25 Things You Do NOT Have To Do Before Turning 25

@caitlin_connell
@caitlin_connell

1. Complain that you’re getting old.

Say it with me now: 25 IS NOT OLD. And in all honesty, neither is 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, or anything this side of half a century. You’re only ever as old as you feel; and even though you might feel more than slightly pressured to complain with your other twenty-something friends about the fact that you’re like, “now a total grandma,” please just remember that you’re actually not. Yet. Old. At all.

2. Go full grandma status.

In that vein, there is no reason to suddenly become a hermit just because you’ve officially hit your mid-twenties.

If you’re all about the introverted thing and haven’t actually enjoyed a night out since college (and didn’t really even then), that’s another story. But even if that is the case, there’s nothing wrong with getting out of your comfort zone sometimes.

Like, for happy hour with the friends you’ve just made in that new neighborhood you just moved to. C’mon, live a little!

3. Feel guilty for going full grandma status.

On the other hand, there’s so much to be said for those Netflix and chill nights – just you, a glass (or two, or three) of wine, and your bed, baby.

4. Get engaged or married.

Nope. Forget about all that weird societal pressure that is piled on via Facebook and other forms of social media. You don’t have to get engaged or married now, or ever, if you don’t want to. You don’t even have to hop into a serious relationship until you’re ready for one. Aren’t modern gender norms just fabulous that way?

5. Start trying to have a baby.

Oh, and not to mention the fact that everyone you know and their mom (no pun intended) is starting to pop ’em out like saving for your kid’s college tuition won’t actually be a major setback in the financial scheme of things.

And for the record, I have absolutely nothing against babies. I happen to think little human beings are the cutest things short of Hello Kitty stuffed animals and puppies. I just don’t want to even think about creating a life myself until I’ve got mine more than a little figured out – and I happen to believe that most of the people my age who are starting to have babies should feel the same way.

So just do yourself a favor and realize you don’t have to start freaking out about fertility medication right at this very moment. Trust me.

6. Live on your own.

There’s no shame in the roommate game.

7. Drop everything to travel the world.

Just like traveling alone, taking off in your early twenties to travel the globe is not for everyone. Though I’d never advise against traveling for the thrill of it (and to experience new people, places, and experiences), because the wanderlust struggle is oh so real – I am also a fan of working hard to get what you want… and not so much a fan of dropping everything without at least some idea of how you’ll pick it back up after the thrill of travel has slightly worn off.

8. Have already found the career of your dreams.

And if you do still feel totally unsure about how the rest of your #careergoals will play out, that’s okay too.

9. Still feel totally unsure what you want to do with your life.

Just like it’s okay to feel a little lost in your mid-twenties, it’s also okay not to. (Pro tip: Do what you love, and everything else will eventually start to fall into place.)

11. Eat your veggies all the time.

Similarly, while fruits and veggies and a balanced diet are all well and good, you’re an adult. And sometimes that means Funfetti cake and cheap champagne are what’s for dinner, because you’re in a Marie Antoinette mood and guess what? You can afford to be decadent like that – your body will bounce back.

11. Enroll yourself in a strict diet and fitness plan.

Similarly, even though I’m a huge proponent of clean eating and working out, sometimes you just have to indulge in a cupcake. Or cookie. Or eclair (because I can never resist French pastries). Whatever tickles your fancy.

12. Cut alcohol completely out of your diet for “health reasons.”

SOS. Need wine.

13. Be Instagram famous.

You also don’t need to start a blog, whether it’s fitness or foodie or fashion-related. It’s not for everyone.

14. Cut yourself off from social media.

You certainly don’t have to get 100+ likes on a picture or have more than 500 Facebook friends, but it’s not a bad thing to want to document the important things that happen in your life. Or, you know, just everyday activities. Because who doesn’t want to see photos of you and your fabulous friends at brunch?

15. Stay in touch with all your college friends.

You’re probably better off without that sorority sister who has always been more of a frenemy than an actual friend.

16. Nail down a strict budget. 

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen this splashed all over the Internet, but there is NO unspoken life rule that says you have to cut down on your caffeine intake to save money. Do it for health reasons, sure, if you feel the need; but don’t do it to “save money”! Talk about inhumane.

On a similar note, it’s a good idea to get your finances in order (re: actually start a savings account) by the time you hit 25, but I am here to tell you that there will never be a need for you to stop buying coffee. Ever.

17. Nix all your bad habits.

While loving yourself and being body positive are both things I’m fully on board with, they’re also part of a process, one that takes some people their entire lives to wrap their heads around. If you’re not fully and totally confident in yourself, your body, and your abilities yet, don’t let yourself lose fragile self-esteem points over the twenty-something struggle.

Note to self: “Be gentle, you’re still blooming.”

18. Regret the “one who got away.”

If they walked out of your life, they were meant to.

19. Listen to someone else’s advice about making a major life decision.

Whether it’s that of your parents, close friends, or a significant other’s, ultimately, your life decisions are your own to make as you see fit. If you want to go to grad school, do it – but don’t feel pressured to because your parents think you should. If you want to get married before 25, don’t let me tell you otherwise.

Just don’t base your life decisions around a need for societal validation, because that’s just wrong.

20. Your own taxes.

That’s what an accountant is for – or, you know, your dad. Or S.O. Whoever, just not you.

21. Stop waking up hungover on Sundays.

This will never be necessary in your twenties, though I can’t say it isn’t is oh so refreshing on the odd weekend when it does happen.

Also, you will probably never stop dreading Monday mornings, even if you spent all day Sunday laying in bed watching Netflix. True story.

22. Get up at the crack of dawn to work out.

Because people who wake up at 5 AM to get up and exercise are clearly inhuman. And without coffee?! Ugh, morning people.

That is not to say I don’t salute you for all that you do, because I do. Imagine… Doing real life things. In the world. Before 7 AM. *shudder*

23. Suddenly become a DIY aficionado.

If you’re not a naturally crafty person, I hate to break it to ya, but no amount of Pinterest scrolling is going to make you suddenly transform into one.

24. Become a pro at fixing ordinary household items.

Leaky sink? Flat tire? As awesome as it would be to be able to fix these things on our own, the truth is that you hire people to fix said things for a reason. Namely, so you won’t screw things up further in your quest to become an independent and by all means handy woman. And that is all I have to say about that.

Just like you don’t have to be a pro at fixing all the things, you also don’t need to know how to cook all the things either. Throwing a last minute get-together? Order some form of takeout, then just add wine to the mix and I promise, everything will be fine. (Mostly because wine is the answer to any and all issues in life. Whatever the question, wine is the answer.)

25. Have the next 5 or 10 years of your life all planned out.

By all means, write down your career and life plans. You should feel good about it, because at the end of the day, life is so much better when you have lofty goals and plans to look forward to and work towards. Just try not to feel exceedingly frustrated when things don’t go according to plan – because it’s bound to happen. TC mark

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