January 30, 2014 by Diana M
Last week I had the pleasure of celebrating my 25th birthday. Seeing that it can be considered as a major milestone for some, being a quarter of a century and all, I thought it would be fit to look back and think about the things that are usually achieved before this wondrous age.
So here you have it, the 25 things you should do before turning 25:
1. Fall in love
Of course it had to be no.1 on the list! Only thing is, this is not something that you can control. You can easily fall in love with someone when you’re in the 8th grade, and still be in love with that same someone 10 years after, or you can fall in love for the first time at the age of 30. But if you do have a say in the matter, please do fall in love as soon as possible. It is by far, one of the best experiences a human being can have (if not the very best).
2. Get your heart broken
Many might disagree with me here, but I believe it’s a necessary evil. When people are in love, they feel like they’re on top of the mountain. Suddenly, everything just seems brighter, happier, and overall good, just like in a Disney movie (complete with the cheery music, dancing and annoyingly happy people). But when your heart gets broken, all you can see is the grey and black of the world. Out of a heartbreak though, you’ll never come out the same person. It can either break you down or motivate you to be stronger and climb that mountain again. It’s up to you to choose how you see it and what you do with it.
3. Party all night
Have you ever had so much fun at a party that you don’t even realize dawn is upon you? If the answer is no, then what are you waiting for?? If the answer is hell yeah, then you know what I’m talking about 😉
4. Get drunk
This falls into the category of ‘not mandatory’. But it is an experience. I’ve done some of the stupidest things in my life when I was drunk, but I was also the most honest with myself and the unfortunate people that were around me. I’ve laughed, I’ve cried, and I’ve experienced a whole range of emotions in a very short amount of time, all before I’d crash on a bed or couch and fall safely asleep. Like I said, not a must, but quite the experience.
5. Stand up for yourself
At one point or another, a situation will arise when life will want to bully you. Your classmates will crack a joke about your new haircut, your crush will reveal a private conversation to the wrong people, your parents will tell you which college you should go to, your boss will make you feel bad for something you didn’t exactly do. You’re going to have moments throughout your existence when you’ll have to choose who is dictating your life and what is good or bad for you. At some point, you just gotta stand up on your own two feet and say: This is ME! This is what I want! You gotta problem with that?
Probably one of the best things to do in life (beside falling in love). The excitement of finding something completely new and unfamiliar, meeting strange people and seeing things that you never thought you’d see in real life can only be surpassed by that feeling of complete and utter amazement of this gigantic world’s wonderful wonders, compared to that teeny tiny thing that is you.
7. Meet your best friend
Everybody needs somebody they can be stupid with. Someone who makes them feel so comfortable that the idea of talking about poop size seems normal. Someone to share your deepest darkest secrets with and who still won’t judge you (well, not that much anyway). Someone to laugh with at 3 am in the morning, for stuff that would make absolutely no sense to no one else but the two of you. Yes, definitely need to have such a person in your life.
8. Get a job
First off, I feel the need to clarify something here. Getting a job is not the end of the world. Many teenagers or 20-somethings have this fear that once they get a job, a full-time, paying job, their days of carefree living, partying and drinking will be over. Wrong. Getting a job doesn’t have to mean being stuck at a desk doing something you hate and not having a life. If you’re smart about it, it can mean spending time doing something you love, investing professionally in yourself AND making money at the same time, plus having the freedom to do whatever it is you want to do in your spare time.
My advice, if you choose to take it, is to find a job before 25. Go through a process of trial and error and find out what suits you best. But trust me, you don’t want to wake up at 25 with zero work experience, with no one to hire you except maybe for McDonald’s.
I’ve never met more open-minded, sociable, fun and smart people than volunteers. There is a clear distinction between the students who have extra activities and the students that do nothing outside of school, and companies take great notice of that. Why? Because being a volunteer teaches you not only responsibility, but also a lesson in humanity, respect, principles and morals, working in teams, not to mention it improves your emotional intelligence, all the while making a huge difference in society. So whether you wish to join a homeless shelter, help animals, teach kids or join a student organization, volunteering is a must!
10. Move out of your parents house
No matter how good (or bad) your relationship with your folks is, at one point you just have to move out and learn to be on your own feet. They have supported you for years and years, it’s finally time to show them that you grew up and can pay back everything they invested in by showing them you can be a successful, young, mature person who’s not living with his parents anymore.
11. Drive a car
In some countries, by the time you’re allowed to drink, you’ve already changed two cars. In others though, driving a car is not that big of a deal. However, it is quite an experience to start that engine for the first time, and move forward for 5 seconds before hitting the breaks and freaking out.
