We’ve all read these kinds of lists before. They’re usually made up of extremely cheesy things you simply must do while you’re still considerably young. But this list is different. Why? Because we’ve compiled things you actually need to do while you’re still in your 20s. Don’t thank us; it was really no bother at all.
1. Find your Central Perk.
Take this literally or in the metaphorical way it was intended. You need a group of friends that will surround you in good times and bad. Think Dawson’s Creek when the unbearable youth drama would occasionally give way to touching moments of pure friendship. Or for a less complicated example, Friends ALWAYS.
2. Be funny. Even if you’re not.
Sadly, some people just don’t have a funny bone in their body. But that doesn’t mean you can’t try. Surely someone will pity you and laugh at your miserable excuse for comedy.
3. Put down your electronics.
Your phone, your laptop, your TV—if you can lift it! Put those things down and pay attention to what’s in front of you. We’re betting you can’t even remember what a bird’s sweet melodies sound like anymore. Although we’re having trouble recalling this ourselves, we happen to think it’s nothing like the chirp of an incoming text.
4. Learn how to be alone.
Whether that means you’re comfortable with the single life or you don’t envision Psycho every time you take a shower, aloneness doesn’t dictate loneliness. Tip: have a harpoon and an online dating profile at the ready just in case.
5. Save some money. Spend some, too.
It’s okay to #treatyoself, but with
great power a real job comes great responsibility. Become acquainted with a savings account, and know that sometimes keeping your InStyle subscription is an emergency purchase.
6. Do a lot of things for the first time.
This is one of the best parts of being young. If you’ve never put sour cream on your Chipotle before, go for it! The sky is the limit.
7. Tell people how you feel.
When did it become awkward for people to share their true feelings with others? We want to be able to tell our best friends we love them without getting pesky side-glares from our fellow humans. Maybe we’ll send a card instead.
8. Acquire mentors beyond those in your Netflix queue.
Sure, there’s a bounty of career and life goals we acquired from worshiping Blair Waldorf. But it would be a heck of a lot cooler if you tracked down Leighton Meester and forced her to be your mentor IRL.
9. Travel. Now.
Or you could also travel later. There’s not a cutoff age for travelling—that we know of. So go now, go in a few years. It’s really up to you.
10. Kick butt at the job that makes you happy…
… even if it doesn’t allow for frequent trips to Kate Spade. Happiness > money, EVERY TIME. Basically, you should be like a post-Destiny’s Child Beyoncé if you catch our drift.
11. Enjoy your twenty-something bod.
You won’t always feel or look like that, you know? Partake in a faddish exercise program, get the cotton candy at concerts and wear that shirt that exposes a risqué yet tasteful sliver of skin.
12. Listen to the world outside of yourself.
You can be somewhat selfish in your 20s, but don’t ignore that great big world out there. Jon Stewart may have left The Daily Show, but that’s no excuse for you to tune out what really matters. And Saturday Night Live lives on, so you’re totally covered on that whole current events thing.
13. Don’t pull a Britney.
If you find yourself with an umbrella and a razor in your hand, call a friend. Because being a hot mess is so 2007.
14. Realize how resilient you are.
Dark times are a part of life. But you’ll find th-th-th-that that that don’t kill you can only make you stronger. Yes, that was an explicit Kanye reference, and we won’t apologize for it.
15. Talk to a stranger.
Not the kind that offers you candy as he creeps by in a beat-up white van. We’re talking little old ladies behind you in the checkout line and friends of friends who may one day be your friends too.
16. Annihilate your comfort zone.
Take risks. Be brave. Other stereotypical high school classroom poster sayings that totally apply here.
17. Be kind and expect nothing in return.
Do nice stuff for the sake of making someone else smile. Even if it’s your roommate and she already promised you could borrow her LBD Saturday night.
18. Fall in love. Fall out of love. Repeat.
Try it. And then try it again. If there’s one thing we’ve learned from The Bachelorette, sometimes your future husband is not in this particular room.
19. Live the clichéd quotes that are littering your Pinterest page.
You’ve been repinning your little heart out. Now, take that inspiration and roll with it.
20. Do something that’s so millennial it hurts.
Audition for a reality show. Take a selfie. Also, see #10.