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22 things to do to celebrate turning 22!!

The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at CNU chapter.

Previously, I felt like 21 was the last year you can be young and free before big adult responsibilities take over and ruin our lives. And if you’re a senior (in college), then 22 can feel extra big because you are living the last year of your undergrad college life. But then I realized, growing older doesn’t necessarily mean we’re running out of good things to do. Just to name a few: now you’re legal age so getting alcohol and other substances isn’t a pain and you are also eligible for certain jobs and certifications (for me it was driving an Amazon delivery truck). So let’s look at the end of our 21 to be the beginning of our 22, and let’s celebrate the past twenty two years by finishing with a bang! 

Here are some ideas to spice up the last weeks/days before you are older:

  1. Have a french fry sampling contest.
Alex Frank / Spoon

While we’re young, we should make the most of our metabolism and gut (sorry for the IBS girlies), and one way to do that is to have fun with junk food from time to time. To do this, you and whomever you’re with go to various fast food restaurants and take an order of fries to-go from each fast food place. Then you go to a random parking lot (Target preferred), and taste each of the french fries from the different restaurants and rank them. 

  1. Picnic at a park, beach, mountainview, etc. 

I don’t know where y’all live, but hopefully you live near a cute place where you can bust out the ole’ wicker basket and live out your cottage-core dreams. We’re talking about charcuterie (coochie) boards, aesthetic cakes to shove wine cups into, dainty sandwiches, and perfectly cut fruit. Plus, 21 = alcohol so you can also bring champagne and wine (make sure it’s legal to publicly drink where you’re going). 

  1. Go to a pet cafe/zoo. 

This one is a bit limited because it depends on if you have an animal you can visit and pet somewhere in the premises. But who the heck doesn’t love animals? Even if you don’t live near a pet café or a zoo, there are other places that you can check out, such as animal shelters or look up therapy dog sessions on your campus. If all else fails, you can go to a pet store and buy a fuzzy friend. 

  1. Read your favorite book from Childhood

Just because we’re getting older doesn’t mean we should stop enjoying childish things. In fact, I see this activity as an appreciation for childhood, and a good ol’ blast to the past. So whip out that Magic Treehouse and don’t be afraid to go spend some time in the children’s section of the library. And if somebody approaches you, just tell them you’re getting a book for your little cousin. 

  1. Have a Nacho Night with your Pals
Jocelyn Hsu / Spoon

Now a classic bowl of salsa and chips will always slap, but if you want to take it to the next level, we need to talk about nacho tables, walking nachos, nacho charcuterie boards, etc. etc. etc. Let’s have a nacho night, but let’s take it up a notch. 

  1. Dance in the summer rain
Rain Leaves Nature Green Plant
Tessa Pesicka / Her Campus

We all have/want that moment of the hot summer heat being swept away by a sudden downpour. Imagine this: it’s unbearably hot and humid, but suddenly the clouds cover the sky and the dark clouds finally let out the rain it has been holding in all day. The rain is hitting your face and body hard, but it’s warm and comforting, and puddles form for you to jump and dance in. You run on the wet pavement barefoot to go to the slippery grass and turn your grassy hill into a waterslide and laugh as you feel like a kid again. All of your worries fade away and you simply enjoy being alive until the rain clears, and a beautiful rainbow arches against the clear blue sky. 

  1. Go to an amusement park

You know that amusement park road trip you’ve been talking about with your friends, but never got to do? Yeah, do that right now. Tip: if you go on a rainy day, you might be able to get another free ticket from the park and the lines will be wayyy shorter.

  1. Make a Memory Painting Book

Get a multimedia or any sort of book that can withstand paint of any kind. Then think of your favorite memory of each year of your life until you can’t remember anything anymore. Paint that memory onto each page of the book. This is something you can continue for the rest of your life. 

  1. Walk or climb or hike to somewhere high and think

I’m not really a meditative gal. I know that it’s good for you and your mental health, but I didn’t really understand why people just sat and tried to think about nothing until I experienced it myself. I got into a fight with a friend one day and when I went to sleep, my body automatically woke up at 5am. I felt restless, so I put on some clothes and decided to walk around campus. It was still dark out and besides the couple of people I passed by or saw in the distance, I was completely alone. I walked to the top of the steps of one of our university’s main buildings and looked over the campus. I sat and thought about my fight with my friend and soon I thought about a lot of things that happened in my past. Eventually, I couldn’t think of anything at all and I could only hear the birds chirping and the wind rustling through the trees. It was like my mind cup poured out all of the thoughts that were sloshing around in my head, and it became empty. But it was a good empty. It was nice to experience quiet not only from the world, but also from myself. 

  1. Have a themed movie meal night
tao and elle on a movie date in heartstopper season 2

Basically for this one, you pick a movie and make a meal based off of it to eat while watching the film. Watching Ratatouille? Make ratatouille. Avengers Age of Ultron? Get that shawarma going. If it’s Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs? Honestly you can make anything with that movie. The good thing about this activity is that it can be done alone or with friends, so just pick whichever one would be the most fun for you!

