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13 Bad Ideas You Have In Your 20s That You’ll Never Regret

We all make bad decisions sometimes. We’re not perfect, and we need to make mistakes to learn.

Our 20s are full of mistakes. How many times have we woken up the next morning with a killer hangover and thought, “Ugh, what am I even doing?” We're acting without thinking, left and right, and it doesn't always end well.

However, amidst all of these bad decisions, we never seem to have any regrets. Occasionally, but not many. There are some decisions that our parents and friends might look at and think, “Oof, that was not a good idea,” but we're not as concerned.

For us, we realize they’re decisions we’ll never regret, ever.

Maybe we're dumb, but hey, if we're living a life with no regrets, I'd say we're not doing half bad. Even if these decisions are bad, they’re still ours.

1. Getting very few hours of sleep

There’s so much we want to accomplish in this life, just thinking about it sends us into a panic attack. Every time we come home for the holidays, we sleep through most of it, and our parents tell us for the hundredth time that we need to start getting more sleep.

We never do, though. Every day, we wake up after four hours of sleep — five, if we’re lucky — and curse the stupid, cheery sun.

We know we’re not doing our bodies any favors by treating them like this, but at the same time, the nights we stayed up until 3 am working on our next great idea were some of our most productive nights yet.

The nights we stayed out until 4:30 am drinking whiskey and exploring the city with our equally-as-reckless friends are times we’ll never forget.

We’re not getting enough sleep, but the hours we spent awake instead of asleep are hours we wouldn’t trade for anything.


2. Doing a long-distance relationship

It's basically a fact that distance sucks.

If we ever have the choice, we choose not to have to do the distance thing, with our friends or with our significant others. Sometimes, though, there is no choice.

When we choose long distance, there's no guarantee it will last; more often than not, it doesn't. More often than not, it ends in tears and is the most intense heartbreak we've ever felt. Yet, despite everything, doing distance taught us patience and, of course, how to fight.

The person we were willing to date, even though he or she lived miles away, was clearly so worth it. It sucked; it hurt us, and maybe it ended, but if we had to go back and do it all over again, we still would.


3. Eating mass amounts of food at 4 in the morning

In our 20s, we're suddenly feeling the effects of no longer being a teenager with a kick-ass metabolism. The things we eat don't just evaporate from our bodies afterward.

They stick to us, to our thighs and our bellies and other places we didn't even know it was possible to gain weight.

We get home from work or partying, and even though it's super late, we pop a frozen pizza in the oven and, oops, eat the whole thing by ourselves. Okay, maybe it wasn't the smartest decision, and yes, the scale is going to reflect that decision tomorrow, but still.

In that moment, the pizza or cream cheese-covered toast or bag of M&M's provided us with a moment of solace after a long day, and it's hard to regret something that truly made us feel better.


4. Blowing all your money on something reckless

Let's face it: Being in your 20s usually means being perpetually broke. We're living in cities that are too expensive and working jobs that don't pay enough. We can't afford anything.

Occasionally, we'll come into some money somehow, some way, and we feel like we've made it, even if it's only a couple hundred dollars.

We promise ourselves we're going to be smart with this money, put it into savings and leave it there; but then we need to visit our best friend in Colorado or our mom desperately needs that craft fair necklace for Christmas.

And, just like that, it's gone again. We kick ourselves later for being broke again, but we don't regret spending that money at all. We may wish we had more money, but we're still glad that at least we spent it on something that mattered to us.


5. Crying in public

Personally, I cry a lot. In this world, there's a lot of beauty and a lot of pain, and both are worth crying over. Sometimes, this beauty or pain hits you all at once and you just can't hold it in anymore; you have to cry it out. Unfortunately, when this happens, we aren't always alone.

I've cried in public on probably too many occasions. Many, many strangers have seen me lose it. You'd think this would be the most embarrassing thing (and it still kind of is), but in a way, it's kind of calming.

When you're crying alone, you're exactly that — alone. If you lose it in public, you're at least surrounded by people who might now think you're crazy, but who also know struggle, and that's comforting.


6. Failing something

We are not invincible, but when we're young, sometimes we think we are. We're getting no sleep and making crazy decisions left and right.

We believe that no matter what we do, everything will somehow work out. In a way it's true, but we also need to learn it won't always be that way. Everything won't always work out, and when it doesn't, we need to learn how to be okay with that, and how to move on.

