25 Things to Do Before Turning 25Maggie Jankuloska

As I have a looming 25th birthday on January 25th, here are a few things for which all ladies that approach quarter of a century should aim.

Love: Love yourself; there is nothing narcissistic about it. If you don’t love yourself, who will love you? Imagine spending another quarter of a century in an unhappy relationship with the one person you cannot escape: yourself. Perhaps start a list of all the things you love about yourself, your body or mind – you might be pleasantly surprised.

Forgive: Holding onto resentment and hate embitters the soul. An old saying goes that when you hate, it’s like drinking poison and expecting the enemy to die. Forgive, even if the people in question are not sorry. It shows that you are able to move on and cleanse your present – and forgiveness can liberate the soul.

Plan: Sometimes plans work and other times, going off the designated path can lead to wondrous surprises. Personally I like to start every year with setting five or six goals I would like to attain. At age 25, I feel the urge to develop a five year plan before the big and inevitable 30!

Never stop learning: Learning doesn’t only take place in the classroom. A boring life is one of no surprises, so seek inspiration. Be inquisitive and remember that sense of wonder from childhood. Why not discover new software, read a new genre, start learning French? The possibilities are infinite – so if not now, when?

Be you: Be strong and wise enough to not define yourself by your relationships. Too often, women lose their sense of self and individuality when two people mesh and enter a relationship. You don’t have to like what he likes and forget your passions. The same can be said with female friends; are you putting on a persona in front of them or are you always being your authentic self?

Let go: Sadly, some relationships and friendships have a use-by date. The silver lining can be a lesson or a memory we keep from them. Letting go of people is inevitable and you have to release toxic ties or ones that are not fixable. Change is a part of life and letting go requires bravery. Accept change!

Go to concerts: Music is divine and before you are crippled with bills, mortgages, etc., why not spend some $ on seeing your favourite bands? You might see some cute boys in the mosh pit, too.

Take charge: If you are unhappy with your present, don’t blame the world for your problems – you are your problem. Your life is a series of decisions, so make them count and never stop making decisions to better yourself.

Give: If it means giving a homeless man a sandwich, volunteering or tutoring neighbourhood kids, there are numerous ways to give back and help shape your community or the world. The smallest action can have a reaction and the littlest gesture can mean something to someone. We are blessed and should share our blessings. You can give online, too.

Find your passion: Everyone has one, so dig deep. Mine is writing, but yours might be cooking, music, hockey, art, conservation. Find it and share it with the world. You might not become famous or a millionaire, but by pursuing your passions you will find true happiness.

Heels: They make every woman feel sexier, thinner and more confident- so master the art of walking in them and find a pair or dozens you love.

Travel: Whether locally or internationally, a change or scenery can be enlightening and inspiring. You may learn to be independent, learn of different cultures and times and lose or find yourself.

Be ambitious: Stay true to your dreams, no matter how unrealistic they may sound. Sometimes they sound unrealistic because we cloud them with fear.

Be money savvy: It can be hard to save with university debt or rent or 16 daily cups of coffee, but having a little money nest never hurt anyone. Set up a weekly savings goal and it can be as little as $20 a week. As you approach 25, financial independence is crucial ladies.

Fall in love: You can’t plan to fall in love, but by the time you reach 25, you should be able to identify the highs and lows of passionate love. Whether it lasts or not, love leaves us not quite the same.

Gratitude: “Thank you” is seldom heard, yet it’s a phrase that can make a person’s day. So what do you appreciate and for whom are you thankful? Tell them!

Party all night: Party all night and work all day; nothing tests your spirit more than this concoction. Show the world you are not getting too old and dance/streak/drink till 3am and show up at work with sunglasses and a cheeky grin. Don’t forget your inner bad-ass.

Have a wide circle of friends: Having male and female friends ranging from school/work/Twitter/relatives gives you a wide spectrum of opinions, beliefs and topic to discuss. You continuously grow and evolve when you have quality people guiding you.

Start a diary: It may be your blog or a journal, but writing things down can be therapeutic, save you hundreds in therapy and preserve remnants of your past. Diaries are that friend that never judges and when you read them back you relive the good and see how you’ve grown from the bad.

Get fit: Obesity is soaring and alarming. Find a sport or activity you enjoy and makes you sweat. Find your inner supermodel.

Find: Find a quality hairdresser, dentist, mechanic, IT support and barista. They make life easier.

Ask for help: Asking for help does not signify weakness and at times problems can be bigger than us. So asking for help and admitting to struggling whether with work or your thoughts or addiction is important. Asking for help is the first step towards resolution.

Have a wardrobe with: Own at least one faux leather jacket, a sexy party dress, an edgy blazer, a distinctive handbag, signature perfume and rock some red lipstick. Timeless!

Hug: Never underestimate the power of a hug.

Zen in Nature: Re-discover the majesty of the ocean or forest and become one step closer to nirvana. Be at one with nature, let it heal you and never forget that nature is our mother.

Get your nerd on: Don’t apologise for your love of Harry Potter, fan-fiction, cat videos or mismatched socks. Nerds rule the world!

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  1. So great. But the heels tip won’t work for tall/big feet girls. I wear a size 14 in women’s and I am 5’10″ so it’s very hard for me to find heels, and frankly, I don’t think there’s a point in wearing heels when I’m so tall already. Do you have a tip for tall/big feet girls to substitute the heels tip?

  2. my bday is jan 24, so from one aquarian to another, happy birthday! also, you used my favorite quote EVER, regarding resentment. it is the complete truth, and when people find they can forgive someone who “did them wrong”, they will find they can live a much happier life! great article! <3

  3. Happy almost birthday! I really loved the way your organized this post. It made things so tangible!

  4. I love the heels part! I’m 31, and I have yet to learn to walk in them. THIS IS THE YEAR I DO IT!
    Great list, gurl!

