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.
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).
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.
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!)
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.