Thirty-somethings share: What I would change in my twenties

Jun 12, 2014 at 12:00 a.m. ET
Image: Sam Edwards/Caiaimage/Getty Images

We asked several thirty-something women to open up about what they would have done differently when they were in their 20s. Here's what they had to say.


Jaime Fowler: Don't settle. And don't feel guilty when you outgrow situations and people that are no longer feeding your soul. Keep your feet moving and your eyes open and you'll find what you need.

Leah Purnell: I wish I wouldn't have stayed in a relationship for five years simply because I felt like I was getting "too old to start over."

Laura Mayeux: I wish I would've trusted my instincts about that first guy I thought I was gonna love forever.

Marcy Guevara: I wouldn't spend time or money on men who didn't treat me special and didn't see a future with me.


Victoria Austin: One thing that I wish I did differently was study abroad, or live abroad post college. If I could talk to my 20-year-old self, I would say that a few thousand dollars in debt could easily be paid off, and that the experiences that I could have had would be priceless.

Bouvier Eulen: I would have loved to have studied somewhere in Europe, Spain in particular. Studying abroad during college is definitely something I would encourage my children to do.


Amber Fosler: I would have spent less and saved more.

Amanda Marie: Done things I wanted to do, but without credit cards.

Laura Pryst: Throw out all the stuff. You don't need stuff. Save your money, don't buy stuff.


Christina Clumm: I would've done all my schooling before having kids.

Danielle Unger: I wish I would have stayed in college. I plan to go back, but with six kids it won't be anytime soon.

Jenni Hunter: I wish I would've stayed in college and not given up because my ex told me to. Your 20s should be your selfish years to focus on developing who you are as a person. Don't be with anyone who holds you back from your dreams.


Laura Williams: I was in a job where some really awful stuff was going on. When I decided to address it, I wish I would have done so more confidently. I knew it wasn't good and that there were people being put in a world of hurt because of it. Even though I was upper management, I felt like I was so young, that surely the other managers knew best. So when I addressed it, and they ignored me, I wish I would have pushed back immediately and with confidence.

Patrice Banks: Don’t be afraid to tell people what you want to do. Then ask how you can get there. People embrace a person who knows what they want and goes after it. If you don't know what you want to do, take a personality test to help learn what activities give you energy and what activities drain you. You'll find out about the types of work you enjoy, then find a way to get a job doing just that.

Health and beauty

Marcy Guevara: I wouldn't have stressed so much about my weight. I would've enjoyed it, as I was thinner than I am now.

Annette Flores-Nolan: I would have started Retinol A, sunscreen and flossed at least three times a week. Oh, also checked my blood sugar two times a year since this affects your beauty, hair, skin, teeth, nails and your internal body.

Lisa M. Aurigema-Browne: I wish I would have gotten into the habit of drinking more water earlier. The benefits for my body are too numerous to list.

Sara Ellen Davis Jones: I would have invested in higher-quality skincare.

Amy McDowell: I've been pretty lucky overall, I think. I would say I take more style risks. Kinda wish I could do crazy stuff with my hair (blue streaks?) but I'm in a job where that kind of thing would not go over well. I could've pulled it off in my 20s.

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