1. Don’t go on Facebook or Twitter when you’re drunk.
Just don’t. Go watch TV and eat microwaveable burritos instead.
2. Don’t stay at a job you hate.
In this economy, being told to leave a job you hate may not make financial sense. But staying and NOT working hard to get out will eat your soul. It won’t get better, and dragging it out for months won’t make it better either. Even though it’s scary, you will FIND SOMETHING ELSE.
3. Don’t be afraid to take risks.
Learn to trust your instincts and what they’re telling you. If you keep getting the feeling like you’re living on the wrong side of the country or, hell, the world — move. If there’s an idea for a business that you keep circling back to, take a risk and go as far as you can with it. Worse case scenario, it doesn’t work out. No biggie.
4. See things through, whether it be a project or ending a relationship smoothly — try to finish what you start.
You’ll be happy in the long run when you can look back and say that you finished a draft of that book. Or you ended things cleanly with someone you were dating, and don’t have to deal with the, “Ugh, what if I see them somewhere?!” feelings. Don’t leave things open-ended if you can help it.
5. Don’t be afraid to say good-bye to friends who are toxic or trying to hold you back.
It’s one thing if a friend needs your help to get out of a bad situation, but it’s quite another if they want to drag you down into it. Know when it’s time to say goodbye to someone who isn’t going to make your life better.
6. Travel in your early twenties as much as possible.
As your twenties go on and you start to gain more responsibility, traveling will get harder and harder. So see the world while you can. Couch surf, stay in hostels, do whatever it takes to get out of your comfort zone — aka your hometown.
7. Learn to save money.
Even if that means squirreling away 5 bucks here and there. Yes, there will be times when you will have to dip into this, but it’s more about starting the habit than amassing a cash pile.
8. Don’t be too hard on yourself.
You will make mistakes. It. Will. Happen. Just remember that everyone is, has, and will continue to make them, including yourself. I know it may feel like the universe is collapsing, but its really just the universe taking a collective FML moment.
9. And don’t be hard on others — stop acting like you’re still in high school.
Admittedly this is a hard one. Wasting your time being critical of other people — and the mistakes they make — will only bring you a short-term sense of self-satisfaction, and is a waste of energy in the long run.
It’s also important to remember that you wouldn’t want people judging you for your mistakes.
10. Don’t be dumb about sex.
Well, be dumb — just use protection and get tested.
11. Spend more time with your family, because you’re finally in an age range where you can grow closer to them.
You’ll find the older you get the more you appreciate and respect your family — especially your parents.
12. Lots of people your age are going to be more successful than you, but comparing yourself isn’t going to get you any closer to being them.
Just do you, in your own time.
13. Learn to take criticism, because you really DON’T KNOW IT ALL.
Nobody likes criticism, be it in your personal or professional life, but it’s important that you learn how to take it (don’t always jump to the defense) and grow from it.
Always remember that most criticism from family, friends, and colleagues comes from a good place and is meant to be constructive.
14. Don’t waste time with getting into passive-aggressive fights, online or IRL.
Seriously, this is middle school level BS. If you have an issue with a friend, discuss it with them privately. Chances are that you will get a resolution quicker and can move on, instead of dragging it out over an unnecessary extended period of time on Facebook.
15. Spend quality time with your friends that doesn’t involve going to a bar and texting other people.
Sorry, that might make me sound like a super old fart bag, but it’s true: You won’t remember the time you texted someone at a bar. You’ll remember something your friend said at the bar if you pay attention.
16. Learn to embrace getting older and remember turning 30 is NOT the end of the world.
Don’t be afraid to grow up. Yes, your twenties will be the most freeing and exciting time in your life, but trust me it will not be the greatest.
17. You will date lots of people who are WRONG for you. So DON’T overthink and/or stress out if it doesn’t work out.
Dating in your twenties can be a roller coaster; you’ll meet a lot of people that you know deep down are completely wrong for you in every way. It’s important to follow that instinct, instead of thinking you can change a person.
Also, sometimes you’ll have a great first, second, and even third date, and then it’s just over. You might not ever hear from them again (DID THIS PERSON DIE?!). Just remember: People are just discovering themselves and might be unsure what they’re looking for in a relationship.