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25 Things You Must Do In Your Twenties

25 Things You Must Do In Your Twenties

Hello, all of you beautiful twenty-somethings and welcome to the prime-time of your life! Want to make the most of it? If so, start with these 25 things you must do in your twenties.

1. Do something scary.

Jump out of a plane. Dive in a shark tank. Zip-line through a rainforest.

2. Learn to cook.

Being at the mercy of take-out is expensive for your wallet (and waistline)You might be blessed with a fast metabolism now, but trust me, it won’t last. Also, you will be able to wow future dates with delicious home-cooked meals.

3. Travel alone.

The world is meant to be explored. Taking an adventure by yourself will help you grow your perspective (plus you’ll get to do all the stuff you want to do without complaint).

4. Ride a plane.

Those trees and buildings that seem so big when you’re at ground level? They will look like specks of dust while you’re in the clouds. Don’t get caught up in the inconveniences of flying. Enjoy the view, because it’s beautiful (and really puts things in perspective)

5. Party all night.

A consistent sleep schedule is your best bet for energy to carry you through the day, but who’s to say you can’t break the rules on occasion? Go to a club, concert, or bar with your friends. Have a blast until the place shuts down and then go to an all-night diner for coffee and conversation. Memories are made up of things like late nights with the people you care about most.

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6. Take a risk.

Aiming to achieve an audacious goal does carry a risk, but inaction guarantees regret. What’s it gonna be?

7. Enlighten yourself.

While other people are buried in their smartphones, you should bury yourself in books that will educate and inspire you. Seek enlightenment and you’ll be light-years ahead of the competition.

8. Play a sport.

What was your favorite sport when you were a kid? Invite some friends out to a park for a game of basketball, dodgeball, four square, hopscotch, or ultimate frisbee. If it’s a hit, make it a weekly event. If you’re feeling brave, spread word in your community and build a league or tournament.

9. Change the script.

If you still live in your home town, odds are you’ve been around the same people for a very long time now. Your actions are in part determined by the people you surround yourself with. Take an extended vacation to a new town (or country!) where you don’t know anybody. Expect to discover a lot about yourself when you’re out of your stomping grounds.

10. Reunite with an old friend.

Think about the school days. Are there any best friends who you haven’t seen in many years? Call them up and plan a trip together because you have a lot of catching up to do.

11. Drop the “I’m busy” farce.

Just because you’re “busy” doesn’t mean you’re accomplishing anything. Take an honest look at how you spend your day and eliminate anything beyond the essentials (and no, obsessively checking your inbox or Facebook feed isn’t essential). 

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12. Pay off your debt.

Frugal living might not be sexy, but there is nothing fun about drowning in debt. Begin by reducing your debts that carry the lowest balances or highest interest rates. Reduce frequent and unneeded costs like restaurant meals (learn to cook!) and drinks at the bar (take it home!) There is nothing wrong with the occasional indulgence, but financial freedom requires making sacrifices (and is so worth it).

13. Get to know your family.

It is amazing how little we can know about a person despite how long we have known them. Find out how your parents and grandparents met. Ask older family members to explain what life was like when they were your age. Explore your family history and make an honest effort to really understand what makes them tick.

14. Re-read the classics.

I don’t know about you, but I didn’t fully grasp how wonderful classic books like The Grapes of Wrath really were in high school. Pick a few titles that come to mind and be amazed at all the things you missed.

15. Go overseas.

It’s a big world out there. Get out of the bubble of your home culture and grow your perspective.

16. Volunteer for a cause.

Complaining about the world’s problems will not make them go away. Choose a cause that connects with you and be a part of the solution.

17. Cut the clutter.

Our responsibilities tend to grow as we age, so you need to cut out some things so you have more time for what makes you really happy. The toxic people you can’t stand to hang out with, time-wasting distractions, and stuff you never use all need to go.

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18. Fall in love.

Love does hurt sometimes, but so does loneliness. You’ve learned a lot about what you desire in a partner by now, so don’t be afraid to open yourself up to another person. Look at it like a roller coaster: yes, it is scary, but you are going to ride it anyway, right?

19. Write a letter.

Ask an old friend for their address, don’t tell them why you need it, and send them a thoughtful, handwritten letter. It will be a welcome surprise among the usual bills and junk (and maybe you’ll end up with a new pen pal!)

20. See your favorite band live.

I know it sounds amazing on your car stereo or vinyl record, but there is something magical about hearing your favorite song performed live and in person. Now I’m curious: you should comment with your favorite concert ever after you read this.

21. Sleep under the stars.

Have a partner? Grab a bottle of wine, snuggle up under a cozy blanket, and enjoy the beauty. If you want to get frisky before you turn in for the night, I won’t stop you.

