25 Habits To Break By Age 25Laura Donovan

This year, I celebrated my 25th birthday by eating multiple Magnolia Bakery cupcakes, attending improv class and watching a comedy show with friends. It was low key, and that’s the way I’d like to spend the majority of my weekends, as hangovers now take too long to pass and I can finally admit shouting over bars is a terrible experience. I have a lot more maturing to do, not to mention a host of habits I should have broken by 25, so here are some good things to outgrow before hitting the big quarter century:

25. Eating in bed

Unless you want to befriend some cool mice!

24. Too much takeout or Seamless

It adds up, and you never really know what other people are putting in your food.

23. Chasing after unworthy dating prospects

You both know you deserve better. Kick him to the curb.

22. Overusing your debit/credit card

You spend more this way, and honestly, it doesn’t make much sense to use a credit/debit card for that $2 water bottle (which shouldn’t be $2, but that’s an argument for another post…). Always keep $10-$20 in your purse.

21. Staying up late to watch TV/Netflix

This is especially risky if you have a full-time job. Don’t show up to work tired in the morning. Just catch the next episode of American Horror Story (which is amazing, of course) when you get home.

20. Leaving your tab open at the bar

Sometimes this makes sense, but you could wind up spending more money, or worse, accidentally leaving your card with the bartender.

19. Feeling bad every time a new Facebook friend gets engaged/married or has a baby

This is 2013. People are tying the knot and becoming parents later now, so don’t feel like you’re so behind simply because folks you went to high school with appear to be growing up.

18. Failing to floss

The older you get, the more attention you should pay to dental hygiene. Before going to bed, spend at least two minutes brushing your teeth (back when magazines were thriving, YM suggested listening to a pop song at the sink) and flossing. Add some mouthwash to the mix and you’re golden.

17. 24-hour hangovers

As earlier stated, hangovers seem to last longer post-college, so know your limits before going out with friends. I personally cannot have shots, specifically Tequila, without consequences, so I don’t take them anymore. A lot of people make fun of me for it, but at least I’m no longer spending my weekends with my face inside a toilet.

16. Drinking too much at work 

Two of the four companies for which I’ve worked had kegs in the kitchen, and all have supported drinking on special occasions or Fridays. Don’t overdo it — you still need to get your stuff done.

15. Too many conversations via text

Phone calls, emails, and of course in-person meetings are always more meaningful. Strive to have more of these.

14. Sleeping until noon on weekends

Sometimes you need to catch up on rest after long work weeks, but don’t forget to make the most of your days off by visiting friends, exercising, reading, or doing things you love.

13. Gossiping at work

It’s inevitable, and some would even say it’s healthy, but too much can create a hostile environment and come back to haunt you.

12. Getting too comfortable at work

You never know when your bosses could decide to move forward without you, and it’s important to maintain a strong work ethic no matter what, even if you realize your job ultimately isn’t the right fit.

11. Letting the trash bin pile up

Chances are, you’re not looking to share your living space with rats or other awful crawly things, so take out your garbage at least once a week, and definitely be mindful of throwing away items that smell.

10. Revealing too much online, in any capacity

Don’t trash-talk your current employers on social media, via email, or in cryptic blog posts. Invest in a journal if you must, but always be careful of what you put online.

9. Leaving passive aggressive notes for roommates

Confrontation isn’t fun, but email diatribes and notes on the sink can come across as cowardly.

8. Stealing (or borrowing without permission) other people’s stuff

Whether it’s a Mac charger, packed lunch or pair of earphones, it’s not yours, and the owner will definitely notice his/her things have mysteriously vanished.

7. Chasing after trains for your morning commute

Taking the subway/metro is stressful enough, so why add to it by running down a dangerous flight of stairs, weaving through swarms of people, and breathlessly sprinting toward closing doors? Calmly wait for the next train car and your commuter experience will be much more tolerable, both for you and your fellow passengers.

6. Being worked by strangers on the street

When I lived in D.C., a convincing but manipulative woman once tried to force $40 out of me. I support helping the homeless and those in need, but don’t fall for all the stories you hear from random hecklers on the street. Give them change if you’d like and then walk away, as some may try to suck you in and take advantage of your good nature.

5. Facebook stalking old flames

We all do it, and I may or may not have already done it twice today. A good thing to ask is how reading about someone else’s life adds to your own, especially if that person hasn’t done anything positive for you in a while. As my dad used to say, “don’t borrow trouble,” and you definitely borrow trouble anytime you try to keep tabs on your ex.

