Ten things

A friend of mine passed along a pretty accurate list called "Top 10 Things From Your 20's That You'll Regret When You're 40." Just for fun, I thought I'd add my two cents.

10. Body Piercing Plugs
Unlike neck tattoos, at least holes from eyebrow rings and nose rings can close back up.

9. Risque Internet Pics
I laugh whenever parents get up in arms when they hear that their child has become a party animal at college. Freshmen didn't learn their habits from strangers or even the lawnmowers hired to come out every week. So I'm sure there will come a day when somebody who didn't think these fun little pictures would ever come back and haunt them. (I'm not off the hook here. Even though I don't have any risque pictures online, there are plenty of me acting really silly. Poses can be best described as theater meets metal/hardcore. Hey, at least I have all my clothes on.)

8. Tattoos
I have no problem with people that choose to get some or a lot of ink. I have no problem with friends of mine who have entire arms devoted to ink. I do question the longtime impact of getting a neck tattoo. You can't wear turtlenecks every day of the year at work, you know.

7. Choosing Your Best Friend’s Girlfriend Over Your Best Friend
Your best friends are always there for you. When you think choosing your best friend's significant other is a small thing, you might as well start the grieving process over a lost friend.

6. Getting Married Too Young
I think it's imperative to find yourself before you can find anybody else. Don't expect somebody else to find your voice for you.

5. Not Traveling (Enough)
I was never the type that wanted to travel the world once I was done with college. It's very hard to travel alone, and I've never really pondered travelling with a friend. Maybe I should start.

4. Not Finishing School
Unless there's a multi-million dollar contract for you to play professional sports, I'd suggest staying until the end of school. Taking a few years off to do a band is fine, but a college degree is pretty important to have. Now, working a job you hate just so you can make a tidy sum of money is not a good idea either.

3. Smoking
I know way too many people who talk about quitting smoking, but never follow through. I don't mean to say this in a judging way, but I'm never surprised when they get back into it. Addiction to nicotine is intense. My advice for my friends and everybody else: quit, and don't tell anybody until months, or even a year, afterwards.

2. Bad Credit
Don't spend on money on something you can't buy already, or pay off within a year. Unless you're talking about a car or a home, the idea of bad credit has scared the crap out of me. Then again, taking a lot of risks in life scares the crap out of me because of sense of being in trouble. The fear of disappointing others is a very restricting viewpoint.

1. Not Spending More Time With Your Parents
I think I heard it best in the acknowledgements in a book I read a few years ago. The author thanked his parents, saying he gains more respect for them with each passing year. Yes, it's incredibly important to have your own way of life, but don't forget how important your parents are. They might piss you off during the transition years between child to adult, but when you become a parent yourself, a lot of things start making sense. If you don't try to resolve whatever issues you have with your parents while they're alive, they're definitely not going away when they pass away.