25 Things to Do Before Turning 25

You're about to hit a serious landmark in your life – you can finally legally rent a car! No but seriously, don't let these things pass you by.

1. Leave the job you hate to find the career you love.

Stepping out into the unknown is definitely a scary thought, but isn’t the idea of not doing what you love (and ending up with a day job that you don’t really care for, one that only pays the bills), an even scarier one?

Yeah, yeah, what do I know. I’m only a millennial.

2. Walk away from friendships or relationships that are no longer contributing to your growth as an individual.

Because you deserve better. Say it with me now, #Ain’tNobodyGotTime...

3. Learn to appreciate a fine wine.

Every once in a while, it’s perfectly okay to spend a little more money on wine. Hey, it’s for a good cause – your emotional well-being. Since when is contributing to your own personal and emotional well-being not a good cause?!

Also, learn to differentiate between that two buck chuck you always seem to land upon at Trader Joe’s and the perfectly dry glass of Pinot Noir you have on that next nice dinner out with your S.O.

Or, you know, yourself. At home. On your couch. In that old pair of sweatpants you really should have tossed months ago. While on that nice fancy date with Netflix.

25 Things to Do Before Turning 25

4. Pay attention to food and wine pairings.

Not only will you learn to be more cultured, but it’s a great party trick to pull out on friends, particularly if they’re friends from college.

Or, first date you’re a teeny bit nervous for? No problem, chances are you’ll impress them and yourself.

5. Learn to forgive yourself.

Stop with the self-sabotage already! Don’t talk down to yourself. Learn to forgive yourself for your mistakes. Do what you can to fix them, and if you can’t, accept the situation for what it is, and move on.

25 Things to Do Before Turning 25

6. Do that thing you’ve been dying to do forever.

Buy those shoes you’ve wanted forever.

Go to that music festival in the next state over, or even another country.

If you’ve had your eye on it forever, but keep coming up with excuses not to… think of it this way. You’re still expending the energy on wanting to do it, so why not use that energy instead to find a way to be proactive about it, and ultimately try and achieve your goal?

7. Take yourself out on a date.

It doesn’t matter if it’s just to a cafe you regularly frequent, or a nice restaurant you’ve never been to before. Dying to try it? Take yourself out to that fancy dinner date!

Alternately, none of your friends have the free time to go with you to see that one movie you really want to see? (Admittedly, it was Maze Runner for me.) Take your own damn self!

25 Things to Do Before Turning 25

8. Travel alone.

9. Knock that destination off your travel bucket list, whether it’s an exotic locale or not.

10. Start a real savings account. 

You know, one that you will regularly deposit money into. (This is a big one.)

25 Things to Do Before Turning 25

11. Set regular personal and professional goals.

Of course, New Year’s is the perfect time to catalyze this, but who says you have to wait till the end of the year to do it? Personally, I try to set several goals at the beginning of each month. There’s nothing more satisfying than looking back on them to see what I have achieved so far – as well as what I’m still working toward.

Pro tip: Using an app like Evernote or Wunderlist is the perfect way to set monthly reminders for yourself.

12. Go skydiving.

Because there’s nothing like a real adrenaline rush to make you feel alive.

13. Start making time for the people you care about, on a regular basis.

Whether it’s that friend you’ve been neglecting or the family member you keep meaning to call – start making it a priority to make time for that person.

14. Learn to love your skin without makeup on.

On that note, START USING EYE CREAM NOW. Seriously. Invest in the skincare regimen you deserve. And if you’re not using SPF daily, especially on your face, c’mon now girl. Get on it already.

15. Go on a brunch or champagne cruise with your friends.

Trust me, they’re such a good time that it’s totally worth the money. And the hangover.

16. Drink more water.

No, really. Do it now.

17. Stop spilling every single detail of your life on social media.

Just because it can be shared doesn’t mean it should. Take the time to tailor what you post, or at least filter who can see it. If you’re working toward a career, you don’t want to be that girl who sabotages herself with throwback photos gone wrong or an inappropriately worded Facebook post.

Plus, your parents are on Facebook now, like everyone else and their mom. They really don’t need to see that.

18. Start building out your personal brand.

While on the subject of tailored posts, social media is as good a way as any to start building your own personal brand, or at least curating a personal aesthetic. Stand out. Make your presence known.

And unless you’re a foodie, photographer or food blogger, that means you can stop with the IG posts documenting every single meal now. That is very much 2014.

19. Realize it’s okay to enjoy the planning process as much as the event itself.

This goes hand-in-hand with learning to enjoy the ride as much as you think you will the destination. Often once we arrive, we look back and realize we were in much better shape the whole time than we thought we were.

I know I look back even on momentous occasions I underwent in my early 20’s and wish I had stopped to pay more attention to how I felt while I was in the moment, smack dab in the middle of everything. Life is so often wild and unpredictable and hectic and in return, that can make you feel alone, unsure that you’re doing something “right” compared to the way that others have done it in the past (and who says you have to do it the same way they did, anyway?). But isn’t that just another part of the process?

Learning to love it all, every single bit of it.

Same, Olivia, same.
Same, Olivia, same.  

20. Slow your roll.

I am told time and time again that this will naturally happen as you get closer to this side of 30. And honestly? I’m kind of looking forward to it. While I have been known to point fingers at people who are unavoidably in this boat, if they haven’t already sailed away on the Good Ship Old and Boring (didn’t say I was proud of it), I am a firm believer that age ain’t nothin’ but a number, baby. You’re only ever as old as you feel.

That, and I just don’t think I’ll ever be a boring person. And it doesn’t seem so daunting now to slow down the pace and start enjoying my life in a more thoughtful way.

That being said, we aren’t 30 yet. Us twenty-somethings can still get away with guzzling one too many cocktails at happy hour, though I’m not here to tell ya that you won’t be suffering for it at work tomorrow. For the sake of full disclosure, I’ll be right there suffering along with you.

21. Stop drinking shitty coffee.

Or eating so much junk food, for that matter. Yeah, you could get away with it when you were 21 and drunk at some drive-thru at 2AM. But now you’re closing in on 25, so that means you’re older and wiser and more experienced. You know how gross that will make you feel tomorrow, and in the long run.

Plus, you know your food and wine pairings now! Who needs junk food anyway.

22. That being said, don’t beat yourself up when you slip and have a cupcake.

Or, like, five.

25 Things to Do Before Turning 25

23. Don’t listen if/when people tell you, “It’s all downhill from here.”

I actually had someone jokingly tell me this when I turned 21, and I can safely tell you that it is completely untrue. Best advice my mother ever told me came when I admitted to her my worry that I would have nothing to look forward to while getting older.

“Of course you have something to look forward to!” she said. “You have your entire life.” It’s all about perspective, people.

24. Work on improving at least one thing about yourself that you consider a flaw.

25. So you can’t change it? Work instead on LOVING that one thing about yourself that you consider a flaw.

I can’t say this one enough.

25 Things to Do Before Turning 25