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12 Things You DON'T Need to Do by 25 (Or 30)

In a world where we are constantly connected, it's easy to feel that we need to attack our life's to-do list with fervor. From getting a degree to running a marathon—hey, all your friends are posting these successes on Facebook, so you better get down to business!—if you haven't done it by 30, you better get moving! Or, maybe, just maybe, you don't need to follow someone else's life plan. 30 is, after all, the new 20. And you've got plenty of time to decide what path is right for you.
  • No Age Limits

    Look, I liked The Bucket List as much as the next person—as in, watching Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman is a fine way to pass the time on a long flight. But it seems like we've become a society a little too obsessed with to-do lists and deadlines. I can't open a magazine without seeing a spread titled "735 Things to Eat Before You Die" or "15 Guys You Need to Bang Before Settling Down." I never fail to read these stories because it fills me with so much anxiety that I simply must find out what more I haven't done yet. But with all the eating and banging, I'm going to be exhausted (and probably a little overweight) by the time I reach that mythical age when there's nothing to do but await the sweet release of death (so, like 36?). I wonder: Am I creating these bucket lists because I really need to or because I'm a slave to a timeline and the myth that we're all Cinderella, dreading the moment we turn into poorly dressed pumpkins? And I'm not the only one plagued with the Cinderella syndrome. My Facebook newsfeed is filled with status updates about the goals and deadlines of my peers. One especially obnoxious, self-congratulating status update had to do with "riding a bike past the Eiffel Tower at night and living in a barn by the time I turn 25." What? Why do you need to be in your early 20s to do those things?


    Enough already. We're not Cinderella; death isn't imminent at age 30; it's okay if you haven't gotten to everything or even most things yet. So here's a bunch of stuff you don't need to do by the time you're 25. Or even 30. Or even ever, if you so choose.

  • Travel to far-off lands

    Sometimes my friends and I say things like “this might be our last chance” or “this is the time to do it” whenever we discuss leaving our current cities for even a couple weeks. It’s as if we think we’re all going to inherit Lindsay Lohan’s ankle bracelet on our 30th birthday. If you really want to go, you’ll make it happen one day. Sure, it might be harder than taking one backpack and a few pairs of underwear with you as you hike the Alps, but adventure doesn’t have to mean forgoing clean underwear anyway.

  • Come up with the next big idea

    Just because some of the recent great innovators still have their umbilical cords intact doesn’t mean innovation stops at a certain age. It’s okay to just be a college student or just be an employee supporting someone else’s great idea. There’s still time to develop “the Facebook of cancer research” or “the Facebook of food trucks” or, more importantly, a new phrase to define success.

  • Live on your own

    Perhaps you’ve noticed that the market for renting isn’t the best these days. Plus, doesn't New Girl look like fun?!

  • Get a degree

    There's always at least one old dude in a college lecture hall, and he no doubt pays more attention and has way cooler stories than the frat boy sitting next to him. That could be you one day!

  • Run a marathon

    I will never understand anyone who chooses to run 26-plus miles without stopping but then again, I’m someone who tried to escape from my boot camp class when I learned we were running two timed miles. So for one thing, running is overrated. For another, it isn’t outlawed at a particular age. Just ask Fauja Singh (pictured), the world’s oldest marathoner who just took part in the Hong Kong Marathon (just five weeks before he turned 102!). photo credit: Guardian.co.uk

  • Settle on a Career

    Futurists predict that the average millennial will change careers as many as 10 times throughout their life. So, try out different jobs—don't settle for one that might not be the right fit. 

  • Fall in love

    Have you been around the guys in their early 20s recently? For that matter, have you hung out with girls in their early 20s? It’s a miracle anyone finds true love in this day and age—let alone the confused, young people in the world today. So don't sweat it if you haven't met 'the one.' It's okay to wait until we all have a few more things figured out before opening up your heart.

  • Have the Best Sex of Your Life—Constantly

    See previous slide.

  • Get Married

    It’s 2012, people. Time to retire the idea of a spinster, crazy cat lady for good.

  • Wake Up Every Sunday Morning not Hungover and Ready to Tackle Farmers' Markets.

    Why do we think we’re going to graduate from wanting to celebrate and indulge with our friends?

  • Be Ready for the Responsibility of a Child

    I could be wrong, but is anyone truly ready for kids at any age? Everyone I know who has a child says that no amount of preparation truly prepares you, so why sweat it now? Baby spitup, sleepless nights, and teeting? No thanks—for now, I'll stick to nights out with the girls, date nights that take place at the movie theater, and sleeping in until Noon.

  • Have a Threesome or be Otherwise Sexually Adventurous Because, Well, You’re Young and This is the Time to do It

    Maybe it’s just not for you, ever. Or maybe it will be for you when you’re 65. The point is, like travel, there’s no age limit on adventure.

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