Your 20s are a magical time. Responsibilities are few and far between, you’re still finding your way in the world, and you still have the ability to blame any mistake you make on being young. But this wonderful time is fraught with pitfalls and travails that all of us have to overcome.

Whether it’s getting involved romantically with the wrong person, deciding to chase the money, or moving out of home too soon – they are mistakes a lot of us will have made.

Here are 17 really bad ideas that we’ve all had during our 20s, that have stuck with us forever in one way or another.

1. Getting very little sleep

In your 20s sleep doesn’t seem that important. You’re obviously way more worried about partying hard, living the good life and avoiding being FOMO at all costs. It’s not until the morning of your 30th birthday that you see those unshakable dark bags forming under your eyes and realise you’ve had a motherflipping shocker.

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2. Dating someone totally wrong for you

We’ve all been there, you’re not alone. Dating someone totally wrong for you is a hallmark of being in your 20s. She wants to move abroad, you don’t, it’s only going to end in tears – but you do it anyway because you’re only human. At the end of the day though, your 20s are the perfect time to date those sorts of people and make memories. Life would be boring otherwise.

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3. Eating loads at four in the morning

When you’re young, your metabolism is faster, that’s just science. The problem is, all those kebabs at 4am are so much harder to shake once you move into your 20s. Of course you don’t care about that after seven Gin Sours, and continue to gorge on fried chicken until you are sporting a fetching set of muffin tops. If only some helpful soul had told you to put the chicken down.

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4. The cheap shit haircut

You haven’t lived until you’ve had a terrible haircut. I mean, of course nobody wants one, but everyone has experienced the feeling that you’re walking around with a steaming turd on their head. I know it sounds like I’m exaggerating; but once you look back at photos of yourself, you’ll be desperate for some time travelling scissors so you can rectify that horror show. Trust me.

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5. Thursday is the new Friday

Somebody once told me that, “Thursday is the new Friday”, in a bid to get me to party on a school night. But of course it’s not. During your 20s you’ll turn up for work on a Friday countless times feeling like warmed up sick and smelling of stale beer. Every time you do it, you vow that this Thursday was your last, but the lure of cheap drinks will always pull you back in.

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6. Moving out in a rush

A lot of 20-somethings are in a massive rush to get out of their Mum and Dad’s house, and for good reason. Nobody wants their parents knowing the intimate details of their life once they turn 20. The problem is though that most people rush moving out and end up somewhere grotty with absolutely no money, spunking big money on exorbitant rents. This scenario is definitely not the one.

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7. Having a one-night stand

It might seem like a good idea, but waking up next to a total stranger is a really bad move. Have you heard of those things called STDs? Well they are real, and they can mess up your private parts. Saying that, it’s a rookie error that all 20-somethings will make numerous time throughout their decade of fun.

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8. Damaging your body with hard drugs and alcohol

I know it seems like fun, but I know too many 20-somethings who have messed their minds and livers up with a concoction of Class A substances and hard liquor. Of course it’s fun to experiment, but there is such a thing as too much. Once you need to start seeing doctors, you should probably stop. But does it stop those pesky 20-somethings? Does it hell.

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9. Having an affair with a married person

When you’re young, free, single and 20, marriage can seem like a pretty trivial thing. Of course it isn’t, and plenty of people fall into the trap of liaising with an older man or woman. Trust me kids, don’t get into the middle of someone else’s issues. It won’t end well.

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10. Falling in love with someone you can’t have

Sadly this is something nobody can actively stop, but something that a lot of 20-somethings do. Falling in love with someone you can’t have is heartbreaking and dangerous, and never ends well. This isn’t a Hollywood rom-com guys, it’s real life. Someone, probably you, ends up getting hurt.

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11. Working for money, losing sight of your dreams

Your 20s are the time to forge a career in something you really care about. It’s your 30s where you are expected to pay for stuff and deal with actual responsibility. So why then do some many 20-somethings fall into the trap of chasing the cash when they’re young? Where does it leave you? Sometimes in a job that you have absolutely no passion for.

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12. Being too safe

While it’s important to not go off the rails, remember that you’re supposed to have fun in your 20s. While financial security and a healthy body are both really important, you should really be getting out there and experiencing the world. Otherwise, what are you going to tell your grandchildren about? That you had a healthy credit rating… PLEASE.

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13. Staying in the wrong relationship

I know it’s hard, but sometimes it’s just better to let someone go. There is no sense staying with someone for the wrong reasons, but it’s a classic mistake lots of people make in their 20s. Remember, you’re wasting too much time on one clown, while you could be out meeting the one!

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14. Panicking about kids

In my eyes, your 20s are about living your own life, not worrying about children. Sadly though lots of lovely people in their 20s either worry about when they are going to have kids, or whether they are even able to have kids at all. I know it’s a big part of life, but surely it can wait a few years?

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15. Getting a regrettable tattoo

It’s 4am, you’re in a dingy tattoo parlour, and a greasy looking guy is washing your bum ready to ink you to within an inch of your young life. It’s almost a rite of passage, but regrettable tattoos seem to come up a lot in your 20s. This is why the queue for laser tattoo removal is full of awkward and depressed 30-somethings.

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16. Allow yourself to be filmed doing something ridiculous

Whether it’s a video of you being sick in the street, kissing a girl in a club, or trying to eat 50 chicken dippers in 2 minutes – they will not look good when you’re 30. In the modern era of smartphone and social media, these things that seemed so funny at the time will come back to haunt you.

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17. Ruining good friendships over trivial shit

One of the worst mistakes you can make in your 20s is to let friendships end over trivial problems. I know this is probably a good lesson for life, but during your 20s there is a lot of upheaval and sometimes friendships that used to be pivotal inexplicably end up on the rocks. We’ve all done it, and we will all go on to regret it.

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So there you go, all the mistakes that a 20-something can make, rolled up into one handy list. How many have you made?

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