18 Ways People Say They "Wasted" Their 20s, And Why They Now Regret It

Hindsight is 20/20. One area of our lives where that is painfully evident is when we look back at past mistakes we made or did when we were younger through mature eyes and lived experiences.

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Recently, Reddit user grievingtights wanted to know about things people regretted doing or not doing in their 20s, when they asked: "How did you 'waste' your 20s?"

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The thread really took off and got over 10K responses. Below are the top and best comments:

1."I have stayed [working] for a company that doesn't value my work and contribution to them. I have wasted a lot of opportunities because of that, but I have myself to blame for it, too. I didn't have the courage to explore and try something new for my growth and development."

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2."Caring what people thought of me."

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3."I married my first boyfriend. We were not a good match. I basically killed my body and mental health trying to be enough for him. I’m 30 now, about four years divorced, wayyy happier, and learning what I want in life and learning who I want to be."

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4."I stayed in the closet and felt like I couldn't date in fear of being found out."

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5."Wasted mine by having a poor body image and low self-esteem when I was actually thin and in shape."

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6."Missed a lot of life experience out of the fear of being uncomfortable, embarrassed, or getting in trouble/not being liked. I'm 29, and barely have any stories about my life or experiences. And can’t exactly hold deep or meaningful conversations with people out of the lack of those experiences. I feel so…bland. And it sucks."

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7."I cared for others and always put them first. I came third, fourth, or fifth. Everything suffered. Everyone took advantage."

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8."Went from going out drinking as much as possible to literally working 330-plus days a year. Turns out you only have friends when you’re the fun guy, lol."

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9."Spending a lot of money and didn't think that I could be rich by investing in something."

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10."Spent way too much time worrying about the future instead of enjoying the present."

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11."Getting into legal trouble. Years wasted dealing with probation officers, shitty lawyers, court hearings, jail time, fines, etc. It's so hard to dig out of once you’re in. Almost like it was designed that way."

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12."Put all my eggs in one basket. I focused on building my résumé, experience, and drive for one career, which, after getting all this experience, ended up changing my view on it, and I didn't want to do it anymore. It feels shitty spending so many years like that. At the same time, though, what I am now doing (and excelling at with natural inclination) was unexpected but welcomed."

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13."Drifting from one low-paying dead-end blue-collar job to another."

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14."Waiting for a guy to propose and not pursuing a PhD."

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15."My job took me around the world in my 20s. I got to travel to some pretty cool places and a lot of not-so-cool places. I got to hang with locals and see a lot of things tourists never saw. It was a cool experience. The problem was I was a heavy drinker at that point in my life. Instead of using what little free time I had to see and learn about where I was at and see the sites, I was focused on drinking and strip clubs. Yes, we did go see some things and do cool shit, but I could’ve done so much more. I passed up on opportunities to see things while I was traveling to spend time in dank, smelly bars, or strip clubs where pathetic guys like me were drooling over women."

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16."About half of it was trying to maintain a relationship that was destined to fail. If I saw it the way I see it now, I'd gain about five years back not being stressed out and confused."

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17."Not taking my mental health seriously. Surrounding myself with the wrong people."

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18.And lastly, "Long distance relationships. Not worth it. And I did it twice."

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You can read the original thread on Reddit.

Note: Some responses have been edited for length and/or clarity.