  5. Yeah…with the benefit of a few further years I would say the only things you “should” have done by 25 are the things you have done by 25. A lot of people spend a long time working out that life is really freaking weird and does not look anything like you thought it might, so sod the lists and things you “should” have done, throw the timetable in the bin and just do whatever feels right at the time. 25 is buggar all. You have all the time in the world. At the same time, you do not have nearly enough time to give a crap about looking like a damn supermodel. If you want to be fit, be fit, but don’t think that looking Klum-esque and being in good shape are mutually exclusive. You do you swirly girlies.

  6. Yep, definitely do forgiveness. I am 29, and I sent this guy who made my life hell in high school (and I did the same because he called me ugly–and didn’t have the guts to say it to my face, but to my sister via Instant Message when I was 16.) a little message on AOL years ago apologizing for being such a b**** in high school and that I was letting go of the past. He accepted the apology and said he was sorry himself. Life is too short for resentment. And I am 29!

  7. good one!! I’m thinking I’m doing justice to my 25th!!
    just a couple of things to check from that very big list anyway, 6months left as a 25!=)
    but honestly I’m big on the travel department, not that big fan of heels!!

  8. I just turned 25 yesterday and some of these things have been crossed off/I will remain doing, and the other things just reminded me of everything I still want to do. Travel more, learn a little French and Italian, learn new software (seriously a ton of things on this list have been on mine as well). I see you’re a fan of past generations and vintage things, I’m guessing you’re a bit nostalgic for the roaring 20′s as well. I have just started reading this book called The Paris Wife and it’s about Hemingway and the love of his life Hadley Richardson, also their good friends Gertrude stein and Fitzgerald. Good read if you love the glitz and glamour of the Gatsby lifestyle.

  9. Loved this! And If I didn’t complete these tasks before 25, I am certainly leaving 25 and on to 26 with each one accomplished. I’m even the lucky son of a b* that found the love of my life too, so I’m excited to be all aboard the loving myself loving life loving my love LOVE train!

  10. Love this! It is such a coincidence that I’m also turning 25, but at February 25th! =) x

  11. Wow, folks are getting caught up on heels… I wanna throw my two cents in! I’m about the furtherest from sophisticated one can get, my idea of the perfect shoe is barefoot. That said, I love heels! Barely wear them, but doing so is like every childhood princess fantasy coming to life – they DO make you feel taller, slimmer, more wonderful, etc. That’s not to say that aren’t terribly uncomfortable at times, but that’s so not the point! Heels equate to all things that are womanly and wonderful…
    I love this list, lots of truths ( regardless of age). A fine checklist for accomplished living.

  12. I loved the article but the heels and supermodel part aren’t that important, I mean, not for everybody. For me at least, whether I’m wearing heels, flats, boots or sneakers or if I am not skinny as other women , whatever. I only feel confident when I’m being myself no matter what other people think. We must love yourselves the way we are and if other people also do, that means they love us for what we really are.

  13. I’ll definitely aspire to some of these. Except the one about heels. Doc Martens all the way. But anyway, thanks for this post, it’s really encouraging ^_^

  14. In my 40′s and still learning to let go of relationships from long ago. Oddly enough the one quote that helps is “just cuz someone is the love of your life doesn’t make them the love of theirs” or close enough. Thanks for that movie Zooey. Anyway, don’t wear heels either, I do have a good pair of hiking boots tho, which I deem more important. Always believed it’s not good to hate, but some people you just cannot forgive and their is no reason to put up with someone’s nastiness and hatred, even if they are family.

  15. I just turned 25 yesterday….. guess my list is going to have to be before I’m 30 haha

  16. great read :) i’m definitely adding some of these to my list!

  17. Sorry, but heels make EVERY woman feel more confident and sexy? I feel most confident and sexy when I’m being myself, whatever I’m wearing. Which is most definitely not heels- they are extremely impractical and I can’t see the point in them. I feel much more confident bouncing about in the outdoors in a sturdy pair of boots where I know I won’t sink into some mud. Loved the article otherwise, but not a good suggestion.

  18. loved this, except for the “heels” part. how about suggesting something that will make ladies feel sexier and more confident without the backaches and pinched toes? i think a better suggestion would be to learn to walk in/style with flats, because once you hit your upper 20′s, early 30′s and find someone to settle down with, “feeling sexy” in heels is going to be about the last thing on your mind and you’re really not going to give a shit about being 3 inches taller to impress people.

    • Giliah…I disagree. I am 5’10 and I ROCK 6 inch heels because it makes me feel wonderful. Never underestimate the power of a sexy pair of heels. As for the pinching and backaches…I’ve never had that problem because I make sure I buy comfortable shoes.If they aren’t comfy in the store,they probably won’t be comfy out and about. And when all else fails… wedges are the most comfy if you don’t do stilettos. It’s not about impressing people because you’re taller…it’s about having your outfit have that extra kick, that extra bout of confidence. I personally love heels and always will ( comes from my mama who has the best shoe collection ever). I can’t wear flats because those actually hurt my feet and because I’ve been wearing heels for so many years….I don’t feel put together in flats. But I understand that not everyone doesn’t want to wear 6 inch heels all the time.

      • oh i totally wasn’t saying that everyone is a certain way, i just think it didn’t really fit in with all of the other recommendations which i thought were pretty spot on. the ONLY thing that the ladies below me are complaining about on this list are the heels, so i’m certainly not alone. i just don’t think a girl should need shoes to feel sexy or confident, especially not shoes that make her *taller*. if they are comfortable, you go girl! for lots of girls they are not and there are plenty of other ways to boost your confidence!