13 Things Every 20-Something Needs To Do Before They Turn 30

As your decade spent in your 20s begins, you feel a newfound independence that life has all kinds of new adventures to offer you. That being said, it can also be a time of great change and having to make decisions for the first time in your life completely on your own. Many of those decisions may lead you directly to the next chapter in your life and a whole new set of possibilities unfolding that involve marriage, children, and career changes. 

Making the best decisions for your long-term plans and before you hit the next decade in your life as a thirty-something means not regretting having not done something you always wanted to do. Taking the following things to heart before you reach the 30-year milestone might help: 

1. Live Overseas 

The best time in your life to get up and go is when there are the least entanglements; before marriage, children, and insurmountable career responsibilities keep you rooted in one place. Traveling abroad for a few months or even a year will give you a completely different perspective on what is going on in the world through exposure to different cultures and lifestyles will probably give you a brand-new perspective on what your goals and interests are in your own life. 

2. Don’t Blame Mom and Dad 

Take a step back and look at your life from the perspective of your parents who grew up in a completely different generation from you. The goals and responsibilities that they may have grown up under directly influenced how they judged your decisions. 

Keep in mind that if they showed disapproval of your choices in college, your relationships, and other rash decisions you made, you will probably do the same thing with your children years from now. Research has shown that blaming them actually negatively affects your outlook on your own life until you accept the choices that you made as your own. 

3. Stick with the Classics 

If you don’t have many life experiences in your 20s to pool from when it comes to developing your character and take on life, look to some of the classic women’s novels from the past 100 years to help develop some ideas about how history has had a hand in influencing how women perceive themselves and how they react to the world around them. Begin with the Bronte sisters and make your way to Virginia Woolf, George Sand, and then more contemporary novelists and poets like Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton to get some fully-formed historical insight on the female persuasion as well as a more mature perspective on women. 

4. Become Fluent in Another Language 

Although we hear often that it becomes harder to learn a new language as you get older, your 20s are a prime age to tackle a new language. It could not only help you to advance in your chosen field but if you have decided to travel, then it will only help you to learn the language of the region you will be spending time in. Additionally, you will likely never have as much free time in your life to explore and perfect another language. 

5. Know Your Worth and Ask for A Raise 

So often, women under-value their contributions at work and think they deserve to be paid less than a man or someone equal to them in the same position. This is especially true for women in their 20s who are just beginning to develop a more mature outlook about themselves and what they have to offer the world. 

If you can’t seem to muster the confidence to ask for a raise, then think about what that extra money can do for you in the long-term as a chunk of investment every year into a dedicated investment package. This should be incentive enough to make a list of your accomplishments, present them to management, and confidently ask for that raise that you deserve. 

6. Get to Know Your Female Parts 

Most public and private school students in the U.S. do not experience a fully developed and comprehensive sex educations by the time they graduate from high school. Many women will even admit to not fully understanding how their sexual organs operate in terms of pleasure, childbirth, and knowing when something is wrong and needs to be remedied. You will be someone who is far less prone to anxiety about your health and more apt to enjoy sexual pleasure if you make yourself knowledgeable about your makeup as a woman. 

7. Understand Budgeting and Become Debt-Free 

No longer is society made up of the idea of man as the breadwinner and women staying home or having only a part-time job outside the home. Instead, women are the vehicles in their own financial destiny. This means that as early as in their teens and 20s, they need to understand how money works and the importance of maintaining a monthly budget to alleviate debt. 

Teaching yourself how to consistently keep a list of what can be cut out your expenditures and sticking to it before you enter your 30s and find yourself in debt is one of the most important things to consider in your 20s. 

8. Be Intuitive and Trust It 

Most women will say that they had a feeling about something but ignored it. This usually happens when you decide to listen to someone else as opposed to what your intuition is telling you. If you can practice a bit of mindfulness in your decision-making and focus on listening to the little voice in your head as opposed to the person in your ear telling you what to do, you will develop a life-long habit of trusting your own intuition, which is usually right in the first place. 

9. Show Your Creativity 

You certainly don’t have to show professional qualities in any hobby that you choose to partake in, but you should nurture some kind of creative outlet that you can take well into your 30s and beyond. This could simply mean carrying a small sketchpad with you in the car and finding a quiet place during lunch in a park and sketching. 

Maybe you like to dance and find it a great emotional release, so create several different playlists to suit your mood on any given day and dance your heart out. You may even find that at some point down the road, you can share your creative performances or creations with others or turn it into a way to make money if you get good enough at doing it. 

10. Embrace Your Body 

Generally, women are susceptible to looking at pictures in magazines and thinking the are not adequately beautiful compared to the models that are staring back at them. This type of body criticism bleeds over into other aspects of a woman’s life and can affect their entire perspective of who they are. In your 20s, begin to realize that models in magazines don’t really look that way either with the magic of photoshop, and that your beauty is defined only by the boundaries that you set and not by society’s idea of what is beautiful. 

11. Find a Trusted OB/GYN 

If you can develop a solid professional relationship with an OB/GYN early in your life, you can feel comfortable going to them without being judged no matter what circumstances arise, even with the most delicate of subject matter. This means mysterious sores, vaginal secretions, or persistently uncomfortable sexual relations that may be a sign of something that needs immediate attention. 

12. Believe in Something and Volunteer to Make it Happen 

Finding a passion for a cause early on in your life is not only commendable, but it is something that gives you gratitude for what you have and how you can help others to achieve it. Studies have shown that when people volunteer to help others in need, they actually feel healthier and happier about themselves and tend to even live longer. 

13. Develop a Solid Friendship with an Older Woman 

No one can give you the real stories about life than someone who has experienced it already. Yes, your mom is an “older woman” but they may not want to share everything with you that you need to know including uncomfortable subject like sex and drugs. 

That is why it is better to build a trusting relationship with someone 40 and over who has more than likely been through just about everything you will experience from your 20s and beyond. There is no better way to develop wisdom about life than from a woman who has already been through it all. 

The Bucket List

Don't keep this bucket list to yourself! Show this article to someone in their 20s to help them develop into a more complete individual before they hit their 30s!