It has been a while since I celebrated my 30th birthday.
Looking back, I had a lot of big and small dreams- from backpacking in Europe to making the most delicious cinnamon rolls. I believe I should or could have done all of them while I was still young so that I can be happier and richer.
Unfortunately, I can’t turn back time. No one can.
If you are in your 20’s, stop hesitating. Now is the perfect time to go beyond your 9-5 routine and take a shot at anything you want to be or need to do. Here are 10 things you should do before 30.
1. Write a book
I used to dream of publishing my own book before I turn 18. This got delayed and it is yet to be fulfilled.
I’m not expecting to become the new Veronica Roth. However, I’m still hoping I can leave a part of me behind, even if it’s in the form of science fiction. Being able to inspire someone as a writer would be amazing.
2. Save regularly
One of my biggest regrets is not saving early or starting it as soon as I started working.
I realized that if I plan to live a happy and comfortable life by the time I reach 30 or even 100 years old, I should have enough money for my needs. I probably need to save at least $700,000 before I retire.
I may be about 10 years late to do that, but there’s still a chance to catch up. You should, too.
3. Quit eating chips
This is one terrible habit I really should have stopped in my 20’s. I can stay away from burgers and fries but my love for chips is one of those addictions that simply refuse to fade away.
If I had gotten used to eating healthy daily meals a decade ago, such as green smoothies, vegetables and protein, I probably would not be struggling with acne right now.
4. Stick to a hobby
I was 18 years old at that time. I saw how my Sunday fellowship teacher played the guitar and it gave me the urge to learn it and so I tried.
After one month. I gave it up after realizing that it was not that easy to pick up even for someone who already knows how to play the piano. It is one of the stupidest decisions I have ever made and I still feel regretful about it.
5. Be active on social media platforms
Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are good places to express who you are and connect with other people. Reaching out to people you don’t really know should be one of the things you should do before 30 since it helps make your circle broader.
The more people you connect with, the more you get to enjoy the world even without leaving your place. Aside from that, talking to a stranger also allows you to tell your stories freely.
6. Find a best friend
I am an introvert and I truly believe I can be happy without having lots of friends or going to lots of parties. In fact, finding two to three people who I am comfortable being with can be enough.
Finding a best friend is not an overnight search and friendship can’t be built in a day. It’s more about creating memories and sharing moments that will stand the test of time.
7. Have a signature dish
For those of you who are passionate about cooking and follows cooking shows, you must know how important it is for chefs to have a signature dish. As a gourmet lover but not so much a cook, this should definitely be on top of the things you should do before 30
Personally, it would definitely be nice if I could make a garlic shrimp pasta or bake a chocolate chiffon cake whenever my family or friends come over.
8. Travel to a foreign country alone
Unfortunately, the farthest I went by myself was to Hong Kong and the only thing I did there was to shop at the IFC mall. The trip was short and I was back in Taipei the next day.
Despite this, I still felt like I was able to conquer the world on my own. From successfully booking plane tickets to chatting to Chinese staff with one or two Cantonese words, I really felt empowered.
9. Get a license
I am not talking about getting a driver’s license. It can be anything from a bartending license to that of a yoga teacher.
One good example is my sister’s friend. She became an ESL teacher when things did not work out for her in the cosmetic industry. She is actually enjoying it right now, particularly due to her opportunities to travel abroad.
10. Learn a new language
Whatever your reason or purpose is, learning a new language should be one of the things you should do before 30. Japanese culture, especially manga and anime, has been a big part of my childhood and youth.
I once considered changing my name to Robin and dressing like Emily the Strange after becoming obsessed with an animated series. If only I took the opportunity to learn Japanese in high school, I would not need subtitles or use a dictionary whenever I want to understand something.
It is never too late to start anything. But, let’s be honest.
There are some things that are better accomplished early, preferably before you turn 30. Achieving them early means you’ll have more time and energy to do more things.
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Author: Crystal Chen
By day, she is a Community Manager at a small software company. At night, she writes, reads and listens to music. Lately, she is into Norwegian drama series SKAM and green smoothies.