5 Mistakes Every 20-Something Should Make

Call me corny, call me Sorority Girl Sentimental, but I believe that everything happens for a reason. Of course, this is coming from someone who was hit by a car when they were 20 years old and lost 70% function in their left hand, so maybe I’m a little inclined to believe it just so I can sleep easy at night. But tragic accidents notwithstanding, I really don’t regret anything I’ve ever done. And you shouldn’t either! Are you familiar with the 1998 Sheryl Crow classic, “My Favorite Mistake”?  Not all mistakes are bad! Some can actually change your life (and not just by giving you an incurable STD.) Here are some blunders that I think every 20-something is entitled to make!

1. Have a one-night stand.

Welcome to Chicken Soup For The Twentysomething Soul, y’all! The first mistake I’m going to ask you to make is to take home a random person and have a one-night stand with them. If you’ve never done it before, you really oughta. It’s an important notch on everyone’s IKEA bedpost. When I was traveling in Europe after college, I slept with a stranger and it was T E R R I B L E — so much so that I immediately made an appointment with my shame spiral that lasted about two days. But you know what? No rEgRetS! Carpe diem! La Dolce Vita… or something. It was important for me to see if I could do it, if I was capable of having vacuous sex with someone whose name I still can’t recall for the life of me. Even though it ultimately turned out that I wasn’t suited for it, I’m still glad I did it. There are some things in life that you know for certain you wouldn’t like (meth, karaoke, hair extensions) but having a one-night stand shouldn’t be one of them. Go try it! If it turns out to be a disaster, you can absolve your guilt by blaming it all on me! I really don’t mind…

2. Blow money you don’t have on a trip to Europe.

When I think of all the money I’ve spent on eating out, late night cab rides, and general nothingness, I realize I could’ve gone to Europe like 6 times with that money. It’s always hard to rationalize a huge purchase but I don’t think we realize how much bread (money slang, hi) we waste every day on pointless stuff. I mean, I once went on a shopping blackout and charged four $50 candles and La Mer eye cream to my credit card, okay? Going to Europe may seem like a huge financial strain but if you’re going to go into colossal debt, you might as well be making out with foreigners and eating ceviche on a beach somewhere. It’s way better than eye cream and a fig candle, trust me.

3. DO DRUGS. (Don’t do drugs?) Maybe do a few drugs…

This is a super touchy subject. Like I don’t want to encourage you to go out and try something like coke for the “experience” because guess what? Coke sucks and you might accidentally like it too much and become addicted. Coke is one of those drugs that can become love at first snort. Granted, it wasn’t for me — I was too emotionally invested in eating and sleeping to become hooked — but I’ve seen it happen to other people. You’re better off doing something like acid, shrooms, or maybe even Ecstasy — drugs that aren’t so addictive because they’re just too insane. You don’t see people on Intervention being like, “I just need another tab of acid just to get through the day,” or “I can’t go to work without eating some shrooms…” and you know why? Because those drugs take your brain and dump all of its contents out on an isolated meadow in Santa Cruz. You can’t do anything for a day because you’re too busy doing cartwheels and licking your own hair. As long as you stick to doing non-functioning college drugs like that and avoid anything that’s ever been an epidemic, you’ll be fine… I think.

4. Have a job that makes you want to die.

Everyone needs to have a crappy job. It’s practically the 20-something law. We can’t all be like Lauren Conrad and steam the occasional dress at an “internship” before landing our own fashion line. To get anywhere, you need to start from the bottom, which usually means getting metaphorical dumps taken on your face by a boss who’s only a year older than you, and pretending that you’re busy when you’re really just G-chatting your BFF and reading Thought Catalog. It’s okay though! This will end eventually. I’m (almost) sure of it. One day you’ll be taking dumps on someone else’s face and  everything will come full circle. Ah, ain’t life grand? I can’t wait till I can sh-t on someone’s face. Maybe it’ll happen when I’m 30?

5. Go to grad school.

JK. Don’t do that. I would suggest doing lines of coke with your one night stand in the dressing room at Marc Jacobs before you do a silly thing like grad school. If you must though, only go to one that James Franco is currently attending. That way you can date him, end up on his payroll as a “muse” and never have to worry about a career. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.

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