The 20s are known as a time of fun, but with equal amounts of stress and guilt experienced. Too often you’re left feeling like you’ve got absolutely nothing together that should be, and that everyone around you is successful building their lives.
Here are 11 things that 20-somethings need to stop beating themselves up about:
1. “I don’t own a house yet”
The housing crisis hit this generation pretty hard, which is why you shouldn’t be so cross with yourself for renting perennially. Yes it’s annoying not being able to paint the walls and yes paying rent every month is frustrating, but unfortunately you’re in the same boat as the majority of your peers – so stop being so hard on yourself.
2. “Should I have a significant other by now?”
The chances are you’re single because you’re picky and don’t want to settle, and there’s not a thing wrong with that. If you ever feel guilty about being single, it’s probably because caviar doesn’t settle for catfish.
3. “I shouldn’t have eaten that pizza last night”
Overindulging is a classic cause of guilt because you can pretty much feel the regret inside your stomach, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it once in a while. One too many slices of pizza isn’t always a bad thing, and the same can be said for most things – so don’t beat yourself up for having one extra whatever.
A good read: Advice for 20-year-olds from wiser 30-year-olds
4. “I feel bad for having a sick day off work”
Time and time again, women feel guilty for taking a day off sick and being ill in bed because they think everyone at work will judge them for it. Pal, the chances are they’d judge you so much more for coughing all over the communal fruit bowl and giving them all your germs. You work hard and illness is inevitable, so if you don’t feel good? Just take the day.
5. “I’m not as successful as I thought I would be by now”
A lot of twenty-somethings beat themselves up for not living up to the expectations they set themselves when they were younger, but it’s because at age 13, being a twenty-something seemed properly adult and stuff. Now? You’ve only just learnt how to use the tumble dryer by yourself – which is more than can be said for your flatmate.
6. “I feel guilty for feeling sad without a proper reason”
If you said you’ve never cried for no specific reason, you’d be lying. We’re all guilty of it. It’s normal. Most aspects of your life might be tip top and dandy and you might still feel like having a little cry, and that’s fine.
7. “I’ve barely seen any of the world”
Travelling the world is inevitably top of most people’s bucket list – but so is having a sustainable, comfortable life that involves routine and habit. Travelling the world is hard. It involves taking a risk, leaving your normal life and booking a one way ticket abroad – which takes courage that needs building up to. Feeling guilty for not doing it yet? You have time.
8. “I wish I knew more about xxxxxx”
Whether it’s politics, world geography or the Kardashians’ middle names, the chances are you’ve felt guilty for not knowing much about a topic at one point or another. But it’s wasted energy, because you can’t expect everybody to know everything about everything.
9. “I should probably have some savings by now”
See point one. When a large proportion of your wage goes on rent and living a vaguely manageable life, having savings is difficult. But you’re not alone, and most of your peers will be in a similar boat – so if they’re ordering another tequila on a Saturday night and not really thinking about it, don’t let that guilt eat you up either.
10. “I was much better looking when I was a teenager”
Comparison is the thief of joy and the sister of guilt.
It’s easy to look back at pictures and berate your current self for being fatter/thinner/triangular/fluffier with blobs on, but it’s a thankless task because you are who you are and the person you were made you the person you are now.
11. “I shouldn’t have spent my whole weekend in bed”
Nothing says Sunday night like a feeling of dread for Monday morning and guilt about ‘wasting’ your whole weekend lying in bed. The world moves at a rapid pace these days, and sometimes you need to pack in all of it for a weekend and just relax.
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