Just before I turned 25, I decided to make a list of the things I thought I should do first. There are three general categories I would say you need to cover before you turn 25:
You should be able to take care of yourself & those around you.
You should have some fun.
You should prepare for the next 25 years.
1. Hang curtains in your bedroom.
Mine are brown and green.
2. Become friends with someone you meet in unusual circumstances.
I’ve met a few people in strange situations. Most notably would be Chrissy, who I had seen on the train just about every morning on my way to work, and then on the elevator in my building, and then in our office cafeteria. After this went on for a while, I finally realized we should know who each other is.
3. Make your own Halloween costume.
I was 24 when I decided to make a Max costume (from Where the Wild Things Are).
4. Go to a concert/movie/restaurant alone.
I’ve been to several concerts by myself, and I always find those experiences to be the most fun. In fact, that’s how I’ve met a few people (which could also count as #2).
5. Open a Roth-IRA account.
Uh-huh. I did this late one night about a month ago. Felt it needed to be done before all my money disappears in an unforgettable RTW trip.
6. Own stock in a company you believe in.
AAPL, I love you.
7. Read The Iliad.
Right. I didn’t end up finishing this, but I read Moby Dick in under two weeks this time three years ago, so I’m hopeful it’ll get done eventually.
8. Start a blog.
Well, hello there. (Read my latest blog posts here.)
9. Join a professional organization.
I’ve tried to be active within my respective career path, which has included attending Boston Bookbuilders, AIGA and Society of Printers events. I’ve so far avoided paying the membership fees (why, thank you, Corporate Job), though I may soon officially join the AIGA.
10. Go on a spur-of-the-moment, weekend trip to a foreign city.
Paris and Puerto Rico (two separate weekends in June 2007). Also, I might count Iceland because it was quick, generally unplanned and random.
11. Attend a poetry reading.
Not counting the poetry slam at last week’s Boston Book Festival, I once randomly walked into one of these at the Herrell’s Coffee Shop in Allston, MA a few months back. I was pleasantly surprised.
Great Escape Festival in Sydney (2006), Lollapalooza (2006), Bonnaroo (2008), Glastonbury (20-something?)
13. Learn to dance.
“Learn” is a subjective word here. I think it’s just important that people realize anyone can dance in any situation. Sometimes you just have to let loose and have a good time. I also took £5/session swing lessons in London (which I highly recommend!).
14. Take a road trip with friends.
This was one of my most memorable trips—three of us; 13 hours on the road. Texas is big.
15. Get paid to do something you like.
I’m a designer. Who wouldn’t love working with fonts, images, colors and grids?!?
16. Do some sort of adventure/adrenaline activity.
Maybe it’s go to the shooting range (no thanks). Maybe it’s skydiving over the Great Barrier Reef and landing on a beach (2006).
17. Take a course on something you’re interested in.
Since college I’ve taken a few classes (whether for professional development, or just as a way to relax). Figure drawing & web design come to mind.
18. Regularly read a newspaper/magazine/blog.
There’s nothing quite like reading the Sunday NYTimes with your scrambled eggs and a cuppa tea.
19. Be recognized for something or at somewhere.
If you live somewhere long enough or go to the same place enough times, this is a worthwhile accomplishment. Plus, it proves you can commit to something. I enjoy running into people around Boston from previous jobs, lives, etc. And, well, there was this one bar that I could go to and they always knew who I was.
20. Have business cards.
If you do have business cards, it means you must be good at whatever it is you’re doing.
21. Cook dinner for a friend.
Sure, you can cook. But can you cook dinner for a friend? You have to be confident enough in your ability and also be able to pull off a personal, signature dish. Alternatively, you could cook dinner with a friend, which I do quite often considering some are way better cooks than I am.
22. Win something. Big or small.
I won a poetry contest in 3rd grade. And I’ve scored some concert tickets here and there. Luck is a good thing to have, but you could also have won a race or a game show.
23. Start a new hobby after college.
I’d have to say photography is mine. And I’m definitely still learning. But my Dad would be proud I’m taking more than just Polaroids these days.
24. Pick up the tab for no good reason.
I learned this back in high school. My friend Michele bought snow cones for a large group of friends one day, and though I was confused and generally unappreciative, I’ve since learned it’s an important thing to do every once in a while. (Thanks again Michele!)
25. Be irresponsible. It’s allowed sometimes.
My current living situation could easily be classified under this heading. But I’m not complaining.
Now I have to go run & read The Iliad and spend some money. What do you think of the list? What would you add? I’ve already done most of my list, so I may be able to fit in some more stuff in the next few weeks….