Ten mistakes you shouldn’t be afraid to make in your 20s

September 08, 2016
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The history of humanity is full off great opportunities that were missed because someone was scared of making a mistake. Nowadays, everyone from Oprah to Steve Jobs is telling us that we must make more mistakes if we’re going to be successful in life. Experts actually say that that mistakes are one of the best ways of learning.

Here are ten mistakes you should make while at uni because really they’re just wins in disguise.

Take a subject you’re shit at

Whether it’s Mandarin, painting or physics, take a class that’s completely out of your comfort zone. Maybe it’s something you’ve always been curious about but you were too focused on your career goals to explore it. You might find out that you actually hate it, or maybe you’ll fall in love with it. If you never try, you’ll never know.

Spend all your money on a crazy trip

You’ve been saving up for a car, but then your mate invites you to hike the Indonesian jungle over the mid-sem break. What do you do? You GO. Studies show that spending money on experiences makes us happier than buying material things, so go ahead and splurge.

Get a drastic haircut

Even if it doesn’t suit you, it will be worth it for the hilarious pictures to show your grandchildren one day.

Quit a job that’s good for you

The pressures of a competitive job market mean that we’re constantly trying to build our resumes by slaving away in jobs or internships that we don’t even enjoy. If the boss is nasty and the co-workers are rude, get yourself out of there. You can bask in the feelings of empowerment and self-determination (before crying about how you’ll never get a job again).

Date the wrong person

The heart wants what the heart wants. But often the heart is an idiot. Follow it anyway because learning what you don’t want in a relationship is a sure-fire way of finding what you do want.

Get rejected 

Once you start putting your ideas and work out into the world, magical things start to happen. But first, you’ll get a lot of nos. Rejection sucks, but it also gives you a new perspective and helps you to improve. Then when an opportunity does come your way, you’ll be ready to snap it up.

Waste time

Sleep in. Watch the clouds roll by. Lose yourself in a good book or film. Drink too much wine. Let your mind wander and your imagination run wild. Constant busyness suffocates creativity and sanity. Make time to waste time.

Talk to strangers

Mother always said “Don’t talk to strangers”. Now you’ve grown up, this rule no longer applies. Seek out strangers with different ideas, backgrounds and opinions to you and hear them out. Let your worldview be challenged and question your own assumptions. You might learn something new or make a friend (or enemy, so remember to be respectful!).

Get lost

Go roaming outside without your phone and get wonderfully lost. You’ll discover places you’ve never been before and notice the little details you would’ve missed if you were staring at your phone. You’ll surprise yourself with how resourceful you can be when Google Maps isn’t an option.

Throw away your game plan

Forget the idea that you have to have your whole life planned out before it’s even begun. Let the universe toss you around, you might be surprised where you end up.

Ellen Hays

Ellen is an Arts/Law student at Monash, and travel blogs at Worldly Journeys on the side. She enjoys discussing the meaning of life over a pot of Earl Grey.

Image: James Stewart, Flickr Creative Commons license