30 Things To Do Before You Turn 30

Girl Sitting on BoatJanuary of 2012 is almost over. Just let that sink in for a minute.

It seems that after college – after you start “real life” – one day just bleeds into the next. You look up to catch your breath and you find your 10-year high school reunion invitation in the mail. Time is flying. The good news is you don’t have to let life pass you by. The key is to write down what you want to do. Make it official.

We’re not saying to write a “bucket list.” We’re too young to think about kicking the bucket. But setting some goals with a specific deadline is always a good idea.

So here it is, in no particular order: The 30 Things Every Woman Should Do Before Turning 30

  1. Bungee jump – No, we’re not in 1998, but if you’ve never done it, you should. What a rush!
  2. Go to a National State Park – We hear Yellowstone is amazing. It’s your tax dollars that keep State Parks running – take advantage. We recommend getting some girlfriends together, renting a vintage VW bus and making a road trip out of it.
  3. Buy a home – The American dream, right? But did you know that only 15% of people under 30 own their own home? If you don’t think you’ll be able to afford it by the deadline, shoot for another home life milestone. Maybe you say buh-bye to roommates or your parents (hey, we understand). Living on your own is just as big of an accomplishment (and a lot less stressful) as having a mortgage!
  4. Appear on TV – Even if you’re an extra for Law & Order (believe us, it’s not that difficult to become), being on TV is a memory of a lifetime.
  5. Record a song – Whether it’s your own club hit like Tardy for the Party, or just “professionally” recording someone else’s tune, it’s just a cool experience. Can’t carry a tune in a bucket? Don’t worry; this magic doohickey called auto-tune will make you the next Brittany S Pierce.
  6. Get two new stamps in your passport – It’s true, “travel” is always on the list, but it’s better to set a more finite goal for yourself. Maybe your goal can be to get your passport or get your first stamp. But as they say, “Life without travel is like reading a book without turning a page.”
  7. Rock climb (a real rock) – Start at the Y’s rock wall and work your way up. Beautiful. Exhilarating. Awe-inspiring. And normally that’s just the drive to get to the mountain.
  8. Scuba dive – Discovery Channel does not do sea life justice. Get up close and personal with little Nemo. Better yet, bring your water-proof camera and frame some of the images. It’s art and memories all rolled into one!
  9. Refinance student loans – Ugh. Let’s face it, with the economy in the state it’s in today this is likely the most difficult item on the list. But how about increasing your payments above the minimum. Just an extra $100 a month ($50 per paycheck) will save you thousands in interest. But do remember that, as loans go, student loans are the least harmful to your credit score. So if you happen to come into a windfall of cash pay off your credit cards and car first!
  10. Sky dive – Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee! Enough said.
  11. Learn to sail – Besides the fact that it would be cool to say you could do it, it’s a skill you can use at any point in life. Taking a day trip on a sail boat can take any vacation from “ehh” to “ehh-mazing” (see what we did there?).
  12. Eat at a Michelin star restaurant – Even in NYC there are only a handful (and most of them only have one star). The level of food that requires is beyond words. Warning: Michelin star = SUPER PRICEY so it’s something to save up for.
  13. Get published Blog, newspaper op-ed, The New Yorker – it doesn’t matter. Get your voice out there.
  14. Surf – Besides the fact that men love a girl who can surf, standing up on a surfboard gives you such a sense of accomplishment. Have a friend photograph you taking a lesson and even if you get up only once, that moment can be immortalized.
  15. Stand up on water skis – See #14.
  16. Ski/snowboard – See #15…and #14…
  17. Help your mom or dad accomplish something on their bucket list – They deserve it. Name one thing in childhood you did without them.
  18. Take a class – Acting. Cooking. Dance. Art. Something. Don’t look at it as your next career path, just pick something you’ve always wanted to do.
  19. Learn Spanish – Or any other language. Did you know that the United States is one of the only countries globally that doesn’t require residents to be bilingual?
  20. Volunteer – This one is for all of you who never got past the orientation meeting. At its best, volunteering can be a fulfilling, life-changing experience. At its worst, it’s an hour of your life spent trying to understand the needs of others. Win-win.
  21. Paint a picture – Even if you don’t think you have any real talent there is solace in putting paint on a page.
  22. Make a new friend – It’s true, you make a million acquaintances a day, but when’s the last time you really made a new friend?
  23. See a wild animal in its natural habitat – Bet you can cross this one off when you make it to a National Park, but a jungle animal would be cool too…
  24. Camp outside in a tent – Go get a tent and a group of friends and venture out into Mother Nature. The great outdoors might not be for everyone, but how can you really know if you don’t try?
  25. Learn more about photography – “More” meaning more than you learned that one semester of high school photography where you napped in the dark room.
  26. Become a mentor – Even though it may not always feel like it, you have a lot of knowledge stored away from your twenty something years on this earth. As a mentor, you can pass it along. And you’d be surprised how much you’ll learn from your mentee in return.
  27. Speak at a conference – Whether for your job or a hobby, find one thing you know a lot about and research what types of conferences you might be able to lend your expertise to. It’s all about knowledge sharing, people.
  28. Bartend/Waitress – Two of the hardest, most undervalued jobs out there. Before you walk off leaving that $2 tip on a $30 tab, walk a mile in their shoes.
  29. Fall in love – Person, place or thing – just fall in love. Get lost in the wonders of your city. Get swept away in a new romance. Adopt that kitten you’ve always thought about getting. Whatever it is, give your love to something else before you turn 30 and see what comes back to you.
  30. Make a “30 Under 30” list – We did it — now it’s your turn to add to it! What’s missing?

Photo Credit: Amy Seder

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  • Briana

    I love this! I find abunch of lists like this but they’re always “Things to do before you die,” and many on there I would like to do but much later than 30 (i.e. have grandchidren, perfect credit, celebrate 25th anniversary, etc). This list provides some great stuff to do at our age! Thanks a lot and great job.

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  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WWZCNAXTHZZN6T4NPOXATAOIPQ Melody

    I loooove number 28!! I just recently stopped working in food/customer service, and this is one of the reasons (the other being my mom enforcing respect for everyone) I appreciate those who work in food/customer service. I think it should be a requirment for everyone (much like it’s a requirement to serve in the military in some countries) to work in food service. For this reason one of the items on my bucket list is to leave a 100% tip on an expensive meal for someone who deserves it. =D

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  • http://merediscovered.wordpress.com/ Laura

    This is great!!!  so glad to have stumbled upon it!  As of next Tuesday I will have three years to assemble and accomplish a list of my own!!

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