When you’re in your 20s, it can sometimes feel like you have everything all figured out. But people in their mid to late 30s have lived through that time and learned that wow, things aren’t quite what they thought. Elder Millennials recently shared what they consider their biggest mistake in life as they inch ever closer to 40. Learn from their mistakes while you still can.
No focus on health.
I spent my entire life morbidly obese until about three years ago. It was SO hard to get in shape. I finally lost 100lbs and am running marathons now, but I feel the damage that I had done to my body from all those previous years.
Kids, eat well from the beginning. Walk 10k steps a day and do some sort of exercise 3 times a week. Not doing this is my deepest regret.u/K4SP3R_H4US3R
Putting yourself last.
Thinking that I could and should put myself on the back burner for anything and anyone else.u/lenalily227
Wasting romantic energy.
Pining after the wrong person.u/runikepisteme
Being with someone who isn’t right for you.
Staying too long in an unhappy marriage. I lost the last half of my 20s and most of my 30s because of it.u/Zenstation83
Worrying too much.
I’m not sure if people have experienced the same but when I entered my 30s I became convinced I was rapidly running out of time. Rather than using that as motivation I let it paralyze me with indecision because I “couldn’t afford to make the wrong choice.” Consequently, I’m now 39 and, though I’ve had great things happen in my 30s, I regret spending so much time worrying and so little time committing to a course of action.u/tomwaste
Not saving early.
If I could tell my 18 year old self one thing, it would be to save 10% of every paycheck I ever got.u/PutAForkInHim
Never asking for more.
Always ask for more pay. Starting, yearly, before leaving, whatever. Get that money.u/SensibleReply
Letting friendships dissolve.
When you get out of college, keep your friends. No matter how hard it is. Hold on to them.u/mpssss22
Focusing too much on work.
Working 40-50 hour weeks on top of school from 15 until my 30s. I needed money to live, but I never learned how to date, maintain social connections or take care of myself physically and mentally.u/RavenLyth
Listening to the wrong lessons.
I should have paid more attention to my parents telling me to save money and less attention when they were teaching me about purity culture.u/Arkie_MTB
Ignoring your body.
If you feel unwell go to the dr.
I felt numbness in my fingers and toes. . Let that go for a few months. It turned to arm Pain. Went to hospital and it turns out I have stage 4 renal carcinoma.
Don’t let any symptom go unchecked. You’re older, and if your body is telling you something is wrong fucking listen to it.u/bakedlawyer
Ruining your back.
Take care of your fucking back. Lift with your knees. Sure its rad when you grab a fridge by yourself and lift it in the back of a moving truck unaided, but one day that shit is going to have consequences that won’t just magically go away by resting and “taking it easy” for a week.u/GuyTallman
Keeping the low self-esteem.
Work on that low self-esteem in your 20s, it will ruin every aspect of your life. Relationships, health, confidence, financial goals…All will be affected. You have been warned.u/Yodasbrother3
Not going for what you want.
Staying too long at a job in my 20s, just because it was safe and easy. When I finally got the motivation to leave, ended up with an almost 50% pay boost.u/hrekires
Rocking the loud tunes.
Not taking care of my hearing, not even 35 and going deaf.u/Kusanagi8811
Missing out on quality time.
I wish I spent more time with my dad while I had the chance.u/CharlieChooper
Not taking the chance while you can.
Should have bought a home. We qualified 20 years ago for enough to buy a small 2 bedroom but I didn’t think we could afford it. That 2 bedroom would be worth nearly 3Xs and paid off by now. We pay nearly double in rent what our mortgage would have been. Gotta love the SF bay area cost of living.u/Thelazywitch
Not loving yourself.
I turned 40 this year and just started liking who I am. Why the fuck did it take 40 years for self acceptance?u/guscallee
Not living while you’re young.
You have half your working life after you turn 40 but only 20-25 years to really live it up before the responsibilities become heavy and your joints start to ache. Live life. Really LIVE it. Experience as much you can. Every sensation, sight, sound, touch. Be open. Be brave. Live your first few decades in the fast lane. You have the rest of your life to take it easy, when you have no choice.u/MrDundee666