What to regret in your 20s, nothing

Brooke Howard, Features Editor

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Being in your 20s is hard. Your 20s is the decade of change, huge life decisions, and you have to accomplish all of this with limited time, money, and sleep.

You might feel like you are being pulled in a million different directions, and your teachers, parents and peers are all watching you very closely.

Blink-182 even has a whole song dedicated to everyone hating you when you’re in your early 20s and there is even a so-called “Curse of being 23” in which you are pretty much a man-child stuck between college life and the real world.

But our forefathers did it, our elders did it, I mean even Britney Spears got through her 20s.

So how do you tackle these years and come out on top?

I interviewed a dozen people whom have “been there, done that” and shared their wisdom of the pursuit of happiness.

“The things I regret in my 20s are not things like missing class every once and awhile when I was up at Bakersfield College in 1963,” said former BC nursing graduate Peggy Wendig.

“I am not telling you that skipping classes is a good thing, but I certainly don’t regret it. I would beat myself up about it then, but now I look back and feel silly I was so worried about it,” Wendig continued.

Others agreed that traveling and getting out of their comfort zone should have been a priority when they had the chance.

“The things I regret are not trying to find more things I was good at. I was scared to go out and do things because I wanted to stay in my comfort zone,” Jillian Miller, 32, said.

“I wish I could have went and traveled with my girlfriends when we had the chance,” Miller continued.

Miller’s friend, Karen Mortez, agreed with her and added, “Yeah I agree. But oddly enough I regret not having kids earlier because I was so focused on getting a career, I didn’t travel or have kids till I turned 34.”

Life is meant to be what you want it to be whether that means having kids at a younger age or traveling the world. But some, such as Gregory Western, 64, just regret taking things so serious all the time.

“I wish I would have bucked up and kissed the cheerleaders, gone to those bonfires , and realized it’s a good thing to not be serious all the time. I know all of this now, but I realized it in my 30s, which is too late to kiss cheerleaders, trust me,” Western said.

Some others have no regrets at all and that’s just the point Sherry Young, 45, wants to reiterate to Bakersfield’s youth.

“I don’t regret the little things that got to me when I was younger, I really wish I didn’t care what people thought of me when I was 20-something, but I don’t regret that I did. I wish other kids knew that. Don’t spend so much time caring what people think of you and what you do. I am who I am today because of what I did in my 20s, and I am very happy,” Young said.

Ed Lyndon, 52, agrees with that type of thinking, “I don’t regret anything I did back then and that’s the beauty of being so young. I made a lot of mistakes, but I made sure I fixed them. Just be a good person and a good member of society and you’ll be alright.”

It seems like the golden rules of your 20s include: Travel as much as possible, don’t beat yourself up over little things, do what makes you happy, and overall – just don’t regret anything, and learn from everything.

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