1. Spending too much time online. People who criticize others for being online too much aren’t exactly going to art museums and symphonies the rest of the day. The Internet is about as if not more useful than watching TV or reading a book. Hell, you’re reading right now.
2. Not caring about your work. Obviously, you should meet the requirements to keep your job. But anyone that believes you should have emotional investment in the rental car business or waiting tables is living a delusion, Do your job well, but go ahead and hate it.
3. Drinking. If you aren’t missing work or hating your friends or beating your family, a drink here and there will not destroy you. You’re liver, on the other hand…
4. Being single. People who need to be in a relationship are weird. Enjoy alone time. It won’t last forever and you can’t really break up with yourself.
5. Being an “individual”. Not doing something because everyone else is doing it is the same as doing something because everyone else is doing it.
6. Enjoying a pop song all your friends hate. See above. Love what you love; that’s all there is to it.
7. Not reading as much as you did in high school If you’re a bill-paying, tax-fearing adult, chances are you don’t have the sort of free time being a teenager allowed you. Plus, as previously stated, you’re reading right now.
8. Hating someone. Despite what any pop psychologist will tell you, hate is a healthy response to habits you don’t like. It keeps you in good company. But like anything else, too much can destroy you.
9. Not working in the field of your degree. Welcome to the club.
10. Choosing a “useless” degree. No degree is really useless, from an education perspective. And once upon a time, there were jobs in psychology and communications.
11. Not responding to texts right away. This might shock some of the younger readers out there, but unless someone was conscious, not in the shower, and at home, you used to not be able to contact them at all. The person on the other end can wait to hear back about your plans this weekend.
12. Facebook etiquette. Honestly, how much longer will Facebook be useful? I personally haven’t logged on in months as all the people important to me have my damn phone number. Don’t want to “Like” every single one of your birthday messages? Want to just stop replying to end a conversation? Just do it. It’s a convenience; it shouldn’t feel like work.
13. Not being on Tumblr/Reddit/Twitter. For the most part, these are websites to waste time on. Tumblr can introduce you to some nice art, Reddit can often be quite informative, and Twitter can often be very entertaining, but rarely will someone look back on their life and say “Damn, I should have retweeted that one Dave Weigel joke.”
14. Making a driving mistake. If you didn’t kill or maim anyone, then forget about it. So you had to make a last minute left turn from a right lane because you’re GPS froze? Everyone around you will get over it. You refused to pass that one Civic driving slow because the left median had no shoulder? Good. Never do anything in a car if you aren’t comfortable doing it.
15. That pizza/cheeseburger/burrito you had last night. There is very little use to hating every fatty meal you have unless those comprise most of your diet. If you’re the type to hate yourself for eating fatty foods, you probably don’t have much to worry about.
16. Having a visible belly. So you don’t look as good in white as Jennifer Lawrence or Ryan Gosling? Any potential mate holding out for someone of that appearance is likely not worth your time.
17. Not buying organic. Want to know a secret to share with your Whole Foods friends? Organic food offers no better nutrition than its genetically modified counterparts.
18. Being broke. Someone has to be, right? Hooray, capitalism!
19. Forgetting a detail about your significant other. One of the reasons we enjoy being in love is the idea that someone has seen all of us and still finds us physically and emotionally attractive. But did you know you can still feel that way even if you forget their eye color? Their favorite dessert? The full details of the pony ride they took when they were six?
20. Not listening to that band or seeing that movie everyone says you should. I managed to go a whole winter without seeing Zero Dark Thirty or Argo, and look at that! Neither has ever come up in conversation.
21. Watching trashy TV. As a personal fan of Buckwild (may Shain Gandee go mudding in the heavens), I can tell you there is definitely something to be learned from watching people with whom you have nothing in common.
22. Being labeled a hipster. The only thing Jerry Seinfeld has ever said which made me laugh is “If they’re really hipsters, how can there be so many of them?” Calling someone in skinny jeans or thick-framed glasses a “hipster” would be like calling anyone wearing bell-bottoms in 1971 a “hippie”. There’s a difference between fashion and lifestyle.
23. Sleeping with the wrong person. Mistakes are how we learn.
24. Obsessing over a relationship you had in high school. I once met a girl in high school who said she would never date while in high school. This is a terrible philosophy as high school is when you learn what you want from a person, including yourself. Go ahead and review those times; some lessons are worth remembering.
25. Hating yourself. As with anything here, taken to an extreme degree it can be quite awful. However, don’t think you’re a sad sack because you have regrets. The person who dies without regrets never enjoys the love of risk.