No partner? Who needs a stinking partner? Lay down and think about how insignificant you are in the Grand Scheme of things. Wonder how many other people are staring at the very same constellations you are.

22. Perform for a crowd.

Find a local community theater and audition to become a cast member. Take a few shots of liquid encouragement and perform your favorite song at your favorite bar’s karaoke hours. Visit an open mic night at a coffeehouse and perform stand-up comedy or poetry. Join a Toastmasters club and work on your speaking skills. You’ll develop swagger and confidence like no other (and it’ll be fun, promise!)

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23. Take a road trip with your best friend or partner.

Get outside of the comfort zone of your home town and go exploring. Going on an adventure with the person you care about most will help you grow closer together. Experiencing new things together will cause you to learn new things about each other, developing positive memories that will last a lifetime.

24. Start a garden.

Whether you want to grow tasty veggies or colorful flowers is up to you. Unleash your inner green thumb and let it take you where it will.

25. Find your passion.

The teenage years (and even the early twenties) are a confusing time when most of us don’t have much figured out. But as the years go by, you should grow a sense of purpose. Figure out what you want to be remembered for and make it happen.

Are you in your twenties? If so, please drop your Bucket List items in the comments. Have you already lived through your twenties? If so, feel free to offer your insight below.

More by this author

Daniel Wallen

Daniel is a writer who focuses on blogging about happiness and motivation at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on March 14, 2019

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

7 Questions to Ask in a Job Interview That Will Impress the Interviewer

Recruiters might hold thousands of interviews in their careers and a lot of them are reporting the same thing—that most candidates play it safe with the questions they ask, or have no questions to ask in a job interview at all.

For job applicants, this approach is crazy! This is a job that you’re going to dedicate a lot of hours to and that might have a huge impact on your future career. Don’t throw away the chance to figure out if the position is perfect for you.

Here are 7 killer questions to ask in a job interview that will both impress your counterpart and give you some really useful insights into whether this job will be a dream … or a nightmare.

1. What are some challenges I might come up against this role?

A lesser candidate might ask, “what does a typical day look like in this role?” While this is a perfectly reasonable question to ask in an interview, focusing on potential challenges takes you much further because it indicates that you already are visualizing yourself in the role.

It’s impressive because it shows that you are not afraid of challenges, and you are prepared to strategize a game plan upfront to make sure you succeed if you get the job.

It can also open up a conversation about how you’ve solved problems in the past which can be a reassuring exercise for both you and the hiring manager.

How it helps you:

If you ask the interviewer to describe a typical day, you may get a vibrant picture of all the lovely things you’ll get to do in this job and all the lovely people you’ll get to do them with.

Asking about potential roadblocks means you hear the other side of the story—dysfunctional teams, internal politics, difficult clients, bootstrap budgets and so on. This can help you decide if you’re up for the challenge or whether, for the sake of your sanity, you should respectfully decline the job offer.

2. What are the qualities of really successful people in this role?

Employers don’t want to hire someone who goes through the motions; they want to hire someone who will excel.

Asking this question shows that you care about success, too. How could they not hire you with a dragon-slayer attitude like that?

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How it helps you:

Interviewers hire people who are great people to work with, but the definition of “great people” differs from person to person.

Does this company hire and promote people with a specific attitude, approach, worth ethic or communication style? Are the most successful people in this role strong extroverts who love to talk and socialize when you are studious and reserved? Does the company reward those who work insane hours when you’re happiest in a more relaxed environment?

If so, then this may not be the right match for you.

Whatever the answer is, you can decide whether you have what it takes for the manager to be happy with your performance in this role. And if the interviewer has no idea what success looks like for this position, this is a sign to proceed with extreme caution.

3. From the research I did on your company, I noticed the culture really supports XYZ. Can you tell me more about that element of the culture and how it impacts this job role?

Of course, you could just ask “what is the culture like here? ” but then you would miss a great opportunity to show that you’ve done your research!

Interviewers give BIG bonus point to those who read up and pay attention, and you’ve just pointed out that (a) you’re diligent in your research (b) you care about the company culture and (c) you’re committed to finding a great cultural fit.

How it helps you:

This question is so useful because it lets you pick an element of the culture that you really care about and that will have the most impact on whether you are happy with the organization.

For example, if training and development is important to you, then you need to know what’s on offer so you don’t end up in a dead-end job with no learning opportunities.

Companies often talk a good talk, and their press releases may be full of shiny CSR initiatives and all the headline-grabbing diversity programs they’re putting in place. This is your opportunity to look under the hood and see if the company lives its values on the ground.

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A company that says it is committed to doing the right thing by customers should not judge success by the number of up-sells an employee makes, for instance. Look for consistency, so you aren’t in for a culture shock after you start.

