20 Things To Do In Your 20s (Before You Get Old and Die)

As a 24-year-old female, I am the recipient of a shockingly large amount of Thought Catalog, Buzzfeed, etc lists instructing me on the best way to be a vicenarian (that means someone between 20-29 even if spellcheck won’t admit it’s a real word). As I navigate my third century of life, these lists inform me that it’s gonna be ROUGH. And also AWESOME. I am not expected to have my life figured out yet, but it’s okay – I’m not supposed to! But also, I am supposed to. Did I mention these lists tend to contradict one another?

ImageCan we all acknowledge how the first three articles in my Google search were published for the same publication within a month of each other??? Also, Thought Catalog had this for me when I clicked on one of the articles:


Clearly none of these 64 lists are getting through to my fellow 20-somethings, so I will do my part and contribute what I believe to be the 20 most important lessons one can learn in their twenties, despite the fact that I’m not even at the mid-twenties mark yet. This actually seems to be on the list of criteria needed to write one of these lists, as Shovani Kothari of Thought Catalog explains:

“I’m not even a full year into my twenties but I already feel like I have such an insight into the next ten years ahead of me.”

If there’s one thing more informative than experience, it’s baseless prediction. But everyone knows that.


1) Get into LOTS of car accidents. The only way to grow is to learn from your mistakes, so the bigger and more disastrous the mistake is, the faster you will mature!

2) Don’t eat. Ever. Being in your 20s is not like being a teenager in that it’s a lot easier to get fat. Until you get a ring on that finger, it’s best to stay skinny.

3) Like all these lists do, I am assuming that you have some shitty job. My advice is stop having such a shitty job because good jobs pay better and money is great.

4) Sleep with everyone you meet. STDs keep the body strong – a diverse population of bacteria and viruses are essential to human health.

5) Don’t get married!!!!!! Marriage is for people in their 30s (old!!!).

6) Get married!!!!!!! Who doesn’t want to be a young bride?

7) Party on a weeknight until your face falls off and then go to work hungover. This is on a lot of the other lists, so it must be good advice.

8) Date guys because they are rich! You’re in your 20s, it’s not real life! See above note about money being great.

9) Move in with your boyfriend. Then break up. You know what that feeling is? Yeah…that’s LIFE EXPERIENCE.

10) Buy a pet. Your parents wanted to cancel their first real vacation since you moved out to take care of a dog you haven’t trained, right?

11) Intentionally date someone who treats you poorly. If he hits you, you can sue him! This is one of the best ways to make lots of money without doing very much work. Trust me, the emotional trauma will be worth it when you can “flash” your “bling.”

12) “Royally piss off your parents.”  Just kidding I didn’t write this. Someone actually said this as real advice.

13) Once you are done paying off your student loans, it’s time to buckle down and get serious about finances. JUST KIDDING! Amass debt on your credit cards and pay it back later, because #yolo.

14) Eat lots of kale. This tip comes to you from Real World Observations of what people seem to do a lot. Note this contradicts #2, but it’s been mentioned that contradiction is essential to learning.

15) Also, become allergic to gluten. Your 20s are an important time to experiment with doing stuff solely because other people do it, despite having no real reason to.

16) Write a list for other 20-somethings to help guide them towards your particular worldview so your bad decisions get validation.

17) Found an Internet startup. There is no better way to earn respect from your family and peers. If you don’t make the 30 Under 30 list then you might as well be a stay at home mom.

18) Here’s another one I didn’t write: “Go a week without showering–whether you’re on deadline or studying for finals, just be a gross filth pot when you don’t have to go out into the world.” GO A WEEK WITHOUT SHOWERING!

19) Frantically share as many experiences as possible via social media. In fact, don’t do anything unless you’re able to get fake Internet points from doing it.

20) This one might be *too* crazy: Think for yourself and do what feels right for you.

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