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20 Harsh Realities You Will Likely Learn in Your 20s

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AskReddit is back with some serious life lessons that you might as well learn right now, because let’s face it – this shit is inevitable. So let’s just do this, all at once, like a Band-Aid. Here we go.

#1. Decisions WILL be made for you…

“You will have to make very practical (sometimes very cold) decisions about what you want from life and what you’re willing to give up. And if you don’t make them then life will make them for you.”

#2. You’re gonna die

“I think it’s in your twenties when you finally learn that life is finite. As a kid life is just this thing that goes on forever. Consequences don’t matter as much because the future in unfathomably far away. It’s a good time for making bad decisions but as you progress through your twenties you start realizing that the future is coming up fast and how it looks actually does depend on what you do now.”

#3. Relationships take work

“You learn that relationships aren’t like in the movies, that they take work and thought and that everyone is flawed and damaged and that they’ll probably kick you in the gut at least a dozen or so times.”

#4. Money will cut you

“Don’t spend more money just because you are starting to earn more. Lifestyle inflation creeping in is a bitch.”

#5.  Loss is inevitable

“People you love are going to die. i don’t want anyone to learn this lesson, ever, but it provides some pretty serious perspective when it inevitably happens.”

#6. You do you, boo

“Do stuff that makes you happy instead of doing stuff that makes you look cool.”

#7. Seriously, do.

“Go to the [effing] dentist. You can’t wait for mommy to make an appointment for you and hold your hand the whole way… get your ass in there before it’s too late. Teeth don’t heal and once you’ve [effed] them up, you’ve [effed] them up. Oh and it doesn’t take much at all to screw them up. I wish my 20 year old self realized that.”

#8. People grow in opposite directions

“You learn that the friendships you took for granted as a kid actually fall away pretty quickly if you neglect them and that even if you don’t, time has a habit of changing people and your best friend from school is different since he got married or that guy you did a bunch of blow with at university never really got the hang of stopping that and isn’t as much fun anymore.”

#9. Work is work

“Even your dream job sucks sometimes.”

#10. Keep learning

“Never stop reading and writing. The sentient human brain thinks in words, so the more words you know, the more complex thoughts you will be capable of processing, and the more abstract concepts you will be able to articulate. Consider literacy as the most important skill to a civilized society.”

#11. You only have one body

“You learn that being healthy isn’t an autopilot thing anymore. That if you eat shitty food and sit on your couch too much, shit will start to hurt and you’ll feel more tired and grouchy. There’s a similar lesson with booze and drugs.”

#12. Follow your heart, or nah?

“”Follow your heart” only works of your heart knows what the hell it’s talking about, and that only happens if you’ve spent years training it to be a certain way. Then you can begin to rely on intuition. If your heart can’t see two inches in front of its nose, you sure as hell shouldn’t follow it.”

#13. Asking for help makes you stronger, not weaker

“It’s ok to ask for help. I’ve had on and off crippling anxiety and only recently have I been able to reflect on my past and realize how much it’s held me back. How all encompassing it has been. I’m getting some professional help now, hoping I can turn things around and have a much different 30s than my 20s. Anyways, listen to your body and don’t try to ‘man up’ through it. Won’t work.”

#14. You aren’t special

“You aren’t special and you won’t always get your way. The real world is not fair and it does not care about you. You are in fact capable of accomplishing anything, but it’s not going to be easy.”

#15. Cut ’em loose

“Sometimes you have to let friends go, because they just aren’t good for you anymore. But that’s okay!”

#16. Pride is dumb

“Pride does absolutely nothing. If you don’t say good morning to your boss in the morning because you think your boss is a dick, you’re not doing yourself any favors.”

#17. Find purpose in all things

“Sometimes you shouldn’t hold onto objects just for the sake of owning them. This can also be applied to people.”

#18. Family is what you make it

“Not all family are blood relations, and not all blood relations are family.”

#19. Failure is a decision to quit

“Sometimes your best isn’t good enough. Sometimes you put everything you’ve got into something and still don’t get what you wanted…and that doesn’t mean you’re a failure. Find a new goal, keep striving.”

#20. You write your own story

“There is nowhere you “should be by now.” All life paths are different and equally valid.”