21 Ways You Should Take Advantage Of Your 20s

1. Don’t feel the need to respond to every text message, phone call, and email the second it reaches you. Once upon a time, it took longer than a minute to reach someone. People used stamps and envelopes; they had answering machines they didn’t check for hours, sometimes days. No one will die if you don’t immediately respond to every message you receive.

2. Ask for what’s owed to you. Half the time, you’re not getting your needs met because you’re not making them known. Your employers, romantic interests, and friends are not going to read your mind and give you what you need unless you speak up.

3. Never turn down an open bar. Seek them out and make them a priority. Indulging in open bars when you’re older isn’t appropriate because a) people will think you have an alcohol problem and b) you’re supposed to have enough money to afford your own alcohol.

4. If you’re unhappy and someone offers you a way out, take it. You don’t owe your first job years of loyalty and your first-born; you don’t have to stay in your city just because you’re on a first-name basis with the bodega guy. Do what feels right; the initial fear will give way to excitement.



More From Thought Catalog

  • Kevin

    The only theme parties that exist after your 20s are ‘Wedding,’ ‘Baby Shower,’ and ‘Funeral.’
    haaaaaaa classic

    • http://gravatar.com/shotaiken shotaiken

      Pirate. I used to hang out with someone who threw the best pirate parties. To this day, he is still hosting them.

      I want to host Lolita Tea Parties, because PRETTY fun…

  • http://www.facebook.com/richakashelkar Richa Kashelkar

    Haha! Very witty! Makes me feel happy I am 25 :D

  • http://www.itmakesmestronger.com/2012/07/21-ways-you-should-take-advantage-of-your-20s/ Only L<3Ve @ ItMakesMeStronger.com

    […] Thought Catalog » Life Add a comment […]

  • how'boutbangsinstead?

    Wise words… except #15.



    • Autumn C

      How about you stop telling LADIES what to do with their bodies?

      • noelle

        Please calm yourself, oh overcompensating feminist. If men were shaving half their heads we’d say it looks ridiculous as well. Actually, they do. It’s called a mullet. And I’m damn sure most men think other men should stop getting mullets. Cause it looks damn near ridiculous. It’s an opinion on a haircut, not the repeal of the 19th amendment.

      • http://shotaiken.wordpress.com shotaiken


        No one should be telling ANYONE what to do with their bodies.
        Different people have different opinions of what is attractive.

    • Wes

      Noelle, you’re my hero!

      • nic

        Mine too!

      • andrea

        miss noelle, men can do whatever the fuck they want with their hair and its not our place to judge them. Just as it’s no grandma’s place to talk down a woman for doing so

    • http://www.twitter.com/shhake Lana

      I’m not the ladies.

      • noelle

        Nobody is talking down to anybody. You’re missing the point of sites like these; they’re for sharing thoughts, ideas, opinions. Opinions aren’t dangerous, in se. Nobody here aims to oppress.

      • andrea

        its not the dissenting opinion that upset me, its how you *in my opinion* ridiculed autumn c for being an ‘overcompensating feminist’.

      • Katie F

        Maybe Autumn C should not have made her response so obviously hostile. She would probably be taken more seriously if she found a less aggressive way to make her views heard.

      • h

        nice Girls reference

  • Guest

    Awesome, let me just take my nonexistent 20’s salary and go abroad, buy REAL NON-PROCESSED FOOD, and purchase all the shitty polyester dresses I can find.

    Get real.

    • Day

      Ooh la la, temper temper. Nah, JK

    • S

      You don’t use YOUR non-existent salary. You’re in your 20s, you use your parents salary while they’re still willing to pay for your shit. :)

      • http://twitter.com/AliPants Nosilla Remarc (@AliPants)

        :) not everyone :) in their 20s has parents :) or ones who :) will pay for their “shit” :) ;)

  • http://twitter.com/suh_me_rah Samira Nejad (@suh_me_rah)

    I can’t be the only one tired of the TC articles giving vague, condescending advice on how to be in “your 20’s.”

    • http://www.facebook.com/brandonwhumphries Brandon Humphries

      No, your not the only one.

