They say that youth is wasted on the young, so prove them wrong. Your twenties are a pretty great time in your life. Sure, you’re struggling with finances, your identity, and all that other stuff. But you’re at a time in your life when … let’s be honest … nothing you do really matters all that much. So fuck it. Go a little crazy. The window for being irresponsible doesn’t close slowly, it slams shut. In that spirit, here’s a list of things you should do before you turn 30, not all of them legal. Try to exercise a little caution when you’re checking these off, but remember, life is short and you’re only young once.
1. Get laid.
Look, if you’re 29 and haven’t had sex yet, you’re not a real person. I don’t care if it’s against your religion, if your ugly, stupid, whatever. Go to the Bunny Ranch if you have to.
The older you get, the less time you have, so get out there and broaden your horizons. And don’t just go to Amsterdam or Bangkok. I mean, sure, go to those places, but on the way home, stop by somewhere else where it’s not just about getting fucked up.
3. Party like a rock star.
Don’t be one of those people who are always responsible. Get drunk, experiment with drugs, sleep with the occasional stranger. Get arrested for public urination. Trash a hotel room. Wow, I’m a bad influence.
4. Learn a different language.
Communication is more important than ever these days, and just about everything is international. Learn how to speak a language now, because this kind of thing gets trickier when your brain gets set in its ways.
5. Learn to play a musical instrument.
Nobody’s saying you have to become a pro, but at least learn how to strum a guitar at parties. Music enriches your life and the lives of others, and if you learn a little something about how to play, it makes listening to it that much better.
6. Find out how long you can go without sleep.
You’ll be surprised how often this comes up in conversation. Make sure you have something to contribute. Oh, and less than 36 hours won’t impress anyone.
7. Go to a music festival.
I promise you, these things get less fun the older you get, but if you hit one at the right time in your life, it’ll be a blast.
8. Quit that dead-end job.
In your 20s, a job’s just a job. If it’s boring the shit out of you now, it’s not going to improve with time. Quit now before you find yourself in a career you hate. That’s just begging for a mid-life crisis down the road.
9. Do some volunteer work.
There’s nothing wrong with being selfish in your youth, but you need to keep the scales of karma in check. Find something you care about and work hard for a few days out of the year, not expecting anything in return. It builds character.
10. Learn how to cook.
At least learn how to make spaghetti or something like that. Fast food and takeout is fine for now, but the day will come when this will be a useful skill.
11. Stop taking your parents’ money.
Emergencies don’t count. That’s what parents are for. But if they’re paying your credit card bill or your rent … c’mon. Grow the fuck up.
12. Reduce your social media presence.
Don’t withdraw from it altogether. That’s just crazy. But stop saying “Good Morning,” or posting that you just ran 5 miles. That shit’s for kids.
13. Tell someone you love them.
Even if you don’t know what love is. This is a big risk and it’s exhilarating. And don’t worry if you get it back in return. That’s not what this is about.
14. Get punched in the face.
You don’t have to pick a fight with the biggest meanest guy in the yard or anything like that, but this is something everyone needs to experience, and the younger the better. Hope you don’t break your nose or lose any teeth.
15. Make an ass of yourself.
Whether it’s at karaoke or streaking at a party, go out there and act like an idiot at least once. As long as it’s not mean-spirited, social media will forgive you.
16. Master a skill.
This is about making yourself useful. Learn how to fix a car, to sew, unclog a toilet, whatever. Just something useful so you don’t have to spend the rest of your life asking for help.
17. Treat your parents like equals.
By the time you turn 30, barring any horrible history, your parents should be more like your friends. They don’t run your life anymore, and you don’t drop your laundry off with mom. You’re all adults now. Start an adult relationship with them.
18. Stick up for someone.
If someone is being picked on, come to their defense. Even if you don’t know them. You’ll feel good about yourself, and they’ll have a story to tell.
19. Make friends with someone you would’ve hated in high school.
You’re not the same person you were in high school. And if you are, you have big problems. Give it a shot, you might learn something.
20. Go camping.
Step away from all those screens for a few days and get out in the real world. You’ll learn to be more self-reliant, and you might even learn to appreciate the outdoors.
21. Road trip.
Drive across the country with a couple of buddies. Stay in cheap motels and eat tons of fast food. Stop at every tourist attraction along the way. It’s exhausting, but you’re young. You can handle it.
22. Go after your dreams.
You have to start this one young, because your dreams will fade with age. If you don’t at least try to be a rap star or a famous artist, you’ll always wonder if you could’ve done it.
23. Learn to drive a manual transmission.
Seriously. It’s not that hard.
24. Avoid marriage.
Don’t even think about it. You’re too young.
25. Face your fears.
If you’re afraid of heights, snakes, public speaking, whatever — just meet it head-on. Stop being a pussy.
26. Learn how to dance.
Sure, it might feel stupid, but it comes in handy. You don’t always have to lean against the bar looking cool while everyone else is having fun.
27. Save some money.
Not a lot, but put something aside. It’s a good habit to get into, and the younger you start, the better.
28. See the Grand Canyon.
Of all the awe-inspiring works of Mother Nature, this one is the easiest to visit, and unless you have no soul, you will be moved.
29. Eat an entire pizza in one sitting.
Because after you turn 30, there will be consequences for this kind of thing.
30. Get healthy.
After you do everything else on this list, start thinking about the long run. Improve your diet, start an exercise program, etc. You can wait until you’re 29 and a half, though.