We need to fail to learn how to succeed again. Failure is crucial to our eventual success.


7. Staying up until 3 am the night before a flight/exam/interview/something fairly important

Have you ever noticed that the more pressure you put on yourself to get to sleep, the less likely it is it'll actually happen?

Every time you know you have something important the next day, you give yourself a thousand different bedtimes that keep getting pushed back.

It suddenly becomes vital that you go grab a drink with your friend or watch “An Extremely Goofy Movie” (even though “A Goofy Movie” is way better).

The next day, you're tired and not 100 percent on your game, but it makes you realize what's important to you.


8. Calling out of work for no reason

We're young, and we're still learning how to be responsible. We do a good job most of the time, but sometimes, we just don't feel like it.

Even if you're feeling fine and could easily make it in to work, even when you know people are counting on you to show up, there are some days when you'd just rather stay in bed, go to the park or watch one of those ever-occuring “Law and Order: SVU” marathons.

In the moment you decide to ditch work, you may think you're being irresponsible, but if you think about it, you realize you probably needed that mental health day.

We do our best, but we can't be on top of it every day. Sometimes, all we need is a moment to breathe.


9. Getting lost

Yes, it can be super frustrating when you’re on your way to a party and Google maps just isn’t on your side that day. You thought you knew where you were going, but the truth is you simply don’t.

Being late sucks, and not knowing where you are makes you feel like you’re losing control. Really, though, being lost isn’t so bad. No one knows where you are, not even you, and you have no idea what you might discover.

We’re so busy; when do we ever have time to just explore? Being lost allows us that. I’ll be honest: Sometimes, I like to get lost on purpose.


10. Having a one-night stand

In general, one-night stands are often bad ideas. We sleep with a person — be it a rando or a friend — and run the risk of one person getting attached or making things weird afterward.

We argue with our conscience beforehand about the goodness of this idea, and often end up doing it anyway because, let's face it: Sex is fun. Afterward, even if things end exactly as we thought they might, we still don't regret it. It was fun and it was spontaneous.

Sure, maybe it was a little stupid, too, but as long as we were safe about it, it will always be an interesting memory.


11. Befriending someone no one else likes

A lot of us have that one friend with the strong personality whom everyone else is a little bit unsure about. We try to sell this person to our other friends, but are often unsuccessful.

We end up having to balance hanging out with him or her and everyone else, as people get annoyed if we include this friend in group plans. Being this person's friend can be a challenge, but in the end, you're his or her friend for a reason.

His or her strong personality means this person has strong opinions about the things he or she believes in, and talking to him or her is always fascinating. This person is an amazing friend to have, even if everyone else doesn't see it yet.

You come to realize along the way that you wouldn't give up this friendship for anything.


12. Drinking way too much in one night

We've all done it. We declare to ourselves beforehand, “Tonight, I will not drink that much!” And, then, we totally do. Way too much.

We text the person we made our friends promise not to let us text (but, then, they got drunk, too). We puke in the craziest places; we befriend strangers; we lose some items of clothing along the way, and we collect stories we'll tell over again over the years as we relive our craziest nights.

The only regret we have about it is how hungover we are the next day, because ouch.


13. Falling in love with someone you know you can't have

One of our biggest flaws and greatest assets in our 20s is that we love too fiercely. We have a lot of love to give, and not enough places to put it. Sometimes, we fall in love, and it works out beautifully. Then, sometimes, it doesn't.

Sometimes, we fall in love and the other person doesn't love us back. We experience heartbreak, and it's unlike anything we've ever felt before in our lives. Despite all the pain and the countless hours spent wishing things were different, we still had love, and that's more than a lot of people can say.

We had love; it didn't work out, and like most of the experiences in our 20s, we still wouldn't trade it for anything.

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Caitlin Jill Anders

Contributor

Caitlin Jill Anders is a writer, amateur photographer (she gets Instagram “likes” sometimes), and gluten free eater. She likes green apples, pugs, Law and Order SVU marathons, whiskey, writing "about me's," and brunch.
Caitlin Jill Anders is a writer, amateur photographer (she gets Instagram “likes” sometimes), and gluten free eater. She likes green apples, pugs, Law and Order SVU marathons, whiskey, writing "about me's," and brunch.

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