4. Grocery shopping while hungry

We all know this doesn’t end well.

3. Being too nervous to ask for help

We all have to do it at some point, so never feel weird about emailing an old acquaintance about job networking or advice on moving to a new city. Most people got where they are today with some guidance and help from others, so chances are, they’d be happy to do the same for you (if they have time!).

2. Leaving your umbrella at home before work

This was a huge problem for me in NYC. I’d look at my iPhone, see a wet forecast, stick my hand out the window, feel no rain, and head to work without my obnoxiously big CVS umbrella. Naturally, it would be pouring by the time I got out of the subway station, and silly me had to start the 9-hour work day in a soaking outfit. I’ve always been the person without an umbrella, or the person with an umbrella that self-destructs far too early in our relationship. It’s a traumatic experience to have. If there’s a chance of rain in the morning, always take an umbrella to the office. I know it’s gross, large, and another thing to carry, but damp clothes are even less pleasant. Worst case scenario, it doesn’t rain and you can leave it at your desk in the event of a future storm.

1. Forgetting to say thank you

Thank you notes may seem old school, but they’re still totally necessary and relevant. Whenever someone gives you a present, remember to send a thank you letter or email. If you’ve run out of stamps or become really busy, give the person a call to let them know you haven’t forgotten about the nice thing they’ve done. A sincere “thank you” goes a long way, and that’s never going to change.

Did I miss any? Share in the comments section.

Featured image via ShutterStock.

  • Joshua Venne

    Running for the bus is good for you, it provides healthy cardio and in turns helps with hormone production. Just don’t get hit by a car, run through crowds or slip down stairs, but the reality is that being struck by a vehicle or trampled by commuters is as close to an honorable death as most of us will get. Umbrellas are annoying, they take up too much space and if it’s windy become useless, invest in a tech jacket from Columbia or Helly Hansen, and bring a change of clothes (in case you blow a back door load when you slip down those stairs).
    Water Bottles, Get a nalgene. Get some tap water. Stop creating so much trash for that over flowing trash bin – I know you don’t recycle. As for that stranger on the street, that money isn’t going somewhere useful, buy food or volunteer.

    Good article though, I had a fun read.

  • Courtney

    This list is REALLY GOOD! These are awesome practices to take up – they’re all about being prepared, being respectful, being healthy, and being responsible. I don’t understand why some people are replying to this with hostility. I am guilty of almost all of these; being a young adult and learning to navigate independence is hard, and if you don’t struggle with these things, then good for you! You can move on to improve other areas of your life. (Like, say, not spending time on the Internet bashing other people’s articles?) Maybe you’re not as lazy as I am – as many people in their early 20s are – but you definitely aren’t perfect, so try to take up new habits or hobbies and practising skills that will expand your horizons. Like putting money in an RRSP account every month or volunteering at animals shelters.

  • Sophia Nicholson

    Speaking as a bartender, you will get worse service if you keep making me swipe your card every time you order a drink. Especially if it’s busy. How about be responsible and cognizant enough at the end of the night to close your tab and retrieve your card?

  • Mae Danger

    LOVE the YM shout out! I may have “borrowed” some issues from my older sister in my tweens!

  • mediabrainwash

    Well, considering I work most weekends I can’t do that. However it’s healthy to do that on off days. My job hurts my entire body so I will sleep all day. I take it white collar jobs do not. Also what sort of job allows you to drink at work? Most jobs do not allow it.

  • https://www.facebook.com/DaveMarajSocialMedia?ref=hl Dave Maraj

    #19 ‘this is 2013′ ? is this old or should that be 2015.

  • ARGENTVS

    Im an eternal child im 27, still act like 20, fuck it ill drink over and over again. I dont need to be grow up, got friends to live happy, what else you need, too much worrys in this post. You are weak if you cant take 2 or 3 shots of tequila. Advice, drink 1 litter of watter before go out, at the middle of the night drink watter and dont drink alcohol for 30 minutes, keep drinking then, before sleep, at the end, turn on the TV or go to the PC, waist 20 minutes and drink more water. Ta da!, when you wake up the hangover wont be there or a least will go away before 5 pm (i know you yankees are rare and have dinner at 6… but 5pm for me is the start of the afternoon, meaning the start of the day when you went out the last night -im argentine, dinner is 9/10pm-).

