100 things to do in your 20s

Once upon a time the author of TwentySomeone gave me a copy of it.  I liked the book a lot, but my favorite part of it, the part that I come back to again and again, is this wonderful list in the back of the book.  So many of these things are on my bucket list of life!  And others of them just make me chuckle.

Here, with full credit to the authors of the book, is the list.  I highlighted my favorites, whether or not I actually do these things.  Which do you like the most?

  1. See the Grand Canyon.
  2. Get the libretto, learn the words, and then take in a great musical or opera.
  3. Go to Africa.
  4. Read great books.  Pick out a list and start working through it.  (For example, read all the Pulitzer Prize winners.  Then read all the Newbery Award winners.)
  5. Meet with God every day.
  6. Get out of debt.
  7. Learn another language. (How about Icelandic?)
  8.  Go on a mission trip.
  9. Reconcile with your parents and siblings.
  10. Buy some original art and hang it up in your home.
  11. Listen to classical music.
  12. Climb one of the fourteeners in Colorado (or the Alps for that matter).
  13. Do something crazy–skydiving, swimming with dolphins, running with the bulls, etc.
  14. Invest in understanding yourself by getting some counseling while you’re young.
  15. Decide to marry only the Right Person in the Right Way at the Right Time.  Don’t settle for anything else.
  16. Occasionally give money away when it doesn’t make financial sense.
  17. Adopt a team and root for them.
  18. Take your kids, nieces, or nephews to a game of the team you’ve adopted.
  19. See the castles and cathedrals in European cities.
  20. Read through the Bible several times and get ot know what’s in it.
  21. Make true friends and keep them.
  22. Recycle, and start a compost pile.
  23. Learn to like Bob Dylan.  He’s worth it.
  24. Paint, draw, write, sculpt, create.
  25. Know what you believe and why.  Truth matters.
  26. Pay off your credit cards every month.
  27. Swim in the ocean.
  28. Pray at the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem and walk where Jesus walked.
  29. Thank your teachers.
  30. Put some money in mutual funds.
  31. Drink strong black coffee and grind your own beans.
  32. Learn to make a dish that becomes your specialty.
  33. Write letters like songs and songs like letters.
  34. See the Egyptian pyramids.
  35. Become a member of a church and get involved there.
  36. Encourage your pastor.
  37. Visit your grandparents.
  38. Mentor someone younger than you.
  39. Take five hundred spontaneous road trips that don’t have a purpose.  Just have fun on the road.
  40. Plants some roses or tulips or rhubarb or anything and then learn to take care of them.
  41. Memorize Bible verses.
  42. Vote.
  43. Read The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien at least twice.
  44. Listen to Garrison Keillor.
  45. Go to a pro hockey game and sit as close to the rink as possible.
  46. Learn to play an instrument, however poorly.  Take lessons.  It will help your other creative endeavors, and you may just love it.
  47. Turn off the television.
  48. Go whale watching.
  49. Read a newspaper every day.
  50. Go to nursing homes and hang out with the elderly every now and then.
  51. Keep a journal.
  52. Record an album of original music and lyrics and keep it for posterity, even if the quality is poor.
  53. Send hand-written thank you notes.
  54. Visit your friends where they live now, and enjoy the time catching up.
  55. Learn to take good pictures and throw out the ones that are bad so they don’t clutter up your desk.
  56. Join a local softball, hockey, basketball, or volleyball league.  And play nice.
  57. Build your personal library.
  58. Give away your stuff.  (You really don’t need as much as you think you do.)
  59. Come up with a realistic and workable filing system so you know where important things are and you can find them when you need them.
  60. Disable call waiting and just talk to whoever you were talking to in the first place.
  61. Be mindful of the gas level in your car (and do something about it!) so you don’t frustrate your spouse.
  62. If you’re married, don’t wait too long to have kids.
  63. Call people older than you “sir” and “ma’am” just to be courteous.
  64. Listen to good teaching tapes.
  65. Fast once a month.
  66. Clean your refrigerator and your bathroom regularly.
  67. Volunteer.
  68. Know where the best parks and used bookstores are in your town and visit them frequently.
  69. Camp out every once in a while, and enjoy sleeping under the stars.
  70. Always buy used cars.  (Let someone else pay for the depreciation.)
  71. Han up a world map somewhere in your home.
  72. Celebrate holidays for the real reasons they were created.
  73. At least once a month or so, get up early and make sure you see the sun come up.
  74. Keep a “People and Praise” file so that when you get notes of thanks and affirmation, you can keep them for when you’re feeling blah.
  75. If you’re single, invite over your married friends; if you’re married, invite over your single friends.
  76. Eat popcorn and apples on Sunday nights.
  77. Attend community theater, no matter what the review in the local paper says.
  78. Call talk-radio shows and make good points if you get on.
  79. Allow people at least one quirk.
  80. Start a book club with nonbelievers.
  81. Be gracious (especially in public) when you don’t get your way.
  82. Sew together a blanket out of all your old T-shirts so you don’t have to throw them away just because you don’t wear them anymore.
  83. If you have a hobby, invest in good equipment so you can do it well.
  84. Throw a surprise party for someone.
  85. Try to develop the habit of eating meals at the same times each day (this will help if and when you ever start eating regularly with someone else later in life).
  86. Get a library card and use it at least once a month.
  87. Take walks.
  88. Get to know the person who delivers your mail.
  89. Go to free art shows and pretend you’re at the Louvre.
  90. Get some of your wedding pictures taken in black and white.
  91. When you eat out, forgo the chains and support local establishments.
  92. If you own a vehicle, keep it from becoming a pigsty.
  93. Go to the dentist and the eye doctor regularly.
  94. Bring doughnuts or bagels to the office for your coworkers every now and then.
  95. Sing hymns or original songs to your kids before you go to bed.
  96. Seek out someone to mentor you.
  97. Look at your baby pictures and reflect on where you’ve been since they were taken.
  98. Talk to store clerks.
  99. Start to memorize the Westminster Shorter Catechism.
  100. In everything you do, seek to answer the question, Who am I?
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8 Responses to 100 things to do in your 20s

  1. Autumn January 27, 2012 at 4:54 pm #

    I like the learning an instrument one, even if you aren’t good at it. Also like the talking to the store clerks one.

  2. esther. January 27, 2012 at 5:21 pm #

    I LOVE this. I am going to reference for my own bucket list!

  3. Sarah Boschung January 28, 2012 at 9:30 pm #

    Thank you SO much for posting! What an inspiration. Tim and I are going to write our own bucket lists and I am sure I will be referencing the list you posted.

  4. megarber January 29, 2012 at 4:20 am #

    Is it okay to postpone the list to your 60s (if you didn’t get a chance to see it until then)?

  5. Milady March 13, 2012 at 7:11 pm #

    Melanie here! I enjoyed this piece, please email me–I have a question about your blog. MelanieLBowen[at]gmail[dot]com

  6. Emily Bloor February 23, 2016 at 8:57 am #

    A good list and interesting read. You are right, some are very funny!!
    Thanks for sharing :-)

  7. Issuu July 26, 2020 at 11:41 am #

    I need to tto thank you for this wonderful read!!
    I certainly loved every bit of it. I have you bookmarked to check out new stuff you post…


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