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I Regret Not Having Done These Things In My 20s


As someone who is now three decades old, I think it is only natural, at times, to look back at life and have a regret or two! As someone who is a firm believer of doing exactly what I want, it's surprising how many regrets I actually have. From wanting to travel more to being more fit to even beginning to save money earlier, there are several things that go on my list of "I wish I had" (it's surprising how we all end up having that list, isn't it?). I've always tried to do things in a way that I don't miss out on anything later, but in retrospect, there are several things that I would have done differently if only I knew better. So, from one introspecting adult to another, here are some of the things that I really wish I had done when I was in my 20s. If you are still there, you might want to reconsider your bucket list a bit.

1. Taking some time off

No matter what we tell ourselves, travelling for more than a weekend or a week if you are lucky, gets insanely difficult once you are working. It's a cycle you get caught in - you are 24, you have just started working and you really cannot afford to take all that time off; then you turn 26, you are at a mid-level position, kind of important and you cannot afford to be away for too long. Then you get to the senior positions, at 30 and you really need to set an example for your juniors by not taking so many holidays ... You get the gist. I really regret not taking time off, maybe a year, maybe just two months and simply traveling. The experience would have been great in my early 20s, plus I would have had some wild stories to tell right now, to fill those awkward first meeting silences!

2. Interning at more places

I interned at one magazine during my post graduation and that was it. I was pretty sure I wanted to be a lifestyle writer and I liked having a focused plan. But, now when I look back, it would have been great to intern at several other places, get a hang of other things and then settle. Today if I want to experiment, it means quitting my job and making sure I have enough money to survive. There are just too many things to consider.

3. Saving money

I started working when I was in college, odd jobs here and there, teaching kids English, small stuff but good money. I really, really wish I had the good sense to start a savings account and put some cash in there. In my early twenties when I got my first job, saving money was the last thing on my mind, it was something that people did at 30! Now I wish I had put away some of that cash so that I could have easily afforded to leave my job and maybe travel for an entire year.

4. Being fit

Ahhh that metabolism that comes with being 20, I'd kill for it right now. I wish someone had told me in my twenties that this won't really last, the skin will stop glowing, the fat will stop disappearing, the hair will get less shiny ... Life would have been so different right now.

5. Letting go too easily

I am all for letting go of bad relationships and not holding on, but sometimes, with some relationships, it is worth making that extra effort simply because the person on the other end is quite special. I was too impatient, too egoistic, even to hold on and say that I needed them. When I look back now, it just seems that some of the friends that I let go of, back then, were nothing but poor communicators. I should have picked up the phone, sent that first message and held on!

6. Studying more

Not just academically but studying simply because I wanted to. When I was 21 there were about five different subjects I wanted to study and pursue further and while I zeroed in on one that was the best for my work, I wish I had studied just to learn and understand. At 30 I simply cannot imagine myself going back to the books... Heck, forget the books I cannot even imagine writing with a pen for more than five minutes!

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