  1. Dream but most importantly, PLAN for your future

I get it, there are those of us who want to run away from the capitalistic world and try to live with nature. But nine times out of ten, you’re most likely going to stay near civilization because you don’t wanna pull an “Into the Wild”. We’re on this earth to live, and this world has rules for us to live. Now that doesn’t mean you have to comply and follow the 9-5 life if you don’t want to, but make sure you at least have a plan on how you’re going to live to set yourself up for the next several years. 

  1. Have a deep talk with someone
chelsea and bliss talk on love is blind

This one is pretty situational based, but I think you can aim towards this activity by being more intentional in your conversations with people. I am a firm believer in that the best lessons we learn in life often come from other people. People can be pretty sucky, but if you take the time to actually sit down and listen to somebody, maybe you can see they’re a little bit beautiful too. 

  1. Switch Spotify Playlists with someone

Find someone (a friend, a family member, a coworker, etc.) and switch your most used Spotify playlist with each other. Make sure you friend them on Spotify for easy access, and then spend the whole day listening to each other’s music. I believe that people’s music tastes show a lot of who they are as a person, and how they came to be. So hopefully at the end of the day, you’ll feel a little closer to that person. Or if not, you can just roast their music taste lol.

  1. Travel

Now I’m not saying spend all your money and go to France on a Louis Vuitton plane, but we’re at an age where we have time, and now we’re starting to gain the resources to use our time in a way that we want. Go to that place you’ve always dreamed of and talked about. If money is your biggest issue, try looking for student discounts on flights and Wulfing is a great opportunity if you don’t mind doing some hand work for free food and housing. And if you can’t do anything crazy, then driving to the next state can also be a growing and fulfilling traveling experience too. Plus, you won’t have to worry about learning a new language.  

  1. Go to therapy (if you haven’t)

We’ve all got skeletons in our closet and we need to address them and learn how to deal with them in order to lower the risk of our negative effects towards others, and also ourselves. It’s like exercising: it ain’t gonna be fun, and you’re gonna cry, but in the end it’s good for you and you’ll feel it. Plus, you’ll realize how strong you are afterwards :)

  1. Have someone with different clothing taste style you

Like the Spotify playlist exchange, clothes can also be a great way to learn about someone and yourself. Find a pal and go to a mall, and they can pick your clothes. You don’t have to purchase the clothes necessarily, but having someone else build a new outfit for you can be a refreshing experience for your style. Just make sure to take a picture to remember it for later. Another way you can do this is if you have someone come over and style you in their taste, but with your own clothes and accessories. This is a cheaper and still fulfilling way to find a new style! 

  1. Try 22 new things!
college parties?width=1024&height=1024&fit=cover&auto=webp

This can range from ice cream flavors to zip-lining, to also trying something on this list. It doesn’t hurt to try something new every now and then, and who knows, maybe you’ll gain a funny story to tell.

  1. Write a story about your life

It is time to bring out your inner author, and to channel all of your funny, embarrassing, exciting, and terrible experiences into a whole collection. I’m talking about adding in the characters you’ve always wanted and taking out the ones you wish you could in real life. Have fun with it! If it’s “oh so terrible”, only your eyes will see it. But if not, you have something to share with your loved ones or maybe even the world. 

  1. Try a new video game

I know we’re not all gamer girlies, but video games can be a fun activity to entertain yourself and have fun with others! You don’t have to purchase the next Xbox or PS6 or whatever. Even downloading a game you think is aesthetic and fun to play on your phone can knock this activity off the list.

  1. Get into a sport you haven’t tried before
Kayla Bacon-Carrying Surfboard 1
Kayla Bacon / Her Campus

Joining a sports league and getting involved can help keep you active after graduation. Sports clubs and leagues are a great way to meet new people and make new friends after college. Plus, you’ll get exercise while having fun. Some recreational sports I would recommend that require little to no previous experience would be ultimate frisbee, soccer, and volleyball. 

  1. Create a signature cocktail after yourself

To make it more fun and deep, think about who you are as a person and what different aspects you have that you portray. Are you outgoing? Put in some orange juice. Do you think you portray yourself as a strong person? Pour in that tequila. You can also do this with friends or a partner and make drinks for each other. 

  1. Buy a cake for yourself, stick some candles in that h*e and light it up!

Congratulations! You’re 22!! I can’t believe you made it this far in life. I’m so proud of you, and you should be proud of yourself too, because life can be hard sometimes. But you’re a strong person, and you reaching this birthday proves it even more. So blow out those candles and celebrate being the wonderful age of 22 <3

Abigail Lee is a Junior at Christopher Newport University. She is a Communications Major and a Writing Minor. Her hobbies include cooking, playing the ukulele and longboarding. Her favorite show is Avatar the Last Airbender and her favorite movie is the Parent Trap(the one with Lindsey Lohan :)) .