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The 20s are often a time of fun and irresponsibility as young adults navigate adulthood for the first time. It’s a period of experimentation that sometimes leads to less-than-ideal outcomes. Recently, a post asked people to share the dumbest things they did in their 20s, and the responses were filled with head-scratching memories that many can relate to and look back on with a mix of nostalgia and disbelief.
One reader said, “Decided against contributing to my company’s matching 401k. Cost me hundreds of thousands of dollars.”
One user said, “I personally think it was my general lake of effort to build any good habits like exercise. Your body likes routines, and my routine of gaming for 15 hours a day was not one I should have cultivated.”
Another poster said, “Not look after my teeth.”
This commenter shared, “Worked way too hard and burnt out. Sacrificed family time. Sacrificed health.”
Another user said, “Begged to be loved.”
This user shared, “I took powerlifting way too seriously. I spent 7 years in gyms for hours daily, skipping every social occasion and holiday.”
This reader shared, “Fell into a debilitating drug addiction.”
Another user said, “I was hopelessly addicted to heroin. That led to lots of shenanigans. Robbing summer rentals in the winter was probably the worst of it.”
This user shared, “Took a $12k loan to buy a motorcycle. Didn’t want to pay for comprehensive insurance, the bike got stolen 4 months later.”
This user said, “Got into a half-hearted relationship and wasted 3 years of my life.”
Another user stated, “Broke a window with my forehead. Willingly.”
This poster said, “Not studying properly. At the time studying for 2-7 years seemed like a lifetime, but now at 30, I wish I had done it. Don’t have the money or flexibility to do it now.”
Focused On Work
This user said, “Assumed climbing the corporate ladder is the way to do life.”
Another reader admitted, “I got married to the wrong woman. Never get married to someone who isn’t sure if they love you.”
This user said, “Went to Italy and forgot to eat pizza.”
This commenter said, “Broke up with (what may as well have been) the greatest girlfriend I’ve ever had. Three years later, I’m still single, and I think about her occasionally.”
Ran Up Debt
A reader mentioned, “Ran up $11k worth of credit card debt over 18 months when I was 25-26. I didn’t become debt free until I was 33 and never had an excellent credit score until 36.”
This user said, “Faked being depressed oftentimes and eventually got depressed.”
Another user said, “Smoked.”
This reader said, “Snuck into a construction site and drove a steamroller around for a while… I couldn’t believe they had just left the keys in it!”
A user shared, “Arrested at 20 and convicted by the feds of selling MDMA.”
This reader said, “Not build my credit.”
This poster said, “Not buy a house. Back in ’01-’03, houses in my old neighborhood sold for $250-350k. Twenty years later, they’re worth $1.2-1.5 million.”
Another user said, “Let myself get overweight.”
This reader said, “Not take a year off between high school and college to figure out exactly what major I want.”
Finally, A reader divulged, “Stole a taxi cab in South Korea while I was drunk off Soju. Turned the light on and drove around, picking my drunken friends up.”
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