When I was in my twenties, I would have argued that it had to be the best decade of my life. Possibilities were endless, sleep was optional, I had energy for days and I never, ever woke up wondering how I’d hurt my back in the middle of the night.

That said, now that I’ve moved beyond, I’ve learned to appreciate the “older” years, too – and if those of us who have survived could go back to give ourselves advice, here are 24 things we might say.

24. Travel.

While your responsibilities at home are minimal, wander the world. There’s so much to see, do, and learn.

23. Revel in failure.

22. Read all the books.

One day, you’ll be too tired to do anything but stare at the television until you pass out.

21. Don’t make excuses.

No one wants to hear them, and no one is buying them, so save your breath.

20. Just learn how to apologize – and mean it.

If you screwed up, own it. Apologize, and move on.

19. Turn off your screens.

The television, the computer, your phone – there’s a whole lot to see, smell, taste, and experience in the real world.

18. Don’t invest in a job you hate.

You probably don’t have a mortgage and the pressure of saving for your kids’ future, so move on and find something you love. A lifetime is a long time to slog through a day job that you hate.

17. Patience really is a virtue.

In our culture, we’re not used to waiting – but you’ll save yourself a lot of gray hairs if you learn how.

16. Be brave enough to trust people.

Yes, some of them will let you down. Yes, a true, emotional connection is still worth it.

15. Live in the now.

Let go of the past and don’t give yourself an ulcer borrowing trouble. Take your 24 hours and accomplish something amazing.

14. Know that your time is valuable – and so is others’.

Don’t waste your time on people or things or work you don’t believe in – and who don’t believe in you. Do things that make you happy and screw all of the rest, but understand that others are also allowed to do the same.

13. Ask for help.

We all need it sometimes, and there’s no shame.

12. Spend your money on experiences, not things.

Things break, they go out of style, or become obsolete, but the memories you make will last your entire life.

11. Only compete against yourself.

Everyone else is doing their own thing, so you’d do best to keep your head down and do the same.

10. Never stop learning.

Ask questions, and listen when people answer. You don’t know everything and you never will.

9. Forgive your parents.

Even if they were truly awful, letting go will help you heal.

8. Pick your battles.

Some of them are worth it, others aren’t. Don’t waste a lifetime figuring out which is which.

7. Make sure your best friends deserve the title.

Best friends are rare; most friendships won’t stand the test of time. Make sure you only give the title to people who have earned it with years of trust, honesty, disagreements, and unconditional love.

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6. Don’t take yourself too seriously.

Life isn’t a game, but no matter how seriously you take it, you’ll never get out alive. So chill.

5. Only buy shoes that fit.

They’re never going to get smaller or bigger, and neither are your feet. They’re only going to look pretty in your closet.

4. Take risks.

Sure, it’s scary, but you’re young. If it doesn’t work out, you can recover.

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3. Save your money.

Not all of it, but having enough to cover an emergency, buy the thing, or take the trip that comes up at the last minute can alleviate a lot of stress.

2. It’s not about the destination.

The mark will always keep moving, so you’d better enjoy the winding road that never ends.

1. Follow your gut.

This applies in every situation – if you get a bad vibe, don’t ignore it. If something keeps calling your name, jump in with both feet.

Seriously, enjoy your 20s but also maybe listen to some of this because it could make things easier down the road.

What piece of advice would you give to your twenty something self? Drop it in the comments for the rest of us!