How do you know if you’re taking full advantage of your 20s, making all the right decisions in your personal and professional lives?
Well, you don’t. Life is about taking chances and doing your best.
Here are a few things you might want to avoid:
1. Not exercising
Even beyond happiness and the ability to attract mates with your six-pack abs, regular exercise in your 20s can help prevent health issues down the line. One recent study found that your fitness level in your 20s may have a major impact on your risk of heart disease and death as you progress toward middle age.
2. Worrying about what other people think
In fact, research suggests that people generally overestimate the amount of attention others pay them. It’s called the spotlight effect, because people mistakenly believe that they are the center of attention in a room.
If you accept this idea in your 20s instead of later on, you’ll have more time to act freely, without fearing that you look like an idiot.
3. Letting your parents’ opinions determine your life choices
It’s incredibly important to set some boundaries between you and your folks, so that you have space to figure out what you want personally and professionally.
At the same time, you shouldn’t cut yourself off completely from parental support. As psychologist Jeffrey Arnett told Business Insider, parents “often have life experience and wisdom that you haven’t acquired yet.”
4. Racking up credit-card debt
5. Getting married too quickly
Obviously, everyone is different and, for some people, getting hitched before 30 is the perfect choice. In fact, some research suggests that people who marry in their mid to late 20s have happier marriages than those who marry later.
But if you feel like you need more time to explore — by traveling, trying out different careers, and learning what you want in a romantic relationship — you may not want to rush to the altar.
6. Not investing
7. Not traveling the world
8. Not mustering the courage to ask someone out
9. Forgetting to floss
10. Never living alone
Living alone is getting more common. As of 2013, as many as 23% of Americans were doing it, partly thanks to the decline in marriage rates. But there’s still a relative paucity of advice for singletons.