Growing up is hard to do and I can say with certainty that we all make mistakes getting to adulthood. Navigating your late-teens and your 20s might as well be an Olympic sport due to the level of difficulty and how much training it takes to be successful.
A rewarding part of growing up is learning from mistakes and growing from them, but let’s face it, it totally sucks at the time. At least you get some good stories out of the deal most of the time? In the following situations, our underdeveloped frontal lobe is probably to blame, right? Maybe just our own poor judgment… but we’re going to go with the first explanation to make ourselves feel better about it. We simply couldn’t be helped!
1. Dating a Jerk
Why did we do this? This person likely treated us like crap, but they just seemed so damn cool at first. This is what happens when you just ~don’t know any better~. Don’t worry though, you’ll only be making this mistake once… or twice. Three times, tops! But at least you know what to look for in a good S.O. once the phase is over. Silver linings…
2. Being Friends with a Mean Girl
At one point in our lives, we all just needed a friend and didn’t care how they treated us as long as we had someone to eat lunch with or to tag along with to parties. It’s usually a slow realization to figure out that this person is actually The Certifiable Worst, but bad friends are an inevitable part of growing up and usually, you learn from it so you can recognize the warning signs in the future. That, or she ends up seeing the error in her ways on her own. It’s not usually the latter, but you never know.
3. Treating Someone Else Like Crap
You’re guilty of it, too! Whether it was a sibling, friend, an S.O., or your parents, you have (at one point or another), been totally sh*tty to someone else. It’s before we all reach a certain level of maturity and realize our words and actions hurt others and that sucks. Or we lose our temper and get carried away. It happens and we all (well, those of us who aren’t sociopaths), develop empathy and learn that being respectful and kind is super cool and satisfying (and actually makes you more friends).
4. Burning Something We’re Trying to Cook
After surviving too long on fast food, take out, and ramen, venturing into an actual kitchen to make actual food is surprisingly hard. You have no doubt forgotten something on the stove or in the oven, or had the heat to high and burnt the crap out of your food. It happens. You live and learn. And this is exactly why they have delivery options and cereal and microwavable chicken nuggets.
5. Calling in Sick to Work or Skipping Class Just to Sleep
Sleep = good. Work and school = bad. This is the truth! Before you get a bigger sense of responsibility, you definitely skipped real life duties to catch up on some beauty sleep. No regrets! Well, maybe a few and you would never do that now. At least not as regularly as you did in college…
6. Spending Too Much Money on Crap You Don’t Need
Also, see “Using Your Credit Card When You Shouldn’t.” Did you really need a designer purse when you were sharing a three bedroom apartment with four people? Was it necessary to eat out multiple nights a week with what felt like bottomless margaritas in your early 20s? No is the answer to both. Now that you’re older, though, you know the importance of saving money and not starting out life with credit card debt even though most of us do. This is a “learn the hard way” kind of mistake and situation.
7. Avoiding Family Time
When you’re little, you love your parents, you look up to them, and you want to be with them all the time. Then somewhere around age 12 or 13, you’re super embarrassed by them and have no time for their lame family nights. This continues into your early 20s when all you want to do is be an adult and not go home. Then, you get a little bit older and see your parents are actual humans and they become your friends. You actually like to spend time with them. Plus as sad it is, they won’t be around forever and we’ve gotta appreciate the time we have.
8. Running out of Gas
Because when your car is on empty it means you can go a few more miles, right?? Nope, sorry, it usually doesn’t. So once you see your gas gauge getting a bit low, just head to the gas station and put in a few bucks worth if that’sall you can afford. This happens at least once to everyone and it toally sucks. It’s a “WTF was I thinking moment?” and not a fun mistake.
