15 People Over 40 Share Their Best Advice for People in Their 20’s

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When you’re in your 20s, it can be an exciting time full of opportunity, but it can also be a stressful time full of change and stress about the future.

If you can relate to the stress of being in your 20s, perhaps you would like some advice from the older generation. Reddit user peeledraspberry asked, “People who are 40+ and happy with their life, what is your advice to people in their 20s?”

While it might be easy to think that the older generation doesn’t understand what the younger generation is going through, that’s not really true. Age does give you perspective to know what to avoid and what is important.

Scroll down for pieces of advice for people in their 20s from people 40+. If you’re in your 20s, you might find some advice that really helps you out. If you’re in your 40s or older, you might find yourself agreeing with a lot of this advice.

  1. “A Book of Poems”

    A poetic answer from JayParty:

    Don’t fall for the trap that your life needs to be one long narrative that you should be building. Life is best when it’s a bunch of happy moments that just happen to be connected.Don’t try to make your life into a novel, make it a book of poems.

  2. “You’ve Got Time”

    Smooch-A-Rooch wrote:

    Chris Rock said it best: ” Now, people tell you life is short. No, it’s not. Life is loooong. Especially if you make the wrong decisions! “Edit: The point is, you’ve got time. Don’t kill yourself trying to do it all now.

  3. You Can Start Over

    purplelicious added:

    It’s never too late to start again.All in my 20’s I thought I couldn’t just restart my career or dump a useless boyfriend or go back to school because I was already on a certain trajectory. Made my choices now I gotta make the best of it. That’s total b***s***. You have no idea how incredibly young you are and how much time you have to do whatever you want to do. When I figured this out, I found the man of my dreams, had a kid in my late late 30’s, dropped my entire career in my late 40’s and starting a new one at 50 and it’s awesome.

  4. Friendship Is Important

    fantazja1 shared:

    Maintain your friendships. In twenty years you will be so grateful for those people who saw you through marriages, children, illness and health. People who will go for a trip with you, love your kids, remember you as a young person.Friends are essential but they require work. Don’t be alone just because you don’t want to be the person who reaches out to others.

  5. Travel

    EvenCaramel added:

    When I was in college, I had the chance to go to Europe but I passed because I had to work at a warehouse. I picked staying at a part time warehouse job over seeing the world. When I finally went abroad in my 30s, it changed my perspective about everything and everyone. Go to another country that is far away and different than your own.

  6. Just Relax

    QualityKatie shared:

    Relax more. Don’t get angry over little things.

  7. Your Teeth Are Important

    Thirty_Helens_Agree wrote:

    Take care of your teeth. This is the only set you’re ever going to have and you don’t want to neglect them and mess them up like I did. I’ve got crap tons of fillings which don’t last forever and need replacement. A filling isn’t as good as the real thing and filled teeth can break, requiring crowns. I have two and it sucks.Brush and floss thoroughly every single day without exception. Hell, get an electric toothbrush. See the dentist regularly. Ditch the sugary drinks.

  8. You’re Not Stuck

    yeahwellokay explained:

    I was a raging alcoholic in my twenties and thought I would never recover from it. I never found a real job using my first degree or my masters. Part of it was because I was always drunk, part of it was the job market at the time.I went back to school in my thirties and found something I like a whole lot more. Now, I’m married, nearly ten years sober, and have a great job. My point is, if you end up on the wrong path or don’t like where you are, there’s always time to turn around and change it. Too many people just assume they’re stuck where they are and stuck with the issues they have.

  9. Twice the Man

    chad303 passed on some advice he was given in his 20s:

    When I was 22, an older gentleman asked me how old I was and then told me, “chad303, when you are twice that age, you’ll be twice the man you are today.” I almost considered it a slight in that moment, but time has proven him wise. Here I am, twice that age and, in my humble estimation, twice the man than I was then. I believe this chiefly because I have learned that kindness is not a weakness, humility serves you better than pride, and cruelty is a fool’s game.

  10. “Have” vs “Get”

    DeludedSwoledMan explained:

    Everything you “get” becomes something you “have”Learn how to be happy “having” things instead of “getting” them.

  11. No Reason to Compare Yourself to Anyone Else

    Written by MayUrBladesNVRdull:

    It’s not a race! Stop comparing yourself to others. Just because they did things sooner than you, doesn’t mean they’re happier or better.Try to start good habits. It is a little rough at first, but in a few years it will be second nature. Do this with things like cooking, cleaning, saving money and self-care.

  12. Advice for Parents

    Kbhusain shared:

    Never rely on your kids to make you happy. They will have to move on to their lives. Plan accordingly

  13. Plan for the Future with Your Finances

    RmeMSG shared:

    Don’t put yourself in ridiculous amounts of debt trying to portray a certain image. You’ll spend your entire life trying to get out of the hole you dug or you’ll have to declare bankruptcy.Set aside enough money to cover 3-6 months of expenses for emergencies just like now. Moreover, save now for your retirement years. It doesn’t require much and if you have it taken directly from your paycheck you won’t be inclined to not pay yourself first.

  14. Exercise Matters

    MellisaHoey wrote:

    Get a regular exercise routine going and stick to it like your quality of life depends on it, because it does.

  15. A Lot of Great Advice

    Unapologetically_Z shared:

    Go have an adventure of a life time. Don’t put it off. Make plans for your money. STAY OUT OF DEBT. You dont need that new car, watch, handbag etc. Material items are not worth your sanity. Have a 3-6 month emergency fund. Don’t waste time on anyone who disrespects you. Have a back bone but don’t be rude. Not everything needs your reaction. Find someone who you can spend endless time with. Talk about ideas not people.