I turned 26 a few days ago, and of course had the ‘oh my god I’m now closer to 30 than I am 20 arrrrghhhhhhhhhh FML’ freak out (I mean, find me a twenty-six year old who hasn’t.) This is why I thought it was important to look at the years I have left before the big 3-0, and make sure I get there in the best shape possible – mind, body, and soul included.
So here’s my list of 21 awesome things I think everyone should do in their twenties:
1. Start a “F*ck Off Fund”
Because you never know when you’re going to wake up to a terribly rainy day and find yourself telling your job to fuck off. You’ll feel better knowing you won’t have to immediately turn to the phone-sex profession.
2. But splurge on one designer piece that makes you feel AMAZING
Yes, save regularly, but don’t let that stop you from treating yourself now and then! If you’re working, then you earned that money fair and square. Invest in something that will never fail to make you feel like a goddess, even twenty years down the line.
3. Go to a music festival
Incredible live music + street food + alcohol + camping + amazing outfits + a load of free-spirited people = One helluva epic weekend!
4. Explore the world
There is no better time than now to simply take off and start roaming this beautiful planet. You will never have less responsibilities than you do now. Don’t wait, because somedays quickly turns into todays, and into should haves.
5. Talk to anybody and everybody
Not weird people who look like they might be on the run, but don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with that total stranger sitting next to you on the way to work. Who knows – you might end up with a lifelong buddy!
6. Struggle a little
You’ll start at the bottom, and that’s okay. Because nothing is more satisfying than working hard for your future success, finally getting there, and looking back at how far you’ve actually come.
7. Learn to love yourself
Before you try to love anybody else, you need to practice the art of self-love. This will be the most important kind of love you ever discover.
8. Re-evaluate your friendships
Everyone gets to their 20s and finds there’s still someone tagging along in the shape of a ‘friend’ but really doesn’t live up to that title anymore. Let them go. Don’t keep anyone around who is not bringing positive things into your life.
9. Treat yourself to fresh flowers now and again
Because they smell lovely, and they look beautiful. You don’t need to wait for any man to buy you these.
10. Spend a night under the stars
Grab someone you love, get yourself outdoors, and be at one with nature. There’s something about seeing those twinkling silver studs in the vastness of the night sky that puts everything into perspective, at least for a moment .
12. Live and work abroad
When else will you have the freedom to selfishly relocate simply because you want to? The life experience you will gain from living/working in a foreign country is priceless. Do it!
13. Learn how to cook
Even if you learn 5 dishes like a pro, that’s a great start. And no, grilled cheese does not count.
14. Invest in well-fitting lingerie
Even if nobody is seeing it, YOU will see it and know it’s there. A good set of matching underwear will work miracles for your confidence and self-esteem.
15. Find a workout you ENJOY doing
Because eventually, you won’t be able to eat takeaway 5 nights a week and still fit in your skinny jeans. Metabolisms will slow down; so get into a healthy routine of working out NOW so it’s less of a shock later.
16. Take lots of risks
As they say, you will only regret the things you didn’t do.
17. Learn to be vulnerable in a relationship
You have to open your heart up to the possibility of pain if you want to have the possibility of true love. Everybody will be hurt at some point. But don’t let that make you guarded. Always keep yourself open.
18. Thank your parents
For putting up with 20+ years of your shit. For spending a (relative) fortune on you, for driving you everywhere, for loving you even at your worst. Actually, arrange to take them for dinner right now. And when you’re there, thank them.
19. Find a job you love
Right now, you can choose to earn a little less if it means doing something that you’re excited to wake up to each morning. Take the time to figure it out now, because your future self-will not be able to thank you enough.
20. Be single and mingle
If you find the person of your dreams, then great. But don’t feel pressure to be tied down in a decade that should be dedicated to YOU. Kiss a lot of frogs, because you have to, and because it’s fun!
21. Chase your dreams
Go fiercely after what you want, don’t look back for a second, and don’t give the time of day to anyone who questions you for doing so. Your dreams are what make you you. And you LOVE you, remember?
So what are you waiting for? None of us are getting any younger, and this list is quite chunky, so we should all get a move on… Hold on a second though, don’t freak yourself out and think ‘OMG I’m in my mid-twenties and I’m actually still a CHILD’. There’s plenty of time to work your way through all the above – tackle them one at a time – you’ve GOT this!