9. Drunkenly Hooking Up with Someone You Shouldn’t
Oh alcohol, you sly devil, you, making people think bad ideas are great ideas since the beginning of time. Whether you go all the way or just have a hot and heavy a makeout sesh, you did it with someone you shouldn’t have. Oops! It’s bad but very normal. Maybe it went down with a co-worker, neighbor, platonic friend, or friend’s ex (seriously, dude?), but IT HAPPENED. And now have to deal with the awkwardness of it all… But isn’t this part of the beauty of being young and fun? Hopefully, you had fun with this mistake cause it’ll never happen again (or at least it shouldn’t)!
10. Staying Up All Night for Fun
You know full well now this is not fun. It’s fun when you have nothing to do the next day and have the energy to actually do it. Not sleeping now is the least amount of fun you can have as someone on their way to 30. Staying up all night is total rookie move and a mistake only made as teenager or college student.
11. Drinking Too Much
Odds are you didn’t drink too much just once. If you’re like me, there were a solid seven years of your life when you drank way too much, and TBH it was really fun for a while. Until it wasn’t. Like, why did we ever drink hoping to black out? The idea is anxiety-inducing now. You slowly learn that doing this consistently into 30 ain’t cute and change your ways (while you still can). It’s best to save the binge drinking mistake for when you’re newly 21 and young enough to not get hangovers.
12. TBH, Being Kind of Selfish
“Me, me, me,” is the mantra of a twentysomething, and why shouldn’t it be? You have nothing holding you back. However, it is a problem when you think the world revolves around you and you’re suddenly slightly inconsiderate of others’ time/feelings/property. It’s all good though once you wise up to this one and apologize to those who stuck my you through the selfish period.
13. Thinking You’re Always Right
Roommate fights, sibling arguments, even class discussions-gone-wrong are prime examples of moments like these. It’s easy to think you’re done learning once you hit college, or “the real world” but we’re always learning and no matter what, we’re going to be wrong sometimes. So, even when you know that you weren’t the one to clog the shower, know that you probably did and just clean it out (or call the plumber to do it).
14. Jumping into Something Too Quickly
When you’re growing up, you get super excited about things without thinking of consequences or outcomes. Don’t make the mistake of accepting your first job offer without negotiating pay or benefits, or declaring a major your first week of school because those are a pain to change. Even jumping into relationships is all too common. It’s only a matter of time before we all learn that weighing options before committing to something is usually a good idea.
15. Waiting Too Long to Do Laundry
Laundry sucks. And we’ve all spent money on new underwear instead of hauling our clothes to a dorm basement or a laundromat. That works for a little bit, but in reality, you just need to get that sh*t done on a schedule. A part of growing up is doing stuff you hate and laundry is def one of them. It sucks when you wake up one morning for work and realize all your shirts are wrinkled in the laundry bag and you don’t have a single clean bra. It’s just… not a cute look.
16. Doing Stuff Just Because Your Friends Want To
FOMO is a real thing and the effects peak when you’re young. You found yourself out at way too many bars and concerts just because your friends were going. You watched five episodes too many of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia just because your BFF liked it. You just didn’t want to miss out on the group hang. These days there is no shame in your no pants and Netflix game and telling your friends you’re not going out simply because you don’t want to. In fact, it’s kind of empowering.
17. Believing More Friends Are Better Than Quality Ones
Who didn’t want to be Miss Popular growing up? Those kids had a ton of friends and were invited to the best parties. To an extent, this mindset carries over to college and your 20s. It always seemed that a lot of friends equaled a lot more fun. But it really doesn’t. You realize quickly having a lot of friends and navigating spending enough time with them all is a hassle. Once you start living the life of having two best friends you hang out with every day, you’ll probably feel a lot more relaxed in general.
18. Not Taking Care of Yourself
If you saw a doctor between the ages of 18 and 23, I commend you. Unless you’re bleeding out of your head, you probably never got yourself checked out. You also never drank enough water, ate healthy foods, or took care of your skin. The most exercise you got during those years was a drunken stumble home from the bars. It’s weird but at some point, you realize you like, want to be healthy or something. You want to age well, duh, which means skin care, exercise and eating more than just chicken nuggets. Though, of course, nobody’s perfect.