August 27, 2023 at 1:34 am

People Get Real and Talk About How They Wasted Their Twenties

by Matthew Gilligan

ARWasted20s People Get Real and Talk About How They Wasted Their Twenties

It’s not a good thing to live in the past…

HOWEVER, it is a good thing to learn from the past so you don’t keep making the same mistakes over and over again.

It’s definitely easier said than done but it’s good to reflect.

And a lot of people feel like they wasted those magical years in their twenties when they get a little bit older.

Let’s hear from AskReddit users about how they think they wasted their twenties.

Behind the curve.

“No ambition.

Lack of foresight.

No goals.

I spent so much time stressing out about my future that I never actually lived in the present.”

Put yourself out there.

“Being too shy.

To anyone younger reading this, TAKE RISKS! Ask that person out. Go to that local event you’ve been eyeing. Strike up a conversation with a cool-looking stranger. Get up on stage at a karaoke night. Volunteer. Join a club.

Life is not a movie and there is no magical special person that will notice you and come pull you into the light. You have to do that yourself.”

Took a while.

“Didn’t really have a game plan for making a living, and waited too long to figure one out.

Also was too caught up in my feelings to act on a lot of good dating options I didn’t realize I had, which would have been fun.

Things worked out great anyways, but still…”

Wasn’t worth it.

“I did a PhD.

The first time I made more than $30k in a year, I was 31 years old.

F**k academia.”

Time to get busy…

“I’m 28 and I’ve done nothing.

No trips, haven’t seen any music live, never go out. All i do is work and sleep. Like today for example, all i did was work and now im going to sleep soon so i can do the same thing tomorrow.

I’ve had a total of 6 days vacation since i turned 20. I got a zoo pass 2 years ago and that’s the highlight of my 20s so far.”

War veteran.

“Fighting endless wars, Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and everywhere else around the world.

Wasted my 20s, all my 30s and half my 40’s fighting.

For what, you ask? I have no idea now.”

If I could turn back time.

“I spent the entirety gripped by an eating disorder.

Obsessed with food, weight – in and out of hospital, harming organs, teeth, mental health.

Such a waste of a prime decade. Wish I could turn back time.”

Too much booze.

“Drinking heavily. Heavily.

Will never get those years back.

Thankfully, I realized while I couldn’t go back and change the start, I could decide to change the ending.

Ten years sober this month.”

In a coma.

“Suffering from severe clinical depression, I barely left my bedroom.

The years feel intangible to me. I might as well have been in a coma.”

Lost control.

“By getting fat and then getting so depressed by that that I effectively cut myself out of everyone’s lives because I was too embarrassed to be seen by old flames, friends, or people who knew me a certain way.

Do not recommend.”

Didn’t stand up for yourself.

“Being scared of people and letting people take advantage of me.

People would borrow what little money I had, with and without permission and never pay me back.”

What was it all for?


I applied for tons of internships but never got my foot in the door anywhere. I had good grades but there’s always someone better.

It seriously feels as if no human has ever seen any of my applications because I never heard anything back. It’s as if I don’t exist.

I spent just about everything on the courses and textbooks and software… I never got to use any of what I learned.

Now, years later, nearly everything I learned is obsolete. Every job application remains unread. I have nothing to show for my hard work except a lot of pain.”

I wasted… a lot of money.