  • DeanWormer

    Floss. Seriously. Just a couple minutes a day.

    Floss in your 20s and 30s so that you don’t have to have periodontal work in your 40s and 50s. It’s veeery expensive and not a lot of fun.

  • Cameron Purdie

    Debit cards are just how you use cash without going to the ATM. What a stupid list.

    • Travis Brown

      yeah what the list shouldve really said was be responsible with your money. people that cant handle debit cards need help

    • http://kurkqt.hubpages.com/ Kursten Westholder

      Debit cards can take 3-5 days before money goes out of your account. Which can really suck if you think you have money in your account and end up going negative. And just because you are offended by the fact that you don’t have any common sense doesn’t make this list stupid.

      • Courtney

        I definitely agree that paying with cash is wiser than using just your debit/credit card. I find I am more likely to make impulse purchases (take-out, for example) when I am not paying with cash. Seeing your wallet physically deplete makes a difference when considering transactions. I’m surprised at the amount of disagreement in this comment section! I would say to all of the naysayers that if something on this list doesn’t apply to you it probably applies to someone else, so don’t worry about it? I’m sure there are other areas in your life you could improve on as well, even if you mastered all of these habits…

      • http://people.ign.com/shralla Shralla

        I don’t have any common sense because I’m perfectly capable of tracking my non-physical finances? That doesn’t really follow. That actually seems like I have more common sense than the person who wrote this list is implying. So I’m actually offended that the person who wrote this assumes I have no common sense.

      • http://people.ign.com/shralla Shralla

        I don’t have any common sense because I’m perfectly capable of tracking my non-physical finances? That doesn’t really follow. That actually seems like I have more common sense than the person who wrote this list is implying. So I’m actually offended that the person who wrote this assumes I have no common sense.

      • laura

        using credit cards is a much smarter move than cash or debit, as long as you have the money to pay for it and are responsible enough to be able to keep track of your spendings.

  • Silvana

    I really don’t understand why people equate getting married and having kids with growing up…plenty of people do neither of these things, and that doesn’t make them any less grown up. nor are 19 year olds getting married because they got accidentally pregnant more grown up than single 25 year olds.

  • Silvana

    I really don’t understand why people equate getting married and having kids with growing up…plenty of people do neither of these things, and that doesn’t make them any less grown up. nor are 19 year olds getting married because they got accidentally pregnant more grown up than single 25 year olds.

  • Silvana

    I really don’t understand why people equate getting married and having kids with growing up…plenty of people do neither of these things, and that doesn’t make them any less grown up. nor are 19 year olds getting married because they got accidentally pregnant more grown up than single 25 year olds.

  • Silvana

    I really don’t understand why people equate getting married and having kids with growing up…plenty of people do neither of these things, and that doesn’t make them any less grown up. nor are 19 year olds getting married because they got accidentally pregnant more grown up than single 25 year olds.

  • Silvana

    I really don’t understand why people equate getting married and having kids with growing up…plenty of people do neither of these things, and that doesn’t make them any less grown up. nor are 19 year olds getting married because they got accidentally pregnant more grown up than single 25 year olds.

  • Maya

    But most importantly: here are you working that has kegs and do they have any open positions?
    Signed,
    A 23-year-old

    • Al

      “cool start-ups” I work at a luxury brand and we drink champagne and craft beer for a better understanding of how to pair our product.

  • Rayza

    I’m 27 and I need to get rid of a lot of these habits :/

  • majikthise

    14. Sleeping until noon on weekends

    Sleeping IS a thing I love to do, and I will continue to sleep in on Saturdays for as long as I can get away with it, thank you very much!

    Fun article tho… grow up if you want, or not, both are perfectly fine choices.

  • Enrico Natale

    Love this

  • Bluegold Skies

    Love reading your article, brought up some good points. Thank you for sharing!

  • kiara

    Not running for the bus when you live in a place where the bus comes every hour sometimes longer and its cold as hell and you need to get to work….yeah….I’ll continue to run for that bus..consider it exercise for the day!! Lol.

    • Brenda Rodriguez

      Set your clock five minutes a when you are in a hurry you forget it is five minutes ahead and rush out only to realize afterwards that you have an extra five minutes. It works for me.

    • Limeila

      Just go earlier !

      • Bernadette MaryAnn

        That’s what I was going to say. I always plan to be 5 minutes early so I don’t miss it.

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