5 Mistakes People Were Glad They Made in Their 20s

Our mistakes can be important stepping stones to an improved version of ourselves.
by Mylene Mendoza   |  Feb 5, 2021
Image: Shutterstock Art: Hannah Villafuerte
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Our twenties is an interesting phase. It's when we get to step out of our comfort zones, explore our options in life, and get a taste of the "real" world. That said, being a twentysomething comes with a certain affinity for mistakes that seem 10 times more drastic compared to the ones you make when you were younger.  

And while a certain sense of responsibility and accountability can scare us away from taking a risk, you'll find that making mistakes is an inevitable part of life, and in the long run, can actually offer us eye-opening insights about life. It's one thing to be apologetic about the wrong decisions we've made, but it's also another thing to own up to them and use them as important stepping stones to an improved version of ourselves.

We asked people about the mistakes they were glad to have made in their twenties, and here's what they said:

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Falling for the wrong person.

"When you know, you know" is something many of us often believe in when it comes to love and relationships. But sometimes, we make mistakes and wrong judgments, too. "I did not pay attention to what my friends, leaders, and parents have told me about the guy who courted me," shares Sydney Adrianne Gonzales. "They told me that I should cut off ties with him immediately, but I did not listen to them. And I compromised my values and worth to be liked by my past crush that I admired for two years, who didn't like me back, because he was in love with another girl."

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But the most important thing about making mistakes is realizing the lessons they bring with them. "I'm thankful for the lessons that those events had given me because I learned that my worth is found in Christ, and that I am made for something more. Those mistakes made me to be a better version of myself, and even though those mistakes were a handful, the lessons were, too!"

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Taking a career path different from your college major.

Not everyone gets to figure out what they want to do in life right away. Some shift courses when they realize that they're majoring in something they're not passionate about, but others stick it out until the end. "I’ve always felt like I chose the wrong course and wasting my time in college and I was too close to the end before I realized what I really wanted to do," shares a 24-year-old graphic designer. "I’ve always been passionate with arts and design but I was greatly discouraged by my parents when I was choosing what college degree to pursue back then, since I also felt lost, I just kind of went along with it.

"But looking back now, I don’t regret what happened and I think more than anything it fueled the drive to further pursue this path I’m currently taking. I tried my best to learn what I can through self-study, finding a creative community and trying internships outside college. I took a leap of faith to pursue this path post-college and I definitely most not regret the decision to be a full-time creative, the process I took might be difficult and unconventional but at the end of the day it’s still what makes me happy."

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Being in a toxic relationship.

No one wants to be stuck in a toxic relationship, but for some, it's easier said than done to escape from one. Some things may be holding us back from moving on from people who have no positive energy to bring to the table, and while it's never advisable to enter such a relationship, there's still essential life lessons to take away from the experience. "It was a mistake being in a toxic relationship but [I'm] thankful that it taught me to love myself," shares @kryscross.

Applying for a job without proper research.

Every job we take on is a step towards building our dream careers, which is why people usually put in a lot of effort into job hunting. But sometimes, finding our true calling in life can start from a simple miscalculation. "I applied for a job without actually looking into its details. Now, I enjoy teaching," @_mgaprinsipe shares. "Nagmadali ako in finding my purpose but now here I am, educating the youth," says @eyangxx.

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Not being smart enough with money matters.

"Spending instead of saving. Now I have learned from it. LOL," shares @jessinfinity_. College students have started being more mindful about money because it's never too early to be more financially aware. Being reckless with your finances might put you in very tricky situations, but some lessons in life hit harder when you experience them firsthand. 

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Mylene Mendoza
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