I’m not here in the same vein as every ‘Live, laugh, learn’ article about life in your 20s. Quite the opposite actually, so please forgive me while I throw some serious shade at the idiocracy of some of that aforementioned advice.
Britney J Spears once said, “Everybody’s talking all this stuff about me / Why don’t they just let me live? “
And while we hear you, Brit, it turns out your 20s are not a throwaway decade. There is an endless list of blogs and websites instilling it as a time of experimentation, parties, and freedom, and while statistically marriage, work and kids are happening later, this is not an excuse to treat it as a decade to chill. We took the time to collect the worst advice cutting around the web, and here are the top 10.
Bad Advice 1. Live in the moment, without fear or expectation of the future. When will this bloody ‘You Only Live Once So Dun Even Care’ movement end? There is nothing attractive about the 40 year old at the club buying 18 year olds vodka-sodas with tax-payer-funded pocket money. I’m not being hyperbolic- it’s a slippery slope my friends.
Bad Advice 2. Keep moving- the 20s are not your time to settle down.
Sure, live your life, but just remember that whether it is jobs or relationships, you can’t get in bad habits, nor contract an STD. #BabiesAreAlsoForLife.
This is your time to shine. And by shine I mean instil good behaviours, not be neglectful, and learn how to build healthy relationships and get some good old fashioned values. Call your nan.
Fun fact: While our brain isn’t fully mature until our mid-20s, especially the spots that help us plan for the future and manage emotions, your early 20s is the perfect opportunity to re-wire your brain and determine how you’ll think and act as an adult.
Bad Advice 3. Spend your money, you can save later.
Dumb. Property porn is the best type- with the first home-buyer fantasy being a 6-bedroom, 4-bathroom home with a pool, tennis court and a water view to park the yacht; but if you’re not being realistic about saving for your lifestyle, Housos might be your biography, and your super may be not-so-super. So whatever measures you’re thinking of resorting to, despite what Kim, Paris and Pam might lead you to believe, no one wants to buy your sex tape, you do not simply become famous, and money doesn’t just happen.
Bad Advice 4. You don’t have to decide the rest of your life right now.
Correct. You don’t. But if you’re not sure what you want to do don’t be the guy kicking cans around outside Kmart, hanging in your dark bedroom with suspect mi goreng bowls, or in low-level unfulfilling jobs waiting for the spirit to move you. Not making a choice is a choice. You think you’re keeping your options open but in fact your thin resume and apparent lack of drive is actually closing doors.
It’s your God damn given right to have NFI about what you want to do, but do make a conscious effort to try different things and try to find it.
Bad Advice 5. Travel the world.
Just be smart about it. It’s all well and good to party like rock star, but ain’t nothing fun about coming home to $20k debt and not having the trip to look forward to, making paying it off all the more soul crushing.
Life lesson: When it comes to vaycay, save your money before you spend it.
Bad Advice 6. Quit the bad people in your life.
Yes yes, probably cut the chick who used to pass mean notes in class or trick you into illicit substances, but don’t go burning all your bridges. Did you know that our tiny little 20-something brains are still coming to fruition and developing its frontal lobe, which is responsible for overriding emotion with reason. This means we are much more sensitive when it comes to surprise and criticism, making us evermore likely to take every offence personally and blow it up to ridiculous proportions in our minds.
So before you mouth off to your bad boss or veto Jess from every upcoming social calendar event, step back and get some perspective.
Bad Advice 7. Your health is your most valuable asset.
We couldn’t agree more but with a mix of messages telling you how to either ‘look good naked’ or ‘treat yo’ self’, find that balance and don’t be the one who only orders gluten-free, meat-free, dairy-free, fun-free meals. Get the burger every now and then.
Bad Advice 8. Study and learn skills.
Yes, this is a goodie, but don’t forget to learn how to actually apply and use these skills in real life. There’s nothing sadder than a graduate with a bedroom worth of qualifications and letters from the Dean, as with no work experience and no job prospects, your bedroom (at your parents) is likely where they’ll stay, and where you will stay living.
That’s a whole lot of student debt without a whole lot of income- get a job or internship while you study. Studies have actually shown that 20-somethings that do work are happier than those who don’t or are underemployed. Funemployment aint no thang.
Bad Advice 9. Work to live, don’t live to work.
Classic line incoming, but find a job you love and you won’t work a day in your life. 70% of wage growth happens in the first ten years of graduating, so if you wait until your 30s to get going, you’re never going to catch up.
Bad Advice 10. Eat whatever you want.
Look, it’s a nice idea, but no. If you want to maintain that bod, science says no.
Do with this as you will. What you do with your life is your prerogative, but just don’t come crying to me on your 30th when you’re out of mi goreng and clean shirts.
And if you want to start things off on a good foot, The Career Department is your place for that.