Listen: your 20s are a weird time. You’re trying to figure out who you are and where you’re headed and it’s confusing. But keep in mind there are things you do in your 20s that can impact what happens in the decade, so listen to this advice and take it to heart.

These folks on AskReddit shared their words of wisdom for folks currently in their 20s.

1. Get healthy

“Eat junk and not exercise. Get in the healthy habits early, maybe then you won’t notice the encroachment of death as soon.”

2. Try new things

“Think that their personality, interests, life, etc. are fixed and not be open to trying something new. I’ve wished I learned to play guitar since I was 16, but didn’t think of myself as “musical.” Now I’m learning at 38, and regretting that I didn’t spend the last 22 years playing.”

3. Be careful

“Have unprotected sex that leads to unwanted children.

I have children that my wife and I planned and wanted in our late 20’s/early 30’s. We love them and, while difficult sometimes, they have made life better.

We also have family members who had unplanned children early in life and their 20’s/30’s have been an extreme struggle.”

4. Avoid it

“Get addicted to drugs and alcohol. I am just freshly in my 30s now, and my god I squandered the majority of my 20s either being on something or recovering from doing drugs and alcohol.

Luckily I was able to pull myself out of it, but the first 7 years of my 20s were spent getting gradually and gradually more addicted and bottoming out.”

5. Take care of your back

“Lift heavy objects with their backs instead of their legs.

Also, bending down at the waist instead of lowering at the knees.

My back is f*cked, and it didn’t have to be.”

6. Don’t waste your time

“Stay with fixer upper partners in the hope that they will become better.

There are more dating options in the 20s. Don’t waste that valuable young and hot time with losers.”

7. Stay active

“They start slowing down. I’m not sure how else to describe it but once we’re out of school and get into a normal work/home/sleep routine most of us slow down our daily activities significantly.

You know how you’ve read that being sedentary can be as bad as a normal cigarette habit? That’s what I’m talking about.

It’s not that your metabolism comes to a screeching halt through your 20’s – it’s that you are freshly in charge of your own habits and have more opportunity to make the choice to slow down. Less activity + same/worse eating habits = weight gain and health problems.

Compare high school where most folks are up and down throughout the day carrying all materials from class to class and then part time work in the evenings usually involving some kind of on-your-feet customer service kind of job. It’s no wonder that by the time we only have to put in ~40 hours a week that we’re relaxing during our off-hours. But commuting to work to sit on your butt 8 hours and then commute to home to sit on your butt for another 6-8 hours… That’s a killer!

I’m not saying everyone does this but a huge HUGE amount of people fall into this habit. This sets the pace for early onset aging conditions that can start popping up as early as your 30s.

Take a look at the humans that live longest. What is the number one thing they all have in common? They kept their momentum and continued to be active.

I’m in my 30’s and my circle of friends are 30’s-60’s. The ‘relaxed’ friends are the ones starting to have regular standing doctor’s appointments to manage their newly developing conditions where those of us that keep up on our activity and exercising are still in relatively good working order.”

8. Wear earplugs!

“Go to concerts and loud clubs without hearing protection. Once tinnitus starts, it doesn’t go away. MAWP!

Here’s my advice… Go to a music store and buy earplugs that musicians use. They will lower the volume of the sound that makes it to your eardrums, but will do it equally across all of the frequencies so that the.sound doesn’t sound as muffled as the old style ear protection sounds. Party on!”

9. Let yourself heal

“Not letting injuries heal.

Ive learned this the hard way. If u keep using something that hasnt healed (in my case , my left shoulder), it turns an acute, very fixable issue into something chronic and far more complicated. If i had spent 2 or 3 weeks away from the gym and the basketball courts after i had first injured it, I would have saved thousands in physical therapy, Dr visits, MRIs and not to mention, drastic quality of life difference.”

10. Be smart with your $$$$$

“Living within your means but not in a sustainable way. Sure, you can afford to order food every day and have nice clothes and still pay your bills. But do you want to still rent a room in a basement when you’re 35?”

11. Watch your weight

“Don’t get fat. If you are fat, lose the weight. Make an investment in your future and change the behaviors that led to your being overweight. It might require therapy to get to the bottom of it—do it.

On top of all the stuff everyone knows about with diabetes, and cancer, and dementia later in life, etc., you’ve got more immediate issues: If you’re a woman and you’re overweight, you can become estrogen-dominant, which causes a shit-ton of problems (and makes you gain more weight). It can lead to uterine fibroids, worse periods, irregular periods, bad cramps, fertility issues, etc. Your hormones are way more important than you know. Throw one thing out of wack and other parts of the endocrine system start adjusting accordingly and it causes a cascade of problems. Hormones affect everything. Ev.er.y.thing. Help them stay where they’re supposed to be by being a healthy weight.

If you’re a guy: Belly fat decreases your life expectancy, increases risks for cancer, heart disease, and all the rest, but more immediately: excess weight can make your peepee not work right. Fat messes up men’s hormones and can lead to erectile dysfunction. Plus, gain enough belly fat and get enough of a fupa, and whoosh! You have smol peener.

Lose the weight while you’ve got youth and metabolism on your side. And if you don’t have a healthy relationship with food, GET ONE. Go to therapy and work your shit out if that’s what it takes. You will save yourself a world of angst, medical problems, and money in the long run.”

12. Buckle down

“Not work hard enough to build a career. It requires sacrifices to become established, and you cannot mix business with pleasure. You either party with your friends or you work for your boss and climb the corporate ladder. If you value financial and professional security then you have to give up your childish ways.”

13. Avoid credit cards

“Everyone in there 20s make poor life choices. They think about the present and not the future. They want the next best thing such as the new iPhone or a new TV and start using credit cards or start gambling. Then when they’re in there 30s they’re still paying off payments from those things.

Best thing you can do is never take out a credit card, because it’s there for you to just keep using. You never actually pay it off because as soon as you’ve paid for something, you end up putting something else on it.

If you can’t afford something then save up for it until you can. Don’t pay monthly for anything other than your gym membership and phone contract.

Just stick to using a direct debit.”

14. Set your goals

“Dwelling on what you did or didn’t do in your 20s while you’re in your 30s will get you every time.

You’ll miss opportunities, have too much fun, or not enough, no matter what you do, and that’s just life. You will have regrets.

If you want your life to go somewhere, make goals and do your best to achieve something, but keep in mind we can’t all be Bill Gates… Or even Keith Richards. Most of us will be average worker bees, just keeping the bills paid to fund our true passions, and there is nothing wrong with that.

Try not to f*ck your credit score or your back too badly, stay out of jail, and try not to get too fat, and odds are you won’t have it too rough when life hands you some lemons.”

15. Say no to cigarettes

“Smoking. Not to imply that once you’re addicted it’s forever, of course, but starting a drug habit in your 20s because you think it makes you look cool can and will fuck you down the road. I’m talking about more than just cancer- my grandmother smoked for half of her life, and she can’t tell when food in her fridge is rotten when for the rest of the family it’s pungent.”