    • Jeannie

      Thank you. Not just you. Seems like TC has five of them a day.

    • Jay-Zzz

      YES. Thank you for bringing this up. They all contradict one another. It’s either “don’t EVER let go of your college life ways” or “take up an adult hobby like 401K investing.” Excuse me while I go get piss drunk at an open bar and then purchase an adult Pottery Barn sofa.

      • Debbie Downer

        #2 is pretty awesome. Ask for what is “owed” to you, yet if you follow the rest of the list your whole life revolves around booze, sex, late night munchies, and lack of class/responsibility. Kudos, you made it!

    • Katie

      Thank God someone else said it. Stop bossing me around, Thought Catalog.

    • dani

      you’re still reading them so…..

  • http://twitter.com/HelloPresto Preston Porter (@HelloPresto)


  • http://burritosandmosquitos.com/2012/07/05/21-ways/ 21 Ways… « burritosandmosquitos

    […] Thought Catalog :: 21 Ways You Should Take Advantage of Your 20s 37.443658 -122.181496 Share this:TwitterFacebookStumbleUponPinterestEmailLike this:LikeBe the first to like this. Tagged carpe diem, lists, Thought Catalog […]

  • Hannah

    Where are these sex marathons? Huh? I can’t find them.

    • http://twitter.com/rtc247 Ridethecliche247 (@rtc247)


      For shame.

      • Hannah

        Yep, really. I haven’t seen one since I was 19.

    • Wes

      I agree, I think this is a catalog for early 20’s. I’m 26 now and haven’t the time to do any of this. I’m such a loser now… fml…

      • Lindsay

        I’m 26 too and I haven’t had time either…I don’t feel like a loser though. Those puppies, children, weddings and baby showers are no where in my future so I get to do all this cool shit for the rest of my life. Awesome!

      • Nicole

        I agree, I’m 25 and feel like I’ve taken enough advantage of these things.

    • http://twitter.com/AliPants Nosilla Remarc (@AliPants)

      For real. And I don’t think all 20something guys have the fleeting refractory period you take for granted.

  • http://cairer.wordpress.com careliu

    Reblogged this on lorem ipsum.

  • xra

    i’m all about #1, but damn it can piss people off when they’re used to getting texts in 45 seconds

    cheap indian viagra makes #5 a non-issue

  • LF

    Can’t say that I care for this list. It seems like this is encouragement to be tacky looking and acting alcoholics.

  • Kate

    salt and pepper aren’t garnishes….they’re seasonings. i guess pepper could sort of be one, but definitely not salt.

  • Jarbens

    What a stupid fu*king article, give me a break. More like “things to do as a teenager before you hit your 20’s.” I feel like a 21 year old wrote this; never turn down an open bar?! Comon, you can still show a little class in your 20’s. Grow the F up.

    • btst

      I am 21 and even I think this is a load of bullcrap..

  • http://www.facebook.com/sarah.n.knutson Sarah N. Knutson

    After another TC article, I took the plunge and went to Ireland for 10 days. People, the whole thing was less than $1600. My plane ticket was more expensive than being there. It can be done, and done well. So glad I went!!

    • Kenni

      Some of us don’t exactly have a spare $1600 floating around our bank accounts and it can’t always be done.

    • Grr

      Nor can we afford to take off 10 days sans pay…

  • http://rachelsbirthday.wordpress.com Rachel Clements

    Reblogged this on Ad Astra Per Aspera.

  • http://summerlights2011.wordpress.com/2012/07/05/five-for-20s-how-im-alive-so-far/ Five for 20′s: How I’m Alive so Far « [Summer Lights]

    […] sums of money… or energy, and hey, we have more time to mess it all up right? After reading this article from the Thought Catalogue, I was trying to think… what have I made of my short lived […]

  • http://uwbuckyetlist.wordpress.com uwbuckyetblog

    Reblogged this on The Buckyet List and commented:
    We don’t typically reblog posts, but this list is so good, we’ll make an exception.

