1. Love somebody so much that you lose yourself entirely in the process and have to start all over from scratch when it ends.
2. Take a job that overworks and under appreciates you. Use it as a benchmark for the kind of treatment you won’t accept in future positions.
3. Spend a massive amount of money on something that’s completely impractical and feel absolutely zero guilt about it.
4. Hold onto a dream long after you have stopped wanting it because you don’t want to be the person who gave up.
5. Live somewhere you hate with absolutely terrible roommates, just because the rent is cheap.
6. Meet someone you think you’re going to be with forever and then lose them and have to reshape your entire future as you’d planned it.
7. Let jealousy come between you and a friend who used to mean the world to you. Realize that to get through your twenties you’re going to have to become a bigger, more wholehearted version of yourself who can accept your own inadequacies and celebrate the victories of others simultaneously.
8. Have absolutely atrocious sex.
9. Give too much of yourself to a friend or loved one in need and realize the importance of healthy, self-enforced boundaries.
10. Waste entire days (or months or years) of your life stuck inside watching Netflix because you do not feel good enough to go outside and actually live your life.
11. Make a decision based on pure, hard logic that ends up making you miserable.
12. Follow someone else’s dream because you don’t know what else to do and subsequently end up in your own version of hell.
13. Do something while drunk that you regret in a huge, unfunny way. Learn the importance of respecting your own limits.
14. Fall in love with someone who unequivocally, irrevocably does not love you back. Realize that their lack of love does not define you.
15. Commit to someone you should not have committed to because you were unsure about them from the get-go. Watch it go down in flames and learn the importance of respecting other people’s hearts.
16. Get a seriously. Bad. Haircut.
17. State your opinion about something you have not thoroughly researched and end up sounding like a bumbling idiot.
18. Forget to take care of yourself physically and realize the hard way how much of your mental well-being relies upon your health.
19. Spend years blaming your problems on everybody except yourself and watch said problems multiply with vigor.
20. Let the same person disappoint you so many times that genuinely start to forget what it feels like to be loved properly.
21. Distract yourself from pain to the point where you feel nothing but numbness for a long stretch of time. Realize the striking contrast when you begin to let your feelings back in and appreciate the ways in which your life expands as a consequence.
22. Become the very definition of the friend or the lover who you never wanted to be. Let it serve as a basis for compassion when someone else is that friend or lover to you.
23. Stay where you are comfortable for so long that you no longer remember what it feels like to be challenged or to push your own limits.
24. Take a huge risk that absolutely bombs and realize – probably after a long period of self-loathing – that life goes on after our mistakes.
25. Let your ego get so big that you deny yourself connection with very people who have the absolute most to teach you.
26. Get used to things going well and stop putting in the effort that got you there in the first place. Watch how quickly your success deteriorates around you.
27. Take the love and devotion of your family for granted. Realize as time goes on that they are the only true constant and that you could never properly thank them for all of the support they have given you.
28. Give in to feeling your emotions so fully that you regress into a petty, purely reactionary version of yourself.
29. Wait for life to get better instead of working to improve your circumstances. Realize that you’ll probably be waiting forever.
30. Beat yourself up over all of the mistakes that you’ve made – and then realize that without each one, you wouldn’t be anywhere close to the person you are today.