I am 26, turning 27 this year and I am getting to a point where I am ready to settle down, not in the sense of getting married and having kids (gosh no!) but in the sense of taking life that little bit more seriously and thinking long term. I came to the conclusion that I am slowly growing up – or getting old, whatever you want to call it – after I repeatedly caught myself looking forward to a Friday night in, in front of the TV with a good friend and pizza over going out to a bar or club. Now, I think I have done and achieved a fair bit in my life already but there are a few things I think everyone should try and do by 25, because we all know it’s downhill from here and only a short while before the big 3-0 or real adulthood, as I like to call it.
1. Take a risk. Do something you always wanted to do but you haven’t because it scares you a little. This might be something as extreme as skydiving, bungee jumping, swimming with sharks or something like changing your career or taking a photography course even though you studied accounting.
2. Live and work abroad. Now is the time, it might be scary and you might have to start from scratch in terms of friends, career and all that jazz but it is so worth it. I have moved countries a few times and never regrated it. It can be tough at times but you will grow with that. You never know, you might just find what you were looking for, I think I have.
3. Get over your first love. Your first bf/gf will forever have a special place in your heart but rarely do these relationships last and are often they the hardest to move on from. By 25 you should definitely have gotten over him/her, grown up and allowed yourself to love someone else.
4. Travel. What better time to explore our planet than before you have to get serious? Take your best friend, pack a backpack, jump on a bus and explore your surroundings! Head to Europe, the US, China, India or wherever interests you, learn about other cultures and traditions and embark on your very own adventure.
5. Fall in love with someone even though you know the relationship has no future. It will be tough but you’ll be much stronger and wiser afterwards and no one can take the experience from you.
6. Tell someone how you really feel about them. Again, take a risk and just do it. If you always liked your best friend a little too much then tell him/her, or you’ll regret it forever.
7. Learn to look after yourself. Stop feeding your body junk and staying up all night for no reason, learn to be a healthy responsible adult, someone others take seriously.
8. Decide who you want to be and what you want to do with your life. In other words make it through that quarter life crisis. People laugh, but it’s a real thing, I think I had two. By 25 you should have an idea about what you’d like to do with your life and who you want to be. Don’t get me wrong, you don’t have to have it all figured out just yet but try and have a vague idea. Believe me, once you have defined you for yourself, things will get easier.
9. Figure out who your real friends are. We meet so many people every single day, but good friends are hard to find, so make sure they know how much they mean to you every day.
10. Do something selfless. This might be letting someone go because you know it isn’t working or something more obvious like joining a charity organisation, helping others in need abroad or at home or just being there for someone close to you who really needs you but is too afraid to ask.