  • Chloe

    19 about to be 20 and I cannot wait to do all of this. Going to Russia next week! And so it begins…

  • Joe

    Well, I’m about to turn 29 so is any of this still solid advice?

  • Debbie Downer

    This should be titled “21 ways to show society you are a self-serving rich-kid with a sense of entitlement and lack of responsibility, because even if you fail at life your parents will bail you out”

    • http://www.facebook.com/DavidShefchik David Shefchik

      Lol, I’m 23, graduated from college (paid with loans and working) and make a kickass salary as a software developer. I do all this and have more fun than ever. I also earned all this. Awwww Is someone upset they weren’t successful in their 20s?

      • Faye

        haha that’s awesome! People need to reevaluate themselves and aim for higher standards. I can’t stand reading stupid comments and it’s very sad people haven’t experienced things mentioned above. 22 yr old.. graduated from nursing school and did these things and even took the time to travel in between school. So happy to know we’re young and successful.

  • Gerry

    It’s actually quite amusing at parts, but guys why you’re hating on this? Isn’t the theme of this article is really about taking risks and having fun living life… until your body is too old to do shit like these

  • Kel

    Ohhh okay, I get it – I’m not supposed to be successful in my twenties! Because when I’m 28 I want to be showing up to work hungover and in a dress that’s falling apart. When my Boss fires me, it will be okay because I’m in my twenties! Who needs a house or a future or a savings account when you have an open bar and fast food at 4am! I didn’t bust my ass in college to graduate and act like an 18 year old. The writer of this should be ashamed for making loser 25 year olds still living like 17 year olds who just discovered beer feel like their pathetic lifestyle is still justifiable.

    • Hailie

      Chill beb.

    • http://www.facebook.com/DavidShefchik David Shefchik

      It sounds like someone doesn’t manage their life very well. It’s quite easy to be successful, save for the future, and yet be reckless and have a ton of fun all at the same time (ask me)

      • Daphne

        David: Dude, stop with the condescending statements. We’re all trying to bust our asses to live the best version of our own lives.

        The job market isn’t exactly friendly to everyone who decides they want to be successful. Do you know how many other jobs exist that aren’t in software development? Did you know that only 9% of those who apply for medical school in the US get accepted?

        I’m happy you feel like a boss with your life. Now stop picking on everyone else because no matter how truly hard some people work, they may not fall into your position.

      • S

        I don’t really think the list sucks. Most of us have done stuff like this at some point. You can be successful and still do things like this on off-time. You can be successful and enjoy an open bar. You can buy cheap clothes that look nice. You can have plenty of sex and still have a respectable job. You can save your money, even if it takes a couple years, and take a vacation. It’s not like the article is saying, “do this everyday, all day and don’t give a shit about anything else.” It’s just saying that you should enjoy being young while you can, because things change, real life sets in and its harder to do things that you could once do.
        So many people stress about things they think are a huge deal when they shouldn’t. You’ll look back at your life and realize it wasn’t as catastrophic as you thought it was at the time.

      • wotchertonks

        David pretty much defines his ideology by saying in another comment “Put it all on a credit card” that’s not successful. That’s irresponsible if you can’t pay for it at this point in our economy. Having a bunch of overly nice stuff on credit is just proof youre a problem, not a success.

  • dean

    this list sucks a$$… you can tell that this written by a depressed 30 year old. it’s almost like he thinks you can’t still do a lot of these things in your 30s… why does he suggest picking up READING? why not HOLD OFF ON THAT until we are too old to move out of our beds. wedding, baby shower, and funeral? DAMN THIS GUY’S LIFE SUCKS. how about birthday parties? halloween partys? fourth of july? i can make fun of this list for hours!!! but it would be a waste of my time, as well as the amount of time i have ALREADY wasted on this depressed garbage.

    • http://gravatar.com/thedenverite thedenverite

      And depressing reply.

  • 31

    haha quit panicking. none of this ends at 30 unless you choose for it to end. some of this stopped for me way earlier because i got bored with it, and some of it will probably continue til i’m 40. just be happy you’re not dead and use that as motivation to do everything you want, now.

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