In case you haven’t heard, you only live once.
Your young-adult years will slip through your fingers before you know it.
It shouldn’t depress you — it should empower you to take charge of your life and pursue your dreams.
Read on and start checking things off.
Live in a big city.
Quora user Dylin Redling says he moved to Manhattan when he was 24 and to San Francisco when he was 26. “They were the two best moves I ever made,” he says. “I highly recommend living in a city with a lot of diversity where you can meet people from all over the world.”
Challenge yourself physically.
“While you’re young, train for and complete a marathon, a Tough Mudder, a triathlon, or something similar,” Redling says. “It’ll help you physically and mentally to push through boundaries and go for goals.”
As Bernie Michalik writes on 99U, training for a marathon teaches you some key life lessons, like the importance of tracking your efforts and results as you’re working toward a goal.
These skills will help pave the way for your personal and professional success down the line.
Learn to meditate.
Redling recommends starting a meditation practice as a way to manage stress. He writes:
“You’re going to experience A LOT of stress over your lifetime, so it’s best to learn how to effectively deal with it as soon as possible. One of, if not, the best ways is through meditation. Take a class, read a book, or do some research on the basics, and make it part of your life.”
You might want to explore mindfulness meditation, which involves focusing on the intake and outtake of breath.
If you find that this type of meditation helps you stay calm and focused, it’s a practice you can use whenever and wherever.
Try online dating.
If you’re in your 20s and single, there’s little harm in creating a profile on OKCupid, Tinder, or any of the dating sites out there.
As Elarie Mashi writes, “There’s nothing to lose if you try, [but] who knows what you might gain?” In other words, you might be momentarily embarrassed about logging on, but you could potentially find your soulmate.
Up your chances of finding that person by building a your profile according to science. That means you shouldn’t post revealing photos and you should describe both your own personality and what you’re looking for in an ideal partner.
Let yourself fall in love.
Becoming totally enamored with someone is intimidating — what if your feelings are unrequited? What if the relationship doesn’t work out in the long run?
Let yourself fall for them anyway.
“Any number of breakups or separations cannot take away the joy and the experience of being in love,” writes Mragank Yadav. “It’s all worth it.”
Fail, and fail often.
Yadav says it’s important that 20-somethings learn how to fail, and more importantly, how to get back up again: “Failing comes naturally. Rising up again is something that needs to be inculcated.”
Take a tip from now super-successful figures, like Paul Allen and Oprah Winfrey, all of whom learned from multiple professional failures.
Travel by yourself.
Now’s the time to pack up and head somewhere solo, especially if you don’t yet have kids or a mortgage.
“It will prove to be one of the most useful tools in later stages of life to clear your mind, get away from stuff, or just to see the world for what it truly is,” Yadav says.
Ready to go? We put together a list of the 30 best places to travel alone, including Costa Rica, where you can stroll through the Cloud Forest, and the Greek Isles, where you can idle on the beach.
Start a business.
George Everitt recommends devoting one year in your 20s to pursuing a business idea. “It will probably fail,” he writes, “but you will learn so much more than if you had taken that time in a corporate job.”
And don’t worry too much about roadblocks, like not having a business degree and not wanting to invest thousands of dollars. User Danny Marguiles launched an online course without an MBA and with just $100. Later that year, he was earning $30,000 a month.
Learn to code
“Computers are here to stay,” Everitt says, “and learning at least one programming language helps you understand so much about how the modern world works.”
Pro tip: These eight in-demand programming languages are the ones to have on your resume in 2016.
Keep a journal to track your growth.
Josh Fraser says writing is one of the most important and underrated life skills. You can hone that skill by journaling — about food, sports, relationships, or simply being a 20-something.
“As with most things,” Fraser says, “the best way to improve is to just start doing it.”
Originally published on Business Insider.
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