Now that I have crossed over into my 30s I can see how life is different from this side of the tracks. There are definitely things I am glad I did before I crossed that line. Some are lessons and some are experiences that helped shaped me into who I am today. Here is my list of 15 things every woman needs to do before she is 30.
1. Travel by yourself
Go on at least one trip by yourself. Whether to another state or to another country, when you travel alone you have to step out of your comfort zone, rely on your own instinct and wits and learn to trust yourself.
2. Get your education
While it is never too late to get or further your education, it is a whole lot easier to do it while you are young. Kids, debt, responsibilities and exhaustion seem to distract you even more in your 30s, making staying up all night, sitting through classes and learning new topics even harder.
3. Love the skin you are in
Most people are pretty hard on themselves when it comes to looks. It took me a while to learn to love my own body. I always thought I was too this or too that and never just right. Once I learned to be grateful for a healthy body that can do so many amazing things, I became a lot happier and more confident.
4. Find something you are good at
By the time you are 30 you should know what it is you are good at. It can be something that you can turn into a career, or simply something that you enjoy doing. Painting, dancing, blogging, helping others, solving complicated math problems; whatever it is, find it. Find a way to incorporate it into your life and develop your skill even further.
5. Go dancing
Go dancing as much as you can before you are 30. Once you turn 30 it is like a magic button is pushed and you no longer have the desire to dress up and go out of your house after 10 p.m. Enjoy it while you can.
6. Do something crazy
Have you ever wanted to go sky diving or swim with sharks? There is no better time to do something crazy or scary than while in your 20s. Once you get married and start having kids you feel a different kind of responsibility for life. You have people that need you, love you (besides your parents) and would be lost without you. The desire for fleeting adventure diminishes, so get the urge out beforehand.
7. Date a lot
Date as much as possible. Not only is it fun, but it will give you the opportunity to discover what it is you really want in a potential mate.
8. Figure out what makes you happy
If you haven't found your happy place yet, start looking. It can be a physical place, or even an activity that you do to unwind or that allows you to reconnect with yourself.
9. Learn life skills
It is important to know how to cook, clean, budget and handle adult responsibilities. This will help you throughout your whole life, so better to learn it now than trying to figure it out after you've hit 30.
10. Visit a foreign country
Traveling to another country can be truly eye-opening. It helps you appreciate what you have while valuing what other cultures can teach you. Take the time to travel to at least one other country before you are 30. It can change your perspective on life.
11. Be healthy
There are lots of future health problems that you can prevent if you start now, before you turn 30. Exercise regularly, learn how to eat healthy and commit to living a healthy lifestyle. Your 30, 40 and even 70-year-old self will thank you.
12. Take a class just for fun
If you already have your college degree, or are still working on it, make sure to take a class just for fun. Don't stop learning just because you received your diploma. Learn a new skill like gourmet cooking or photography. It helps keep your mind fresh and will hopefully be something you continue after you turn 30.
13. Make a bucket list
It is never too early to start a bucket list. Some things you may complete in the next few years, while other things you may not get to until you are retired. But the more things you cross off your list, the more you can add to it later on!
14. Do something that scares you
This doesn't have to be something unsafe or life-threatening, but rather something that takes courage: singing in front of a big crowd, starting a new career or even moving away from where you grew up. It is good to challenge yourself; it helps build character and self-esteem.
15. Learn to like yourself
Do you like spending time with yourself? It is important to learn to like who you are — not just your body or how educated you are, but to actually like the person you are. Take time to work on your soul in order to become the best version of yourself.
There is not a tangible line in life where once you cross it, it is too late to accomplish any of the above items — if you have already turned 30, like me, pass your wisdom on to others and then start a new list to complete during your next exciting decade of life.