12. Learn to say you’re sorry
Growing up, we can be pretty selfish people, wanting things just for ourselves and not really caring about those around us. As we mature though, one thing that we should realize is the importance of being sorry and actually saying the words out loud to someone we’ve wronged. Losing friends and loved ones over something like pride is not worth it. Learn to say you’re sorry before it’s too late.
13. Go to an awesome concert
It’s one thing to listen to music in the privacy of your own home. It’s a whole different thing to be out there, with tens or hundreds of people, listening to your favorite artists, seeing them on stage, hearing your heart dance on the same rhythm and getting lost in the madness and awesomeness that is a concert.
14. Slow dance with your crush
There’s just nothing like it. When you’re slow dancing with the person you like (or love), it’s as if all your senses have been heightened, time has slowed down, and the entire world has vanished except for the two of you and the sound of the beautiful music playing in the background. Your heart is beating faster, you feel every step and every touch and all you can wish for is that this moment will last forever.
15. Have sex
They say the first time is always memorable. I tend to disagree. First times usually suck, simply because the pressure is too high. But the second, third and all the other times can be pretty damn good. Before you’re 25 you have got to have such an intense, explosive, toe-curling, mind-blowing kind of experience. Unless you want to wait. That’s cool too.
16. Cook something for yourself
Yes, mom’s cooking is pretty darn awesome, but she’s not going to be there, cooking for you every single day. The best way to repay your mom is by learning to cook for yourself. Beside, chicks dig men who cook, and men love when women cook for them too (something about the way to a guy’s heart is through his stomach, maybe?)
17. Catch a sunrise
The way I see it, there are two types of sunrises you can catch. First there are the sunrises you stay up all night for, or wake up to, because you want to share it with someone special, or have a spiritual moment for yourself. The other type is when you party the night away, and had such a good time with your buddies that you didn’t even notice dawn was upon you – and then just enjoy a beautiful, unexpected explosion of colors. Whichever it is, before you turn a quarter of a century, you have got to catch a sunrise.
18. Go on a road trip
Some of the best experiences and most fun I have ever had in my life were while on a road trip with friends. Blasting the radio music, windows down, singing as loud as our vocal chords could possibly allow us, laughing at each other’s ridiculousness, not having a single care in the world (except maybe finding a good parking spot). Stopping for beautiful views, crazy pictures, good food, cheep beer. Oh yes, this my dear, is every 20-something’s dream.
19. Sleep in a tent
Ok, I realize that this is definitely not for everybody, but trust me, it’s not something to disregard that easily. Whether you’re camping in the woods, mountains, or by the lake in summertime, sleeping in a tent for more than one night in a row will definitely change your perspective when it comes to living conditions. Not to mention that it will also show you the beauty of being in nature.
20. Say ‘no’ to something your gut tells you is a bad idea
While growing up, you’re going to be offered a lot of things, ranging from opportunities you should take, to really really bad ideas you should not get involved with. It’s up to you to decide what it right and what is wrong for yourself. When the time comes, learn to say ‘no’.
21. Play a sport
You don’t really have to be athletic to play a sport. You could like golf for all I know. The important thing is that by now you should have tried playing different sports and know what works and what doesn’t work for you. Hey, some people consider shopping a sport too, and you don’t see me complaining about it.
22. Know what your favorite movie or book is
By now, you probably have already watched tons of movies and (hopefully) have read your share of books. If not, there is no better time to start than right now. It’s important not only to have a fountain of knowledge to fall back on, but also to enjoy forms of audio-visual entertainment as well. Besides, these are great conversation starters for those awkward, silent moments.
23. Go on an adventure to find yourself
I don’t think there are other people that feel more lost than teenagers and 20-somethings. Some run off into the world, skipping from country to country to find themselves, while others have a different type of searching experience, one that hits them right where they live, and changes them forever. Whether you’re the skipping kind or the stay-put kind, you should definitely go on an ‘find yourself’ adventure before your 25th birthday.
24. Make a physical change
Whether you want to dye your hair, chop it all off, get a tattoo or have decided to trade your glasses for contacts, these are the years where you start to define yourself and who you are. It’s mostly inward, but sometimes, your personality comes out to the surface and takes the form of your own personal style.
25. Find your passion
Passion makes the world go around, and life without it is just so damn dull. Have you ever gotten so lost into doing this one thing, that you didn’t even notice the hours flying by, because you were so immersed in doing it while having a great time with it? When you’re passionate about something, it’s like everything else zones out, and it’s just you and your thing, and that’s all that matters in the world in that moment, that you’re creating something, that you’re making something out of nothing. There isn’t anything more beautiful than that.