Thought Catalog
September 6, 2016

20 Things You Must Do In Your 20’s To Avoid Messing Up Your Entire Life

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KevinCarden / Lightstock
KevinCarden / Lightstock

1. Take risks.

Don’t hide from the world. Don’t let your fears overcome you. And don’t let the people around you tell you what you should or should not do. Go for it. Take that leap.

2. Step out of your comfort zone.

Staying in the same place, and doing the same thing every day will do nothing but bring you down. Explore what this world has to offer for you. Explore your dislikes and likes. Meet new people even if it makes you uncomfortable. Step out of your comfort and watch as your life transforms for the better.

3. Move.

Move to a new place. Move where you always dreamed you would be by now, but haven’t had the guts to do it. Take a walk where you have never been down before. Move to a big city. Move to the countryside. Don’t stay stagnant. Go.

4. Set up a savings account.

Start setting aside money now. It doesn’t have to be a lot. But a little right now, will go a long way in a few years. Set some aside for travel. Set some aside for a new place. Set some aside for your future kids. Set some aside for your kid’s education. Set some aside for retirement. Your future self will thank you.

5. Let go.

Let go of the people who did you wrong, and forgive them for it. Let go of that ex you can’t get out of your mind, and let him go, for good. Let go of the mistakes you have made in the past. Let go of your list of things you thought you would have checked off by now. Let go of everything that has held you down for this long.

6. Fall in love.

Fall in love with the beginnings that come when the leaves start to fall in October. Fall in love with the crisp air and the way it feels to be held by loved ones. Fall in love with the sound of your friends laughing. Fall in love with what it’s like put yourself first. And fall in love with yourself.

7. Don’t compare.

Don’t compare yourself to others. Don’t compare the amount of Instagram likes you have versus what your friends have. Don’t compare other 23 year olds to yourself. Don’t compare your jobs. Don’t compare your bodies. Don’t think of yourself as less than any one of these people. Everyone is on their own journey. Everyone is on their own path.

8. Make mistakes.

Make an error at work and fess up. Fall in love with someone who only likes your body. Make a toxic friendship that will end up breaking your heart. Make those mistakes. And then learn from them. And be better. Do better.

9. Get your heart broken.

Fall head over heels, and then let him break your heart. Feel yourself sink down onto the earth and want to die. Feel yourself cry and let all that sadness wash over you. Get your heart broken over and over again, and keep on moving. Survive. Breathe. Get your heart broken, and be better for it. Be stronger for it.

10. Be kind.

Be kind to your next-door neighbor who lives alone. Smile at your mail man. Listen to your friends when they tell you that they are sad. Hold them. Tell your loved ones how grateful you are for them. Be kind. And become a happier person for it.

11. Listen to your parents.

Listen to them when they give you advice. Let them help you when they offer to. Listen to them when they tell you he is bad news. Listen to them when they ask you to not do something. You are not a child. But you are still their baby. So, listen.

12. Say goodbye.

Say goodbye to all the people who left you without a reason. Say goodbye to the toxic people in your life who only make you feel worse. Say goodbye to the individuals who want you to fail. Say goodbye to your childhood house. Move on to better and bigger things.

13. Do not settle.

Do not settle for less than you deserve. Ever. Do not settle for people who treat you like trash. Do not settle for living at a place you despise. Do not settle for hanging out with people only because they seem cool. Do not settle. You are worth so, so much more.

14. Accept yourself.

Accept yourself for all that you are. Stop wishing you had better hair, bigger boobs, or a smaller stomach. Accept your mistakes and your insecurities. And don’t apologize for being yourself.

15. Love your flaws.

Love all of you, no matter what. Love yourself because sometimes, no one else can right now. Love your way too loud laugh and the way your nose crinkles when you laugh. Love and embrace all of what makes you, you. Be proud of the person that you are. Be proud of your imperfections.

16. Forgive.

Forgive people who have betrayed you. Forgive people who have done you wrong. And forgive yourself for letting them. Forgive yourself for your past. Forgive yourself for doing what was best for you at that time. Forgive. And let go.

17. Breathe.

When all else fails, just breathe. You are surviving. And sometimes, that is all you can do. And that’s ok.

18. Don’t apologize for being you.

Never ever apologize for feeling how you are feeling. Never apologize for putting yourself first. Don’t apologize for knowing what you deserve and knowing your worth.

19. Be smart.

Be smart in all of your decisions. Really think about your choices. Be smart with who you choose to hang out with and spend time with. Be smart with what you put into your body. Be smart with who you open up to with. Be smart for yourself.

20. Have fun.

Above all else, have fun. Enjoy these crazy years called your twenties. Have the time of your life and take advantage of your youth. TC mark