Besides HPV, there’s nothing that goes viral faster than a list of things that You Should Do Before 30.
45 Places to See Before You’re 30!
5 Men to Date Before You’re 30!
12 Jobs to Have Before You’re 30!
289 Garments You Should Wear Before You’re 30!
Why all the pressure over 30? Once you’ve gotten there, you realize that it’s not even that big of a deal. There is, as they say, life after 30. A lot of it, in fact. So don’t worry if you haven’t eaten 19 different kinds of dim sum or contracted 56 different jungle diseases. Or, for that matter, these things, which are all highly overrated.
Own a House
Sure, your parents bought a house when they were 22, and maybe your hometown friends did, too. But when your parents were your age, houses cost, like 20 grand. And houses in your tiny hometown probably still cost that much. So cheer up about renting ‘til you die, because if you can’t afford a house, it probably means you live somewhere cool.
Visit Every Continent
Fact: Other countries let tourists in even if they’re over 30. It’s true!
Live On Your Own
You know what’s more mature and grown-up than living in your very own apartment? Being able to successfully cohabitate with other human beings, platonic or romantic. Being a good roommate is hard—if you’re able to sustain a co-living arrangement, it says more about your stability than just being able to afford more rent. Also, sometimes living alone is boring.
Start a Company
There’s a sense in America that all the successful people start their companies while they’re really young, but not everyone in the world needs to be Mark Zuckerberg. Plenty of successful businesses are launched by people in their 30s and 40s. And what’s more, a good chunk of the businesses that are started by young whippersnappers go under, because their founders are too immature and too inexperienced to make them work.
Date Someone Totally Inappropriate
“I’m so glad I spent so much of my life dating that abusive asshole/traveling carny/drug addict/married man/overgrown manchild,” said no woman ever. Sure, everyone you meet teaches you lessons, yadda yadda yadda, but come on. That’s just a lot of wasted time.
Read War and Peace
Unless your retirement plan involves Jeopardy! winnings, not having red big, boring books will never be necessary. Ditto trigonometry.
Live On Both Coasts
There is a certain pleasure in an itinerant gypsy lifestyle, in which you move from place to place and explore as many locales as you can dream about. There’s also a pleasure in committing to a city and doing everything you can to make it better and make it home. Both are valid.
Learn How to Balance a Checkbook
We have the internet and smartphones now, so reserve your brain space for more useful things. Do learn how to live on a budget, though. Just outsource the math.
Stop Buying Your Furniture at Ikea
You’d be surprised how many thirtysomethings still put together their own furniture. It’s okay to be one of them. And Ikea has some pretty nice stuff these days!
Extended, persistent drug use doesn’t make anyone cooler, deeper, more intellectual, or more grounded. Show me a person who spent their twenties doing drugs, and I’ll show you a person with unresolved emotional issues whom no well-adjusted person would want to hire or date.
Get a Tattoo
At this point, not having gotten a butterfly or Maori symbol on your lower back is the more rebellious, free-thinking life choice.
Learn to Speak Another Language
With total respect for all the bi- and trilinguals out there, it’s totally possible to get by in this modern world with only English and a good phrasebook. Not being fluent in another language isn’t something that should affect your self-esteem. By the time America’s no longer #1, we’ll all be dead and buried.
Get Married/Have Kids/Have Your Job Thing Figured Out