25 things to do before 25

1. Move out of your family home

This may seem like an obvious one for a lot of people, but it’s an important one. If you’re still living with your parents (perhaps you haven’t been to uni, lived at home while attending uni, or are back at home after graduating), make it your number one goal to move out, ASAP. Yes, living at home will save you money, but there are so many great perks that come with moving out. First of all, you can live by your own schedule and do as you please. Secondly, it’s your chance to live with your friends or people your age, which is pretty awesome. Lastly, you’re an adult, and frankly you have been for a while. Stop putting it off and go out and experience this phase of your life where you can enjoy ultimate freedom and limited responsibilities.

2. Get educated

Adulting is hard, but it will make things a lot easier if you have a good grasp on the important stuff. Scrub up on your basic knowledge that you’ve probably forgotten since school and take time to learn those adult lessons that they don’t teach you. Understanding your finances, how to repair things, and taking an interest in politics and current affairs should all be on your list.

3. Volunteer

I think it’s important to offer your time to those who are less fortunate, so why not do it while you have the luxury of lots of hours to fill? Charity shops, charity events, retirement homes and schools are all great ways of helping your community. Alternatively, you can get the company you work for involved. If they do not have a volunteering scheme already, why not ask your employer about opportunities for you and your colleagues?

4. Revisit places

Chances are if you’ve lived somewhere for a long time you haven’t done the “things to do” in years and have forgotten how great they are. Appreciate where you’re lucky enough to live. If it’s the countryside, dig out your wellies and go for a long walk while taking in the breath-taking scenery. If it’s the city, go to that museum or cultural spot and relearn the rich history.

5. Learn a new skill

It could be anything! Always wanted to learn to play the piano? Perhaps you fancy yourself as the next Bear Grylls? Maybe you want to learn a new language, or even how to knit… Whatever it is, just try something new.

6. Take a trip alone

I don’t mean go on holiday by yourself, I mean journey somewhere on your own. It could be that you’re going to visit family or friends who live a few hours away, or you’ve been sent on a work trip. Being able to navigate from one destination to another is an essential life skill and will teach you to be organised and not rely on someone else. Plus, it gives you a chance for some reflective alone time, which can be hard to come by in our busy lives.

7. Don’t be afraid to try a new look or experiment with your appearance

One of the greatest things about modern times is how accepting (most) people are of individuality. Try a new hair colour, chop it all off, experiment with make up and clothes. Express yourself!

8. Treat your parents

Where would we be without them? They raised us, fed us, clothed us, and gave us a home. Now you can afford it, take your parents out for a lovely meal or day out. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, just make sure they know how appreciated they are.

9. Date

Your twenties are the perfect time to figure out what you do and don’t want in a partner. You’re more mature and sure of yourself than when you were a teen, and there is less pressure to settle down than there will inevitably be in your thirties. Even if a date isn’t a success, you’ll know what to avoid next time. You have nothing to lose.

10. Work towards your dream career

Basically, put the effort and hours in while you have the energy.

11. Work towards your personal goals

Don’t work your ass off for your career and not make time to work on your own goals. A good work-life balance is key.

12. Learn how to cook

It’s time to ditch the student cooking habits and actually pick up a cook book. There are so many books available to cater to your needs (no pun intended), whether it be special recipes for vegans or those who are gluten-free, or if it’s quick-but-tasty meal solutions that you’re after. Perfect a few sophisticated dishes and impress your friends!

13. Be spontaneous

Make life that little bit more exciting.

14. Donate to charity

Stop buying that *insert unnecessary expensive item here* every day (for me, it’s either coffee or food) and give the money to a charity of your choice instead. Set up a monthly payment or give what you can when you see those appeals on TV.

15. Find a regular exercise that works for you

Whether you’re a gym-goer, football fanatic, runner, or even a dancer, once you find an exercise that you like, it will make it ten times easier to get out of bed in the morning and stay healthy.

16. Read, read, read!

I admit, reading became a chore for me when in education and I completely lost interest in it. Now however, I think there’s nothing better than a good book. Reading helps widen your vocabulary, reduce stress, improve your memory, and so much more.

17. Find your passion/s

Whatever it is, just do it. Don’t worry about what people may think. Life is too short.

18. Learn to budget/save

You never know when you may need some extra cash to fall back on. Future you will thank you.

19. But do treat yourself once in a while

It’s okay to splurge sometimes too. Don’t miss out on fun opportunities or punish yourself just because you don’t want to spend your well-earned money. Buy that pair of shoes, book that weekend away, just don’t do it all the time.

20. Do something that scares you

When you face a fear, you realise it’s not nearly as bad as you thought it would be. Most fears are irrational or exaggerated, and can stop you from experiencing life. So, book that skydiving lesson, move abroad, conquer your stage fright, ask that person out on a date! Once you’ve overcome one, you’ll be ready to tackle many more.

21. Make friends with people from different backgrounds

One thing I loved the most about uni was meeting people from so many different cultures and backgrounds. I loved hearing their stories and it taught me so much about people in general. Reach out and start a conversation with someone new, no matter their age, religion, race or social background. Humans are humans.

22. Ditch your bad phone habits

Technology is great, but don’t forget to tune into the environment around you. Stop those rude habits that are considered normal; don’t be on your phone at dinner, don’t rely on your phone for company. Instead, revel in the beauty of a face-to-face human connection.

23. Travel

This is such an important one. We are lucky enough to live in a time where travelling across the globe is so accessible. Previous generations never had these amazing opportunities (just ask your grandparents), so do not waste them. Travel helps to develop life skills, allows you to experience once-in-a-lifetime adventures, and will probably alter your perspective on life. It’s a big world out there.

24. Be comfortable in your own skin

We spend more time with ourselves than we do with anyone else, and talk to ourselves (sometimes out loud) more than we talk to anyone else, so it is so important to be at peace with who we are. Schedule in some alone time and enjoy it, it’s good for you. Remember that nobody is perfect, outer beauty is open to interpretation, but it’s easier to recognise a beautiful personality from an ugly one – be a good person and let your uniqueness shine. After all, to quote the brilliant Dr. Seuss, “there is no one alive who is you-er than you”.

25. Don’t settle

Lastly, realise that you are only in your twenties. Although life is short, you still have so many years ahead of you. Don’t settle for anything that doesn’t feel right because you’re afraid or because people around you are at a different stage than you are. Everyone’s life clocks are set to different times. Be patient and go get that life you deserve.

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