25 Things to Do Before Turning 25


This week I read not one, not two, but three "Such-and-such Things to Do Before Turning Such-and-such Age" lists. For those of you who don't know, I'm a very list-oriented type person. I like to make lists for the mere satisfaction of crossing things off. Confession: sometimes I start my list with things I've already done, so I have some things to cross off already. You may call it cheating, I call it getting ahead.

So, without further ado, I present to you my list of "25 Things to Do Before Turning 25," which, mind you, I will be this October. Let the crossing off begin!

1. Write a love letter. And no, you don't have to be in a relationship. Whether it's your BF or your BFF, your mom or your little sister, they deserve to know–in writing–how much they mean to you.

2. Establish credit. Days of living off Mom and Dad are over. It's time to start paying some rent/bills/student loans, etc. Ughh, student loans, I despise you!

3. Experience heartbreak. As my homegirl Kelly Clarkson sang, "What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Stand a little taller."

4. Skinny dip. Why the heck not?!

5. Splurge a little. Treat yourself to an expensive handbag, pair of shoes/jeans, whatever makes you happy. You deserve it.

6. Study abroad, live or work in a foreign country. It will change how you see the world.

7. Pick fruit off the tree or vine. It doesn't get any fresher, more delicious or simpler than that.

8. Take yourself on a date. Sure, eating alone or going to the movies by yourself can be a little awkward at first. But if you can't enjoy your own company, how can you expect someone else to enjoy it, too?

9. Unplug. For a fun social experiment, turn off your phone/iPad/laptop for a day. Log off Facebook and Twitter and connect with your friends in real life.

10. Go on a blind date. What's the worst that can happen? Even if it's awful, it'll make for a nice story to tell at cocktail parties. And if it's awesome? Even better.

11. Try new ethnic foods. No, Italian and Chinese don't count. Neither does the Califonia roll from Wegmans.

12. Shake your bon-bon. Is there anything more fun than rocking out to '90s pop music in your skimpies? If so, I haven't found it.

13. Start a blog or journal. Ten years from now, you'll be glad you did.

14. Ditch the GPS and get lost. True adventure awaits you.

15. Learn how to cook. Yup, still working on this one, but at least I've graduated from boxed macaroni and cheese to homemade cheesy deliciousness.

16. Change somebody's life. Volunteer. Mentor. Donate to a good cause. Even seemingly small things can make a BIG impact.

17. Eat dessert first (and frequently). Life's too short.

18. Party the night away. Seriously. Don't stop until you see the sunlight, Ke$ha-style. That's pronounced Key-dollar sign-ha, by the way, in case you were wondering.

19. Sing karaoke in public. It's 50-percent ridiculous and 100-percent fun. Okay, I'm a writer, not a mathematician, but you get the idea. Besides, you shouldn't ever take yourself too seriously.

20. Laugh so hard milk comes out your nose. I strongly believe laughter is food for the soul. Bonus points for snorting.

21. Don't forget to breathe. Try yoga. Meditate. Or just sit peacefully with yourself for five to 15 minutes. The important thing is that you slow down.

22. Pamper yourself. Nails done, hair done, everything did. You deserve to look and feel gorgeous. Throw in a full-body massage and/or facial for a truly luxurious experience.

23. Do something that scares you. Bungee jump. Sky/scuba dive. Wrestle an alligator. Okay, maybe not that last one, but the point is: you only life once.

24. Watch the sunrise. As Bono sang, "it's a beautiful day." Make the most of it.

25. Count your blessings. Because today is a gift and tomorrow isn't promised. Live your life accordingly.

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