Thought Catalog
October 1, 2013

25 Things You Have To Try In Your 20s At Least Once

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1. Call that person you’ve been thinking about for longer than you can remember, but whose rejection you have always feared. Just pick up the phone, hold your breath, and accept the fact that knowing how they feel is better than living in limbo.

2. Go on a camping trip with a solid group of your friends, a cooler of drinks, and enough grillable meats to last you for at least twice as long as you actually need. Get really scared when you think you hear a bear, and then realize it’s just your friend coming back from peeing.

3. Learn how to make your favorite restaurant dishes, even if they don’t taste as good as the original. Learn what actually goes into the food you love so much.

4. Apply to a job that you really want, but which you know you have next to zero chance of actually landing. You’ll risk nothing, and may actually be pleasantly surprised by getting the job.

5. Go an entire Saturday without a smartphone, and intentionally get lost in your own city — ask for directions from strangers and read street maps if you need to find your way back somewhere.

6. Approach someone at a bar who seems cute and cool, and without even thinking about it, just start up a conversation with them. Remind yourself that you don’t even know this person, and even if they don’t like you back, it will have no bearing on your life.

7. Tell a close friend that you love them, and don’t worry about it feeling weird. If they’re a good friend, they will love hearing how much you care.

8. Paint your room a really odd color, one that you’ve always wanted to live in but looked at as too “childish” or “bold” for an adult’s apartment.

9. Paint over it right away if you don’t like it, but give it at least a week to test it out.

10. Force yourself, for an entire month, to wear the kinds of clothes that actually make you feel good about yourself, even if they aren’t what is currently considered “stylish.” Just focus on looking like the “you” that exists in your head, and not caring about what other people think.

11. Get a job that you can quit with no remorse, and leave it as soon as you save enough money to go somewhere far away.

12. Go to a country where you know nobody, and take a book of translations that never leaves your right hand. Fumble through conversations and force yourself to ask questions in stores or restaurants, even if you think you’ll look silly.

13. Eat big plates of delicious food, and don’t think for a second about the caloric content.

14. Throw a surprise birthday party for a friend who has been going through a bad time, and who hasn’t had time to plan their own birthday party. Even if it’s just a few friends getting together for dinner, let them know that people care about them.

15. Bring breakfast for everyone in your office and don’t expect them to do anything in return (even though, if it’s a decent office, they definitely will).

16. Practice having a conversation with someone where you focus entirely on listening, and don’t think at all about what you’re going to say next so you can concentrate on everything they’re saying as they say it.

17. Plan a weekend trip to the beach with friends, pack your car with blankets and coolers and swimsuits, and rent a shitty little place right on the boardwalk. Spend the whole time eating fries with malt vinegar and Old Bay, riding old roller coasters, and getting sand in your hair.

18. Make a four-course meal for someone you love, and set up the table all fancy and nice.

19. Spend time with someone much older than you — like your grandparents’ age — and just listen to what they have to say about life. Play board games or cards with them, and think about what you can learn from them.

20. Apologize to someone you slighted, and mean it.

21. Organize a night out with your coworkers so that everyone can get to know each other and have fun in a more cool setting, and be the person who takes the initiative to reserve rooms and coordinate schedules. Make things happen.

22. Take a dance class, and stick with it.

23. Move to a city you want to live in, even if it means having to work odd jobs and long hours to pay for everything. Make the choice to be in the places where you want to be, and live your life in the right surroundings.

24. Get a bike, and ride it as much as you can. Memorize public transportation. Learn how to get yourself around without a car, and rid yourself of all of the expenses it comes with.

25. Pack up a bunch of lunches and toiletries and give them out to the homeless people you pass every day. Decide that you can do something about the sadness you see on your walk to work, and actually follow through with making a difference. Be generous with your time, your money, and your compassion, and realize how little it takes to be that person if you really want to. TC mark

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