4. What is the promotion path for this role, and how would my performance on that path be measured?

To be clear, you are not asking when you will get promoted. Don’t go there—it’s presumptuous, and it indicates that you think you are better than the role you have applied for.

A career-minded candidate, on the other hand, usually has a plan that she’s working towards. This question shows you have a great drive toward growth and advancement and an intention to stick with the company beyond your current state.

How it helps you:

One word: hierarchy.

All organizations have levels of work and authority—executives, upper managers, line managers, the workforce, and so on. Understanding the hierarchical structure gives you power, because you can decide if you can work within it and are capable of climbing through its ranks, or whether it will be endlessly frustrating to you.

In a traditional pyramid hierarchy, for example, the people at the bottom tend to have very little autonomy to make decisions. This gets better as you rise up through the pyramid, but even middle managers have little power to create policy; they are more concerned with enforcing the rules the top leaders make.

If having a high degree of autonomy and accountability is important to you, you may do better in a flat hierarchy where work teams can design their own way of achieving the corporate goals.

5. What’s the most important thing the successful candidate could accomplish in their first 3 months/6 months/year?

Of all the questions to ask in a job interview, this one is impressive because it shows that you identify with and want to be a successful performer, and not just an average one.

Here, you’re drilling down into what the company needs, and needs quite urgently, proving that you’re all about adding value to the organization and not just about what’s in it for you.

How it helps you:

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Most job descriptions come with 8, 10 or 12 different job responsibilities and a lot of them with be boilerplate or responsibilities that someone in HR thinks are associated with this role. This question gives you a better sense of which responsibilities are the most important—and they may not be what initially attracted you to the role.

If you like the idea of training juniors, for example, but success is judged purely on your sales figures, then is this really the job you thought you were applying for?

This question will also give you an idea of what kind of learning curve you’re expected to have and whether you’ll get any ramp-up time before getting down to business. If you’re the type of person who likes to jump right in and get things done, for instance, you may not be thrilled to hear that you’re going to spend the first three months shadowing a peer.

6. What do you like about working here?

This simple question is all about building rapport with the interviewer. People like to talk about themselves, and the interviewer will be flattered that you’re interested in her opinions.

Hopefully, you’ll find some great connection points that the two of you share. What similar things drive you head into the office each day? How will you fit into the culture?

How it helps you:

You can learn a lot from this question. Someone who genuinely enjoys his job will be able to list several things they like, and their answers will sound passionate and sincere. If not….well, you might consider that a red flag.

Since you potentially can learn a lot about the company culture from this question, it’s a good idea to figure out upfront what’s important to you. Maybe you’re looking for a hands-off boss who values independent thought and creativity? Maybe you work better in environments that move at a rapid, exciting pace?

Whatever’s important to you, listen carefully and see if you can find any common ground.

7. Based on this interview, do you have any questions or concerns about my qualifications for the role?

What a great closing question to ask in a job interview! It shows that you’re not afraid of feedback—in fact, you are inviting it. Not being able to take criticism is a red flag for employers, who need to know that you’ll act on any “coaching moments” with a good heart.

As a bonus, asking this question shows that you are really interested in the position and wish to clear up anything that may be holding the company back from hiring you.

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How it helps you:

What a devious beast this question is! On the surface, it looks straightforward, but it’s actually giving you four key pieces of information.

First, is the manager capable of giving you feedback when put on the spot like this? Some managers are scared of giving feedback, or don’t think it’s important enough to bother outside of a formal performance appraisal. Do you want to work for a boss like that? How will you improve if no one is telling you what you did wrong?

Second, can the manager give feedback in a constructive way without being too pillowy or too confrontational? It’s unfair to expect the interviewer to have figured out your preferred way of receiving feedback in the space of an interview, but if she come back with a machine-gun fire of shortcomings or one of those corporate feedback “sandwiches” (the doozy slipped between two slices of compliment), then you need to ask yourself, can you work with someone who gives feedback like that?

Third, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about before you leave the interview. This gives you the chance to make a final, tailored sales pitch so you can convince the interviewer that she should not be worried about those things.

Fourth, you get to learn the things the hiring manager is concerned about period. If turnover is keeping him up at night, then your frequent job hopping might get a lot of additional scrutiny. If he’s facing some issues with conflict or communication, then he might raise concerns regarding your performance in this area.

Listen carefully: the concerns that are being raised about you might actually be a proxy for problems in the wider organization.

Making Your Interview Work for You

Interviews are a two-way street. While it is important to differentiate yourself from every other candidate, understand that convincing the interviewer you’re the right person for the role goes hand-in-hand with figuring out if the job is the right fit for you.

Would you feel happy in a work environment where the people, priorities, culture and management style were completely at odds with the way you work? Didn’t think so!

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Featured photo credit: Amy Hirschi via unsplash.com

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