25 things to do before turning 25

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.

12. Go to a music festival.

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….

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  1. Pingback: UK summer music festivals 2012 | Travels of Adam - Hipster travel around the world

  2. El Jerriño

    I just turned 26, so I don’t care anymore ;)

    • Adam


  3. Ivan Joshua

    Adam, i think I’ve done 8-9 of them already, “Go to a
    concert/movie/restaurant alone” and “Become friends with someone you
    meet in unusual places” are actually very exciting, and I’ve done that quite a lot. Cool list, Adam!

    • Adam

       I used to go to concerts alone all the time – think I might actually prefer it!

  4. Ivan Joshua

    Adam, i think I’ve done 8-9 of them already, “Go to a concert/movie/restaurant alone” and “Become friends with someone you meet in unusual  exciting, and i’ve done both quite a lotI Btw thank you for your list, and thank you my friend Desideria Nirmala Dewi for bringing me here…

    • Adam

      Glad to hear it! Happy bday!

  5. desideria nirmala dewi

    Hi there Adam! Today’s my friend’s 22nd birthday and I’m making a birthday-scavenger-hunt for him as a gift. I’d like to include your post as one of the ‘treasures’, and hoping that he’ll do at least 75% of your list. This is a very cool list, btw!! I think I’ve done at least 6 of it, hopefully I could done it all before I turn 25 :)
    Dear Ivan, this is your Birthday greeting #13. Read Adam’s list, do at least 15 out of 25, report it to me before you turn 25. Don’t forget to write a comment and thank Adam for this exciting 25 things to do before you turn 25 list!!

    Clue #14: flying, butter, dragon, 7th letter in the alphabet, google.

    • Adam

      Hahah that’s awesome!!!! Good luck (and happy birthday!) Ivan!!!

  6. A ROTH IRA is really a smart one! Keep investing!!!

    • Adam

      Haha yep – it’s important to save early!

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    • Adam

      Nope :(

      I didn’t end up finishing The Iliad

    • Adam

      Thanks! You too :)

  8. Like the list, but I’m over twice twenty five and I still haven’t read The Iliad. Guess I should get on that.
    Oh yeah, and I can’t dance, unless you call wobbling like a circus bear on a ball dancing.

    • Adam

      Thanks for the comment David!
      Not being able to dance is just as good as dancing! So long as you can let loose & have a bit of fun every now and then :)

    • Adam

      Just looked at your collection of bucket lists and it’s grown quite a bit! Awesome collection

  9. Patricia GW

    A mini bucket list – love the ideas you have here! Did you do these 25 things before you turned 25?

    • Adam

      Patricia – I did everything except finish The Iliad! Got about a quarter of the way through and haven’t picked it up since :/

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  11. Adam

    Hey Katiras! Thanks for the comment.

    I like your volunteering idea. Have you done that before?

  12. Hey! loved the ideas…a lot! will be adding several to my bucket list. So, the one I think you are missing–Volunteer for a cause you know nothing about but are interested in learning about! otherwise, quite perfect! ;)

  13. emilygroffman

    Perhaps I've been too influenced by living in DC, but I think another thing to add to the list is Attend a Political Rally. Might not have much political impact, but it certainly is invigorating. Another one that may or may not be synonymous is to Fight For a Cause.

    • Adam

      Hey Emily,

      Definitely think that’s a good one: Attend a political rally. I went to a bunch when I was in college, and a few since.

  14. Cornelius Aesop

    I'm getting closer and closer to my 25th birthday only 5 months away, while my Bucket List doesn't have a time stamp on it I want to accomplish a few more things on it this year. Your list looks great, I've done a few of those myself.

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