Your twenties are a time for finding your passions, your values, and your way in this world. At least, as much as you’re able to while also balancing friendships, dating, learning to manage your finances, and finding that dream job. Sometimes, things can go awry, and you can feel as if you’ve made a massive blunder of it all. Luckily, there are some problems that can be fixed, and some that you can learn from. Here are a few mistakes in your twenties that don’t really matter:
1. Buying that overly expensive trend piece for your wardrobe that isn’t even flattering.
The problem: We’ve all been there. You get a tax refund, you’re flush with cash, and suddenly that designer leather peplum top is calling your name! Before you know it, you’ve dropped $300 on a top that doesn’t accentuate your waist in the right place, and you never know what to pair it with.
The fix: Sell that baby on one of the many popular clothes-hawking sites available nowadays, and remind yourself of the time and money lost the next time you need the brand name. H&M and Forever 21 have fantastic trend pieces you can try that keep you on budget. Live and learn, my fashionistas.
2. Not opening up a savings account.
The problem: The interest rates are so low that you probably don’t think you’ll actually make any money. But even .08 percent is better than 0 percent.
The fix: Do some digging to find out which savings account is best for you. And word on the street is that interest rates are going up since the economy is doing so good and all, so now’s your chance.
1. Texting that one ex too many times.
The problem: You’re a little too prolific when it comes to writing cell phone love letters after those happy hour margaritas.
The fix: We’ve all been there. Don’t beat yourself up over it, but try really hard not to let that be your first step once you’ve imbibed. If you know you’re feeling weak-willed about it, give your friend your ex’s number (so you don’t feel like it’s gone forever) and delete it from your phone for a night. Or two.
2. Saying yes to dates you don’t really want to go on.
The problem: The dating pool is limited, and sometimes being a single girl in the city means you think you should accept any and all offers of dinner, drinks, wining, dining, the lot.
The fix: This isn’t true–in fact, it can mess with your head if you try to be too open minded to people who just aren’t going to be a good fit in the long run. Try to figure out a good balance between people you should give more time to, and those who just aren’t going to be right as a partner. And don’t forget to give yourself a night off to relax and rejuvenate at home once in a while!
1. Getting too upset when a friend cancels on you for coffee.
The problem: Your friend bailed on you. Again. What gives? Who cares–your time is valuable, and you’re seeing red.
The fix: It probably has nothing to do with you–and in your twenties, that’s a big, big lesson to learn! Before you take things too personally, step back and see if there’s a pattern evolving. Is there something going on in your friend’s life? Is this a friendship you need to re-evaluate? Try to let cooler heads prevail–it’s easier to have a talk later about your friend being rude than to try to take back angry words.
2. Being too vocal about hating your friend’s boyfriend.
The problem: You hate him. Period. Game over! And you may have let your friend know it…
The fix: Realize that this is a losing battle. Barring serious circumstances of abuse or illegal activity (and I hope none of you have to address these issues), friends are going to see their boyfriends through rose-colored glasses. Anything you say against them will be seen through, well, opposite colored glasses. Try to keep your comments to a minimum for the sake of your friendship, and just be supportive if things don’t turn out well for your friend.
1. Leaving that job from high school on your resume.
The problem: Your resume is cluttered, disjointed, and includes everything from your three-semester interest in Finnish culture to that summer you spent lifeguarding at the Y.
The fix: Streamline that puppy! Figure out what “theme” you’re trying to present to each job, or in each situation, and cultivate a resume that best represents that theme. If you haven’t been doing this up until now, well, it’s never too late to start.
2. Taking a job for money, not for the skills you can learn.
The problem: You were at a crossroads and picked the road most traveled; that is, you followed the money, not the potential growth. And now, you’re regretting it.
The fix: Luckily, you’re never locked in to a job. You could begin looking at other job trajectories, those that might mean a pay cut, but that would give you transferable skills for your field. You could ask around your office for side projects that teach you the skills you need for your ideal career. Or, you could even search around at local colleges to find classes giving you extra knowledge in your area.
Everyone makes mistakes, and this adage seems disproportionately true during the formative years of your twenties. Thank goodness these common missteps have solutions!
Photo: Jessica Peterson / Getty Images