For the most part, it’s easy to recognize a 20-something’s impulsive decision when we see it: It usually involves something like marrying your best friend in a Vegas drive-thru (and then filing for an annulment before the ink can dry), buying a questionable rug off Craigslist, or (multiple) rounds of butchering your hair in an attempt to give yourself bangs. In other words, navigating life in your 20s often means making choices that are neither sensible nor well-thought out.
More seasoned, well-meaning adults tend to warn against doing such reckless stuff in your 20s because tbqh, most of this sketchy behavior sounds like heading down the road to disaster, but nope. There are some things you can only get away with in your 20s, so it only makes sense to indulge…as long as whatever decisions you make don’t have far-reaching results that will keep you awake at night once you’ve lived through the full second decade of your life.
But seriously, no one wants to live a bland life that’s free of mistakes and spontaneity.
It’s perfectly okay to go with the flow and seize the moment. And there are some impulsive decisions you make in your 20s that you’ll never regret.
1Quitting your awful job.
Professional experts would have you believe that constant job-hopping is one of many common career mistakes 20-somethings make, but your 20/20 hindsight vision begs to differ. Don’t spend a single nanosecond beating yourself up for leaving a job that didn’t fulfill you or pay you well enough, and you should have zero regrets about quitting that one gig that interfered with your plans to spend a month in Europe with friends. #YOLO
2Unplanned road trips.
Not the type of trips that are mapped out months in advance. We’re talking about the kind of last-minute trips where you and a group of friends gas up and hit the road out of sheer boredom. Who cares if it’s 1 a.m., and the final destination is yet to be determined? Not knowing what to expect is part of the appeal, and the carefree attitude you have at the moment leaves absolutely no room for remorse.
So, allow us to preface this by saying you might regret your choice of tattoo, but the act of getting inked is something that most tattoo owners wouldn’t change.
A 2016 Guardian survey shows precisely how people feel about their tattoos later in life:
Additionally, a 2014 study found that only one in six people hate their tattoos enough to have them surgically removed.
4Moving around a lot.
In your 20s, it’s possible that a new job, relationship, or sudden desire for a change of scenery will compel you to pack your belongings and hightail it to an entirely different coast. But don’t worry about a post-relocation round of “shoulda/woulda/couldas” — you can always pick up and do it all over again.
Or over on the not-so-glamorous side, you move back home in your 20s to save money or because life is kind of kicking your butt at the moment, and you need to temporarily crash with your parents until you can pull your stuff together and go it alone again.
In the end, move forth regret-free because you’re not alone: A New York Times article on people with at least two decades of life experience claims they move a lot.
5Spending too much money on something meaningless.
Hey, at the time, it seemed like life would come to a halt if you didn’t drop a whole lot of coins (all of them, in fact) on the latest beauty product or fashion trend, even if this occasional splurge means you’re probably gonna be late on your rent.
However, as long you don’t engage in ongoing bad financial habits that will most certainly follow you into your 30s and haunt you (and your bank account) the rest of your life, then no harm, no foul.
6Staying in a crappy relationship.
Bad romances happen to the best of us. You should’ve definitely let this thing go a long time ago, but you also understand that staying involved way past the expiration date taught you exactly what not to do. Sometimes doing the wrong this is a life lesson that will benefit your older, more mature self, so you almost can’t regret it at all.
7Dating someone just for the hell of it.
Maybe you wanted some company or needed someone to binge watch with. (FYI, it’s so much more fun with two or more people.) Either way, there’s nothing regrettable about dating someone you don’t have strong feelings for. You’ll have plenty of time to seek out romantic partnerships with long-term potential.
8Whittling down your friend list.
Not the social media list — the IRL group. Some friends have been hanging tough with you since high school, but at some point in your 20s, you realize that having history with someone doesn’t make them a great friend.
Cutting them loose may be emotional, but you don’t have regrets. You just made room in your life for more authentic, fulfilling friendships to flourish.
File this under “Repeat Impulsive Behavior You Should Probably Regret But Don’t.” Obviously, getting quality sleep on a regular basis is uber important. But there’s no time like the present to do…everything, and your 20-something self only has a mere decade to get it in before life requires you to grow up a little (fine, a lot).