As the saying goes, hindsight is 20/20. We asked 21 adults over 30 what advice they would give their twenty-something selves. Here’s what they said:

“Buy only what is necessary, Roof over the head, food in the body, clothes for the body. And ‘wants’? Wants can wait until I could afford them, the article is not going anywhere.”

“Think before you do what you’re about to do. Your actions have huge consequences! Be prepared to fail, but never give up!”

“That everything works out and it’s okay to let go and make mistakes. Life isn’t always on the straight and narrow. LOT OF bumps and turns but it’s for lessons lived and learned. You’re gonna be alright.”

“Settle down! don’t rush. Things will come when the time is right. And don’t forget FAMILY. They’re a very important part of your life. Pick your job wisely, be certain to like it because most of do it for life!! Some days are just a bust, but on occasion you’ll have that great day, maybe a project just falls together or you get a smile or thank you from someone you helped that’s the great days the ones that count.”

“Spend time learning yourself and accepting your whole self. People will love you for who you are once you take the time to learn who that is.” — Kris Giere

“Be assertive. Hold yourself and others accountable. Do the right thing.” — Mark Salke

“Live, love, and learn. Say ‘no’ at times.” — Joshua Aikens

“Slow down.”

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“Believe in yourself. Trust yourself. Never care what other people think of you. Only care what you think about yourself. Also, always keep your word and go above and beyond what people expect from you. Look people in the eyes and let them show you what they have discovered. Be kind to others and sweet to your spouse. Watch out for warning signs…People give them out all the time. Walk away from people who cause you trouble. Most importantly, don’t let your brain trick you. Your heart knows what’s best for you. Learn to trust your heart. Never give up.” — Jane Lupia

“Learn as much as you can. Education is power. Think about the consequences of everything you do, because finding out you’ve made a mistake can be very, very costly. Travel, see the world. Experience different cultures. Maintain your faith, it will keep you sane in the worst of times.”

“Another quote: ‘The years know much the days never know.’ — Emerson” — Geraldine

“Let yourself realize that you have potential and that you are capable of reaching that potential. (And I still am!)” — Fran

“Slow down–work will always be there, but friends and family may not.”

“The only person you need to please is yourself.” — Danielle

“Travel travel travel. Go to that concert. You may never have the chance!! Spend as much time with your parents. Don’t hold a grudge against your brother or sister, they may pass away before you can say you are sorry.” — Bobby Kidd

“You are worth doing what you want to do, man. Do it.” — Vince Skolny

“Work your ass off. Everything you want in life requires a lot of hard work and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Don’t wait for life to happen. Also exercise and don’t drink so much… nobody likes a sloppy fool.”

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“The best advice I could give my twenty-something self would be to have more sensible fun, like traveling and romances and to start early with saving for retirement.” — Lori

“Work towards personal goals as well as family goals.”

“Keep going. Love yourself. Don’t be afraid. Nothing is permanent. And when you’ve had two drinks and you’re feeling great, three drinks won’t make you feel better than great. :)” — Erica

“Be flexible! Life seldom goes as we plan. Rolling with the punches is much easier than standing rigidly as they come. It may sound trite, but thinking positively, finding the good side to every situation, goes a long way toward how you feel overall. I believe my 91 year old mother is the way she is — independent and sharp as a tack! — because she gets up every day and CONSCIOUSLY DECIDES to be happy.” — Jacquie O’Rourke


1. If you’re in your 20s, what advice do you think your 20-something self needs to hear?

3. If you’re not in your 20s, what advice would you give your 20-something self?

We asked 21 adults over 30 what they would tell their 20-something selves. The answers may surprise you. Click through to read them all.