12 Things You DON’T Need to Do by 25 (Or 30)

Look, I liked The Bucket List as much as the next person—as in, watching Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman is a fine way to pass the time on a long flight. But it seems like we’ve become a society a little too obsessed with to-do lists and deadlines. I can’t open a magazine without seeing a spread titled “735 Things to Eat Before You Die” or “15 Guys You Need to Bang Before Settling Down.”

I never fail to read these stories because it fills me with so much anxiety that I simply must find out what more I haven’t done yet. But with all the eating and banging, I’m going to be exhausted (and probably a little overweight) by the time I reach that mythical age when there’s nothing to do but await the sweet release of death. I wonder: Am I creating these bucket lists because I really need to or because I’m a slave to a timeline and the myth that we’re all Cinderella, dreading the moment we turn into poorly dressed pumpkins?

Enough already. We’re not Cinderella; death isn’t imminent at age 30; it’s okay if you haven’t gotten to everything or even most things yet. So here’s a bunch of stuff you don’t need to do by the time you’re 25. Or even 30. Or even ever, if you so choose.

Travel to far-off lands
Sometimes my friends and I say things like “this might be our last chance” or “this is the time to do it” whenever we discuss leaving our current cities for even a couple weeks. It’s as if we think we’re all going to inherit Lindsey Lohan’s ankle bracelet on our 30th birthdays. If you really want to go, you’ll make it happen one day. Sure it might be harder than taking one backpack and a few pairs of underwear with you as you hike the Alps, but adventure doesn’t have to mean forgoing clean underwear anyway.

Come up with the next big idea
Just because some of the recent great innovators still have their umbilical cords intact doesn’t mean innovation stops at a certain age. It’s okay to just be a college student or just be an employee supporting someone else’s great idea. There’s still time to develop “the Facebook of cancer research” or “the Facebook of food trucks” or, more importantly, a new phrase to define success.

Live on your own
Perhaps you’ve noticed that the renters’ market isn’t the best these days. Plus, doesn’t “New Girl” look like fun?!

Get a degree
There’s always at least one old dude in a college lecture hall, and he no doubt pays more attention and has way cooler stories than the frat boy sitting next to him. That could be you one day!

Run a marathon
I will never understand anyone who chooses to run 26-plus miles without stopping but then again, I’m someone who tried to escape from my boot camp class when I learned we were running two timed miles. So for one thing, running is overrated. For another, it isn’t outlawed at a particular age. Just ask Fauja Singh (pictured), the world’s oldest marathoner who just took part in the Edinburgh Marathon Festival at age 101. photo credit: Guardian.co.uk

Settle on a Career
Futurists predict that the average millennial will change careers as many as ten times in her lifetime. So you pretty much have a free pass to try out a bunch of jobs. Why fight it when we’re already plagued with the stereotypes of being horribly ADD and entitled?

Fall in love
Have you met guys in their early 20s? Have you met girls in their early 20s for that matter? It’s a miracle anyone even likes each other so it’s fine if you have to wait ‘til we all have a few more things figured out before opening up your heart.

Have the Best Sex of Your Life—Constantly
See previous.

Get Married
It’s 2013, people. Time to retire the old maid myth for good.

Wake Up Every Sunday Morning not Hungover and Ready to Tackle Farmer’s Markets.
Why do we think we’re going to graduate from wanting to celebrate and indulge with our friends?

Be Ready for the Responsibility of a Child
I could be wrong, but is anyone truly ready for kids at any age? Everyone I know who has a child says that no amount of preparation truly prepares you, so why sweat it now? Thanks to technology, we don’t even have as many biological constraints on when we start families so it’s ok if you don’t know if you even want a kid by age 30.

Have a Threesome or be Otherwise Sexually Adventurous Because, Well, You’re Young and This is the Time to do It
Maybe it’s just not for you, ever. Or maybe it will be for you when you’re 65. The point is like travel, there’s no age limit on adventure.

By Amy Copperman, From Divine Caroline

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Michelle R.
4 years ago

Oh dear, I'm way over..let's say I'm not a spring chicken anymore and haven't done half of that list, what I have learned is to not waste time with having regrets about having missed things, but live life to the fullest NOW!

Jess No Fwd Plz K.
Jessica K4 years ago

Very entertaining article, love the photo of the hungover twenty-something. Never understood the point of bucket lists, as it always seems to do nothing but inspire anxiety. Face it, you will die with stuff undone, which is perfectly fine, because it meant you always had great plans for each day in your life. Thanks.

Judy Apelis
Judy A4 years ago

Thank you!

Kathy Perez
Kathy Johnson4 years ago

awesome thanks! I loved this. truly

Elisa Faulkner- Uriarte
Elisa F4 years ago

Fun to reflect...thanks for sharing.

Chinmayee Jog
Chinmayee Jog4 years ago

The only one I disagree with is not needing to have a child before 30 - granted it's possible these days to have children in late 40s and even some cases, early 50s - but let's face it, having a child after age 35 is risky to both the woman and the baby, and really increases the chances of the child having birth defects. Not to mention, it's a LOT easier to run after and look after a child in your 20s-30s than it is in your 40s...but thanks for sharing!

Norma V.
Norma Villarreal4 years ago

I am over 50 and I still have a few on that list to accomplish if I choose...or not!

Manuela C.
Manuela C4 years ago

I feel like I've wasted and am still wasting my 20's (and they're coming to an end) with too much study and work and not that much fun...

Traci Phillips
Traci Phillips4 years ago

Honestly, I wish I would have done more in my twenties, because now I feel as though I've wasted precious time with little to nothing to show for it.

katarzyna phillips

interesting list, but i didn't see any photograph/s of Fauja Singh. there was a picture of some lass running and thatw as all. Fauja Singh is a MAN! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fauja_Singh for more information!