 20s and how we might possibly avoid all this useless expenditure so that we never squander a second of the precious time that our youth affords.

1. Working a sh*tty job to show your parents that you can support yourself.

“Wait and see how easy it will be once you are out on your own!” We’ve all heard our parents mutter these words before. But you showed them; you went and worked three minimum wage jobs to pay for rent and even managed to go to school part-time.

That is an accomplishment, but you could have sucked up your pride instead. You could have allowed your parents to pay for you and focused on your studies. Your grades would have been better and you would have been more interested in what you were studying. If you can have it easy then have it easy for as long as you can. When the time comes, you will have no choice but to support yourself.

2. Clubbing.

So exciting when you’re in your 20s…but gets boring real quick. Drinks are overpriced. Women are overpriced. And what do you get for all your time put in? A hangover and maybe an STD because you were too trashed to slip into a rubber.

3. Dating.

While dating in your 20s is important, it’s not actually beneficial until you’re 25 or older. That means if you are dating for the first 5 years of your 20s, then you are simply wasting precious time. The chances of you meeting the love of your life at such a young age are slim to none. If you do meet a person that you believe is the love of your life before 25 and get married, then statistically speaking, you should get yourself a lawyer as well for the upcoming divorce. Go out and meet women. Talk to them, hang out and sleep with them. Save serious relationships for when you have the mental capacity for them.

4. Shopping for mid-priced clothing.

I hate mid-priced clothing. If you are going to buy jeans or a shirt, then buy something that is properly made and will last you a long time. Sure, it’ll cost you a bit more, but in the long run you will save money — plus you’ll look great. If you can’t afford expensive clothing, then buy cheap clothing — go vintage. Vintage clothing has already lasted several decades and is likely to last at least another. Anything in between is poorly made junk with a well-marketed brand tag. You will waste money (which takes time to make) and waste time shopping because the soles of your shoes only last 30 days.

5. Facebooking.

I have wasted more time than I would like to admit staring at my Facebook page. Just staring — expecting something to happen. Social media platforms are meant for socializing; if you have no one specific to chat or to socialize with, then do something else.

6. Instagramming.

If you can tell me how taking a photo of your dinner before you eat it is not a waste of time then I will be happy to delete number 6.

7. Watching porn.

The only thing you can learn from porn is how your sex life will not look. Stop spending so much time choking the chicken or cleaning your own pipes and go out into the real world to get some real action.

8. Eating crap food.

You’ll feel like sh*t. You’ll look like sh*t. And you’ll have to sh*t. Then you’ll have to spend hours doing cardio to make sure that you don’t look like a walrus. Eating healthy will have you feeling and looking better, making you more productive and more efficient. Plus, as an added bonus, you’ll be adding years to your life — gaining time instead of wasting it.

9. Stressing.

We spend too much time in our 20s worrying about stupid things that we shortly after realize were stupid. We stress about work, about school, about our girlfriends or boyfriends, we stress about the problems we are having with our friends and about whatever else the world throws at us. Most of what we stress over is taken off our shoulders by time itself and without us having to intervene ourselves. If you are stressed now, whatever is causing that stress will be forgotten in a week or two. So why bother stressing over it in the first place?

10. Moping around after a breakup.

You broke up. Whether or not you were in love doesn’t matter. What matters is that you are single and should be focusing on better prospects instead of honing in on the past. It didn’t work; sh*t happens. You’ll find something better — until then, do you.

11. Forcing yourself to sleep with a rebound.

Rebound sex is rarely any good. Unless he or she is jaw-droppingly beautiful or looks like the ride of your life, then don’t do it. Having sex with someone because you feel like you must is silly. You are wasting time, money, energy and possibly your health to sleep with a 5. Do something more productive that will keep your mind off things instead. After you have bad sex with someone in whom you were never interested in the first place, your mind will make you believe that the relationship you just got out of was better than it actually was.

12. Pretending like you know yourself.

You don’t know yourself in your 20s. You can’t possibly know yourself at that age because you continue to grow and change well into your 30s. Even if you do have a decent grasp of who you are at the moment, understand that you will be very different in 5 years. Be open-minded to suggestions and don’t be cocky. Eventually you will realize how little you know about yourself and the world and you will be playing catch-up with your tail between your legs.

13. Watching TV.

I love a good TV show just as much as the next 20-someodd-year-old guy — but TV can, and often does, become an addiction. Limit the time you spend on your couch.

14. Video Games.

It’s the same rules for watching TV. A little bit won’t hurt you, but too much will make your life boring. You will want to do something that makes you feel alive. My general outlook on life is: if it doesn’t benefit you more than everything else you could be doing instead, then don’t do it.

15. Waiting to bang.

Foreplay is great…but not if it’s purely verbal. You either want to date or you want to have sex — it’s one or the other. Figure out what you want and what he or she wants and get to the point. Too much time is wasted in our youth talking about having sex without actually having it. There’s no need for words! Put that mouth to better use.

16. Being shy and introverted.

You have to come out of your shell sooner or later. The longer you wait, the more you will be missing out on. The world is filled with interesting people that can make a real difference in your personal and work life. There’s no reason to be shy — it’s silly. You’ll either come to this conclusion now, in ten years, in thirty or when you’re 99 years old — but you will arrive at this exact conclusion.

17. Believing there is only one person out there for you.

You fall in love and believe that you have found the one. Things go south and you are heartbroken. You don’t know what to do with yourself and instead of moving on with your life, you focus on that “one that got away.” If she/he got away, then let them go away. There are plenty of fish in the sea and believe me, they have more than enough love to go around.

18. Pretending like you don’t hate your job.

If you don’t hate your job, great. But if you do, then stop pretending like you don’t. Sometimes we have no choice but to work sh*tty jobs that make us hate our lives — c’est la vie. However, if you despise what you do then do your best to get outta there ASAP. Don’t lie to yourself by saying that you “don’t mind” what you do. You hate it. You should hate it. Find something that suits you better.

19. Spending money on things you don’t need.

Money is time and time is money. If you are wasting one then, ipso facto, you are wasting the other. How many of you can say that you spent your money wisely in your 20s? I sure as hell hadn’t. A savings account? Savings of what? I’d spend my money before I even made it. If you don’t need it, then don’t buy it. If you do need it, then find somewhere cheaper to buy it. Don’t use credit cards if you don’t have to unless it’s purely to build up credit and to put money in the bank for a rainy day. It’s guaranteed to rain sooner or later.

20. Being afraid to love them.

We are afraid of opening up and letting people in. We don’t want to be hurt; we don’t want to be vulnerable. Love is a beautiful thing — a thing that is not easy to understand without the pain that so often accompanies it. You may get hurt, but as long as you can accept your experience for what it is and continue to live your life, you’ll be better off for it. The worst thing you could do is to not allow yourself to love when you know you could if you’d break down your barriers. Love does not come often; take it when you can get it and don’t waste time shying away from it.

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