Decisions You Make in Your 20s That You Will Live With Forever

...No pressure or anything.

lena dunham
(Image credit: Courtesy of Getty)

So about that time you...

1. Became complacent with the job you have. Don't have your dream job? This is just the beginning, my friend. Keep hustling.

2. Didn't negotiate your salary. Research shows that women can lose (opens in new tab) anywhere from $434,000 to $2 million over the course of their lifetime due to the gender wage gap (opens in new tab).

3. Forgot to take care of yourself. Get regular checkups at the doctor, body scans at the dermatologist, and pap smears at the gynecologist.

4. Lived outside your means. No, you shouldn't buy a $10 cocktail (opens in new tab) at the bar if you have exactly $11.67 left in your bank account. Open up a savings account (opens in new tab) and manage it. That way, when you need to buy a couch, you can. Or pay your bills. Or retire eventually.

5. Failed to understand all your contraception options (opens in new tab). There are so many and most of them are free (opens in new tab)!

6. Relished the "I'm the cool girl who's friends with all of my exes" phase. Liberate yourself: It's entirely reasonable to love, learn, and want nothing to do with that person ever again.

7. Held a grudge. Sure it's annoying that your roommate (opens in new tab) drinks all the water bottles you purchase and never replenishes them but you're going to feel like a crazy person in 10 years when you two are still friends (opens in new tab) and recall how you actually flipped out on her over a plastic bottle of water.

8. Neglected family responsibilities. Life is fun when you're on your own but that doesn't mean you can refuse to call your mother back or skip out on your Dad's birthday because you're hungover. These are the people that supported your absurd Beanie Babies habit, after all.

9. Found a good therapist. Game changing, right?

10. Discovered your go-to work out sitch. Maybe the gym isn't your jam (opens in new tab) but discovering your love of training for half-marathons with your significant other, or Saturday morning yoga with your best friend will happily accompany you for the rest of your life.

11. Invested your time and heart in the unavailable bad boy. He's hot, he wears leather, and he never calls you back. That adorable and reliable guy (opens in new tab) you've known for years won't wait around forever.

12. Believed that YOLO is a motto you should live by. Despite what Drake may tell you, it's not. Remember to be thoughtful even when acting spontaneous.

13. Refused to take responsibility for your own actions. Own up to your mistakes and people will respect you more for your ability to do so.

14. Procrastinated. It's okay if you put off doing your laundry for an extra day or so. It's a problem when you put off paying your rent on time.

15. Rationalized your decisions because your twenties is a "throwaway" decade. Why would you want to "throw away" any moment of your life?

More Important Information for Twentysomething Survival:


10 Things I Learned From My First Job (opens in new tab)


11 Reasons Twentysomethings Love Brunch (opens in new tab)


16 Thoughts Every Girl Has During a Night Out (opens in new tab)


12 Facts Every College Grad Should Know (opens in new tab)

Photo Credit: Getty

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Hallie Gould

Hallie has worked in beauty editorial for ten years and has been editorial director at Byrdie since 2021. Previously, she was a senior editor at Byrdie since 2016. During her time at Byrdie, she's written hundreds of high-performing stories on skincare, wellness (including fitness, diet, mental health, body image, et al) makeup, and hair. She's a regular on set, helping to source inspiration for makeup and hair looks, as well as interviewing celebrities, models, and other notable women and men in the beauty space.

Before that, Hallie ran Marie Claire's social media and wrote beauty and culture stories for the site, and helped launch Time Inc.'s digital-only beauty brand, MIMI. After college, she contributed to Time Out New York’s Shopping & Style section before landing her first beauty editor gig at Hearst's Real Beauty. Hallie's writing has also appeared in ELLE, Cosmopolitan, and InStyle. Hallie graduated with a BA in Communication Arts from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.