A very close friend of mine recently wrote an article about the 25 things to do before you’ve finished being 25. Reading over it I realized that I have many of the same goals for this upcoming year. Tomorrow I will be turning 25 and I don’t want to go another year without addressing the items on this list. I’ve already gotten a start on many of them, but there are some I’ll have to go out of my way to achieve. Even if you are already past 26, I suggest taking some time to make your way through it as well.
1. Learn to do something that you always thought was physically impossible. As Nike has famously encouraged – just do it.
2. Make peace with your siblings. You’re old enough to know better now.
3. Live somewhere besides your hometown (even if it’s only for a short period of time). This especially goes out to those who did not leave their hometowns for some sort of college or educational experience. In terms of character building, nothing beats moving somewhere totally new and building an entirely new life.
4. Start a retirement plan now. For serious. And put some damn money in it.
5. Fall in love. Fall out of love. Try not to leave a devastating wake in the process. Remember that in the long term, hearts (including yours) are like lizard tails; eventually they’ll grow back.
6. Don’t fight the quarter life crisis. This is your year! You can become a complete diva; just use your breakdown as an excuse to get away with it. Experiment with an entirely different personality and claim to be trying to “find yourself.” You could even totally freak and buy a motorcycle (because, honestly, no one’s got the cash for a sports car at 25).
7. Date some really crazy people. Actively seek out people who motivate you, who push your limits, who have weird jobs, or who don’t speak any English (and who may or may not be here looking for a visa). The stakes are uniquely low at this point in your life. Embrace that.
8. Live in a shared apartment with way too many people. You’ll never want to do it ever again, but the experience will make for some excellent stories.
9. Willingly hang out with your parents. Go on a family vacation. Or at least try to visit more on weekends.
10. Learn some sort of non-work related “grown up” skill. Doing your own taxes is a good one. I’m personally learning to budget my money…
11. Learn to cook at least three meals from scratch. More specifically, aim to build up a portfolio of dishes that you can later whip out for dinner parties and dates.
12. Try a whole new look. Shave your head. Pierce your tongue. Get some crazy glasses. And hurry up, because at 26 these things just start to look silly.
13. Do something newsworthy. This could be for good or bad reasons; the point is to get your name in a blog, an article, some sort of fashion magazine, CNN, or whatever. Streak across a football field, instigate a Twitter war with a celebrity, quit your job and slide off an airplane. Whatever your crazy side desires. Obviously remember to clip the news and put it on the fridge.
14. Visit your best long distance friends. It’s been a while since high school / college / your old job / whatever. Try to see all those friends now before your responsibilities get even bigger and you’re actually too busy to go.
15. Reach out to someone you’ve lost touch with. Or be really bold and try to get in touch with someone with whom you’ve had a big falling out. Either way, make sure it’s heartfelt.
16. Commit to regularly spending time away from technology, modern amenities, and the rest of civilization. Aim for stretches of a few days, if possible. And make sure it’s somewhere without Facebook and working plumbing. It could be a camping trip upstate, a trek through the Amazon, or anywhere else that let’s you be briefly but fully disconnected from the world. But remember safety first – bring someone along who knows what they are doing.
17. Work up the nerve to ask others for the things you want. This includes your boss, your significant other, and your friends. Make it a habit. Stop being passive about your own life.
18. Commit to a new idea and invest time in developing it. It’s ok if you don’t know where the project will go in the end.
19. Successfully grow an herb / vegetable / fruit. In other words, actually cultivate it and don’t let it die.
20. Read more books. They’re way better for you than the internet.
21. Visit your grandparents and interview them about their life. And write down what they say! They are guaranteed to have so many crazy stories, which will definitely put yours to shame.
22. Learn to like whiskey. And how to order it properly.
23. Take more photos (and not just on Instagram). Like real, thoughtfully cropped photos. And if you do this digitally, remember to back the files up afterward.
24. Tell the people closest to you how you feel about them. Be honest.
25. Get really really dirty. Like “rolling through the mud and getting caked in leaves and sticks” dirty. Enjoy it.
And for some other great inspiring lists, see Thought Catalog’s 25 things to do before you turn 25 and 19 Things you should do before the summer is up. Please go over to Biz and Fizz and check out the other great articles. These girls are great writers and even better at giving advice on resumes, interviews, and dating (which I have plenty of questions about…).
What is the one thing on this list you are looking forward to doing?