31 Things You’ll Seriously Regret When You’re Older

31 Things You’ll Seriously Regret When You’re Older ©iStock/nd3000

To say that life goes by fast is an understatement. It’s literally a here today, gone tomorrow, and before you know it you’re sitting around in sweatpants at an old age home wondering where the hell all that time went. Basically, you need to live in the now so when you’re old AF, you won’t have any regrets. These are the ones you’re likely to regret the most:

  1. Not appreciating how young and awesome you were. Youth is indeed wasted on the young. Don’t waste your young body. Use it, move it and experiment with it. Take advantage of it, because you never know when it may fail you.
  2. Not having at least one summer fling. Everyone needs a summer fling. Even if you can’t have one every summer, it’s good to aim for at least one in your lifetime.
  3. Not eating dessert at every available opportunity. Are calories really going to mean a damn thing to you when you’re old with one foot in the grave? Hell no. So eat up now. And if you want a second dessert, don’t deny yourself that either.
  4. Being talked into things that you knew were wrong. You have instinct for a reason. Listen to it. When your gut says something is off, believe it.
  5. Not dancing until dawn more than a few times. If you have never danced all night and stumbled out onto the street to see the sunrise, then you need to get on that. Stat.
  6. Being careless with the hearts of others. In love, we all make mistakes. But it’s those careless moments, the ones in which you knew you were being malicious, that will haunt you forever. Don’t let that happen.
  7. Not drinking enough champagne just for the hell of it. As my buddy Coco Chanel said, “I only drink champagne on two occasions: when I am in love and when I am not.” You never need a celebration to drink champagne, but if you do, then here’s one: Life, itself, is one hell of a celebration.
  8. Not letting yourself fall in love more. Even if your heart was broken or you were betrayed, don’t let that stand in the way of falling in love again.
  9. Your empty passport. Go to faraway places. Get lost in foreign cities. Eat mystery food in Thailand and volunteer at an elephant sanctuary in Kenya. Know what it’s like to swim in other seas and climb other mountains. Just go.
  10. Not admitting you were wrong all the times you were so wrong. We’re all wrong sometimes, but it’s those of us who can admit to it who will walk away from this life with no regrets.
  11. Not telling people to go to hell when they deserve it. There are times to hold your tongue and times to tell people what you really think about them. If someone hurts you or insults you, telling them how you feel can be important.
  12. Not telling those you love that you love them. On the flip side, never let an opportunity to tell someone you love them pass you by. Ever.
  13. Not spending more time with your family. We all have weird families, but that’s the good stuff. Trust me; you want a weird family because a normal family would be dreadful. So embrace their quirks, their eccentricities, and spend more time with them before it’s too late.
  14. Not kissing that beautiful stranger in the bar that night. Just go for it. Asking yourself, “What if?” when you’re old and grey is not going to be fun.
  15. Not throwing caution to the wind. Planning is great, but planning is also overrated. So drop what you’re doing right now and have some fun.
  16. Spending too much time worrying about the past. The past is the past for a reason. Keep it there.
  17. Not knowing when to walk away. Whether it’s an argument, a toxic person, or a situation you’re just over, wash your hands of it and walk away. You don’t have to give a reason for it.
  18. Stalking your exes obsessively. Who cares? They weren’t even worth your time in the first place. Block them and move the on — think of all the more exciting things you could be doing with your time?
  19. Not laughing more. Laugh lines are a badge of a life well-lived. Laugh. A LOT.
  20. All those orgasms you faked. You deserve all the orgasms! Don’t fake them. Instead, be honest with your partner and make sure you climax, too.
  21. Not letting yourself have more than one soulmate. Breaking news: There isn’t just one person for everyone. Soulmates can be your friends, your lovers, a partner, a one-night stand, or even your dog. Don’t limit yourself to the idea of there being just one.
  22. Not taking more risks. Life is a risk. Spend less time in bed and more time out there in the world experiencing every second of it.
  23. Not being foolish enough. According to Anatole France, “It is human nature to think wisely and act foolishly.” Make that your mantra.
  24. Caring about what others thought about you. Stop giving a damn. Right. Now.
  25. Not having cuddled enough animals. We are so fortunate to share the world with so many amazing creatures. So go out there and love on them, be an advocate for them, and let your heart be awakened by such unconditional love.
  26. Not practicing forgiveness. Holding grudges is actually causing you more pain than the person you refuse to forgive. Forgive them — as hard as it might be.
  27. Staying in that crappy job. I once walked out on a job I hated. In the middle of the day, I totally had it and just walked out the door. It was one of the best decisions of my life. Don’t waste your time in an atmosphere that’s just bringing you down. There are other jobs out there.
  28. Not having taken better care of your body. You only have one, so quit beating on it and show it some respect. It’s going to pay off when you’re 90.
  29. Not having been kinder. It takes more energy to be a total a-hole. People will remember you for your kindness.
  30. Not being scared more often. To quote my 7-year-old nephew, “I’m not scared to be scared because it makes me know I’m alive.” Heed the wisdom of this little sensitive soul.
  31. Not living in the moment. You can’t change the past and you can’t control the future. All you have is the here and now, so live it up. Drink your champagne, rolling around in the park with a dog, fall in love this weekend and dance until the sun comes up.
Amanda Chatel is a sexual health, mental health, and wellness journalist with more than a decade of experience. Her work has been featured in Shape, Glamour, SELF, Harper's Bazaar, The Atlantic, Forbes, Elle, Mic, Men's Health and Bustle, where she was a lifestyle writer for seven years. In 2019, The League included Amanda in their "15 Inspirational Feminists Every Single Person Should Follow on Twitter" list.

Amanda has a bachelor's degree in English and master's degree in Creative Writing from the University of New Hampshire. She divides her time between NYC, Paris, and Barcelona.

You can follow her on Instagram @la_chatel or on Twitter @angrychatel.