101 Things To Do Before You Settle Down In Your 20s

1. Learning how to cook something besides ramen noodles and eggs.

2. Discovering what “truffle salt” is, and the magic it creates.

3. Making elaborate, delicious dinners for one, and not feeling like it’s a waste.

4. Throwing a surprise party for someone you care about.

5. Tasting tons of different wines, and finding out which one you actually like the most.

6. Buying yourself a big pizza, eating as much of it as you want, and not feeling like you’re a bad person for it.

7. Learning to ride a bike.

8. Riding a bike in the city.

9. Stretching.

10. Buying flowers for yourself.

11. Owning a plant without accidentally killing it.

12. Owning an animal (even a hamster) and caring for it well.

13. Seeing how much exercise you can get done without actually “working out.”

14. Popping a bottle of champagne for a special occasion and serving all your friends.

15. Hearing the glasses clink, and knowing that you did something worth celebrating.

16. Eating good Belgian chocolates.

17. Setting a physical challenge for yourself, and attempting it. Whether or not you succeed is not as important.

18. Drinking eight big glasses of water a day.

19. Switching to tea, at least for a week.

20. Learning to say “I love you” to your friends.

21. Learning how to drive stick (you never know when you’ll need it, until you’re confronted with a stick shift and have no idea what to do).

22. Trying the one food that has always grossed you out.

23. Learning that pretty much anything tastes good when sautéed in garlic and olive oil.

24. Living on your own.

25. Paying your own rent. And your own electricity.

26. Learning how much you learn to cut back when you’re paying your own utilities.

27. Finally Organizing all of the papers and knick knacks that always collect on your table.

28. Mopping your floor just because you like to see it sparkle.

29. Re-doing your entire closet.

30. Seeing how far you can get using just your feet.

31. Spending entire days going out of your way to discover parts of your own city that you haven’t seen before.

32. Traveling at least one place on your own, even if it’s just a road trip out to the beach.

33. Getting lost on a pedestrian side-street in a city you’ve never been before.

34. Watching a place go from “postcard you keep on your desk” to “somewhere you’ve actually been.”

35. Creating a work space, even if you don’t actually have a desk at work.

36. Filling it with images that inspire you.

37. Learning how much you can do when you cut out all distractions.

38. Kissing a stranger on New Year’s when you’re in a new place, and knowing that you’ll probably never see them again, but being totally okay with that.

39. Trying a nice restaurant by yourself.

40. Reading a book for hours in the back of a busy cafe.

41. Having a long conversation with a stranger at a bar.

42. Discovering your “signature drink.”

43. Becoming a master of the “Skype date” or “Skype friend date.”

44. Writing letters.

45. Sending thank-you notes.

46. Practicing your handwriting.

47. Picking something off a vine and eating it fresh, and wondering why you ever ate anything else.

48. Telling someone you like them first.

49. Making the first move.

50. Holding hands during a movie, and then pretending you didn’t as soon as the movie’s over, because you’re both too shy.

51. Listening to the advice of someone much, much older than you.

52. Talking to someone on their 50th wedding anniversary.

53. Talking to someone who has been divorced.

54. Getting really into a new TV show, and spending an entire weekend watching the whole thing.

55. Meeting someone who’s just obsessed with the TV show as you are.

56. Feeling like you’ve found a soulmate.

57. Fixing something yourself, even something as simple as a broken curtain rod or lampshade.

58. Calling someone for help when you really need it.

59. Answering your phone for a friend at 3 AM.

60. Having your heart broken.

61. Thinking it will be the end of the world.

62. Realizing it isn’t.

63. Finally feeling ready to fall in love again, even though you know you might end up with another broken heart.

64. Attending a wedding.

65. Attending a funeral.

66. Understanding that all things, good and bad, are only temporary.

67. Learning how to fight fair with someone, and how to not go to bed angry.

68. Helping your friend when they are having their heart broken.

69. Learning that no two heartbreaks are the same.

70. Applying for your dream job, even if you think you’ll never get it.

71. Practicing job interviews with your friends and family.

72. Going into an interview feeling nervous, but ready to try.

73. Keeping a journal.

74. Going back and reading your journal even a year later, and feeling really embarrassed of all the feelings you had, but glad that you wrote them down.

75. Going to a concert with friends.

76. Finally embodying that corny “dance like no one’s watching” bracelet you used to have.

77. Remembering why it was so great.

78. Feeling like you’re 16 again, in the best way.

79. Taking a thousand pictures with your best friend, and keeping all of them.

80. Accepting that you’re not going to look great in every photo, but that it doesn’t matter.

81. Intentionally taking pictures of yourself from your “bad angle.”

82. Learning to love your nose.

83. Learning to love your stomach.

84. Spending a whole weekend afternoon just walking, with no particular destination in mind.

85. Remembering how good it feels to just walk.

86. Calling your parents out of the blue.

87. Calling your grandparents out of the blue.

88. Remembering that you are so young.

89. Feeling like a kid.

90. Feeling like a grown-up.

91. Realizing that you are both, and neither, and will always be between the two.

92. Hugging someone for just a second too long.

93. Wanting to hold onto them forever.

94. Realizing that you are more than enough by yourself.

95. Loving your own company.

96. Making yourself laugh.

97. Comforting yourself when you cry.

98. Stretching again.

99. Standing in the rain without an umbrella.

100. Understanding that tomorrow is brand new and full of possibility.

101. Realizing that you have your entire life to be in a relationship, and maybe it will happen soon, but maybe it won’t — and there are so many wonderful things to accomplish in the meantime. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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Sophie Martin

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