Life

Five signs you’re not making the most of your 20s

Want more Junkee in your life? Sign up to our newsletter, and follow us on Instagram and Facebook so you always know where to find us.

If you’re feeling a bit underwhelmed with your life RN, chances are you might need to start making some changes. While it’s totally normal to make mistakes in your 20s, there’s a difference between making mistakes and recurring bad habits that might mean you’re wasting this prime time. While this isn’t a lecture to say ‘You’re doing it all wrong’, these are things you should consider when reflecting on whether you’re making the most of this important period.

You complain about your life but you’re not making the effort to change it

If your hangouts with friends have turned into weekly bitch sessions about your life, this might be a warning sign that things need to change. It’s fine to complain and have a moan when things are tough – but if the only thing coming out of your mouth is negative and of the ‘I hate my life’ nature, it’s time to make some changes.

Some things are out of our control, but change the things you can control. Dating someone who is making you feel miserable? Drop them. Hate your degree/job? Start researching other options. Feeling unhappy for another reason? Find out why that is so you can change it.

You use the excuse of ‘I have plenty of time’ to do nothing

Your early 20s are not a throwaway period – they’re actually really important for shaping your late 20s and beyond. It definitely doesn’t mean you can’t have fun and waste days being hungover or just doing nothing whatsoever. But doing this all the time as an alternative to trying at uni or finding out what you want to do will be a waste of your time.

Unpaid internships might not sound all that fun, but if the reason you’re not doing one is you’d prefer to be bludging 24/7, you’re not doing future you any favours. Start figuring out what you want to do now – it might take longer to figure out than you think.

You say ‘no’ more often than you say ‘yes’

Your 20s is a time for saying yes! It’s time to consider opportunities that come your way more seriously than going to your automatic answer of "I can't". Ever been asked to go travelling but said no because you couldn’t afford it? There’s always a way, even if it means slogging away with more hours at your part-time job. Or alternatively, if you can’t afford Europe – go for a cheaper trip like Bali. It’s also OK to turn down a night out when you’re really not feeling up to it, but if you always opt to stay in instead of a night out, you’ll be missing out on nights that won’t happen again – you can watch Netflix any time.

You’re staying in a degree or job you hate

We get it – when you’re at uni, you’re not skilled enough for a lot of jobs just yet. This might mean you have to suck it up and do a hospo or retail job for a few years. But if you’re hating your degree or an internship in your future field, then that’s a sign you’re on the wrong path. You shouldn’t have to suck it up when you’re degree is costing you so much money and the internships are taking up so much of your time – don’t feel bad about dropping out or quitting if it’s not right for you.

You let what other people think of you stop you from doing what you want to do

This could be expectations others put on you or self-imposed. Your parents might really want you to study a particular degree and it can be hard to let them down – but if you have passions that differ from their ideas, don’t let them stop you. You might even just be holding back in your everyday life becuase you're scared of not being liked or you're seeking the approval of others. You do you – don’t worry about everyone else.