Things to do before you’re 30
The Try-It-Out, Get-It-Done, Live-It-Up List!
by former Buzzfeed Editor| Jessica Misener
Make the most of your twenties with this must-have millennial bucket list featuring the essential skills, knowledge, and goals to achieve before reaching the big 3-0.
There’s no time in your life like your twenties. Let be your tour guide through this weird and wonderful decade. With advice on everything from traveling the world to learning new languages.
In this simple, list-based guidebook, you’ll find 600 things to do before turning 30. Get advice for keeping up your health (are you really drinking enough water?), maintaining your relationships, taking care of your home (you’re not in college anymore—time to learn how to frame your art and hang it on the wall), and ultimately, becoming the best self you can possibly be. While unclogging drains and changing tires along the way.
I am a massive fan of this book. Beautifully illustrated and compiled, it includes 600 recommendations to do before you reach the fabulous age of 30. It’s one of those books to keep close to your bed. When you are feeling in need of inspiration or dare I say bored. Open a page – any page – and look to do one of the suggestions Jessica has given. Some need more forward planning, but often many suggestions can be incorporated into your life with immediate effect. I thought I would try it out for a week to see how well this works.
Day 1. Call in sick to work and go on adventure
OK, so I picked up this book and automatically read this one. I can’t really call in sick to work (that would be unprofessional), but I took two days off to go on adventure instead. I booked Thursday 5th July to go to House Festival with my friends. Absolutely amazing. I then decided rather than going back to work the next day, I would embark on an adventure. I had slept at a friend’s house on the Thursday night after the festival. One of my friends cooked a group of us breakfast as we sat in the sun drinking copious amounts of tea eating egg and avacado muffins. I then embarked on a day meeting up with people and booked an airbnb rather than go home to make it feel like I was on holiday. It was the first time ever I had eaten in an Ethopian restaurant too.
Day 2. Read “If You Forget Me” by Pablo Neruda
“This beautiful poem will remind you of the people you once loved, and the ones you hope to never lose. Try not to cry!” – I found a recording of the poem by Madonna. Do read/watch.
Day 3. Take control of your career advancement
“Consider whether you’re in a good place to ask for a promotion at work and outlines what you need to do to get it. Or, look into what degrees or certifications you could obtain to advance in your line of work. The future is yours!”
I haven’t yet had a PDR in my new job, so I decided to prioritise this on Monday. Time to take control! I also thought of my writing. I have been wanting to start interviewing people for my blog and for My Film Club for a long time now. So I decided to look into media training and courses. Go me!
Day 4. Develop a go-to cheap and easy dinner recipe
“You come home from a long workday, exhausted but ravenous, and open the refrigerator. What are you cooking? My personal favourites include pasta with broccoli and lemon zest, and a quinoa vegetable bowl”
Now this is a challenge! I am useless at taking packed lunches into work and even worse at cooking for myself in the evening. I either do a weekly shop at Tesco and waste half my food. Or I am hungry during the evenings because I don’t have anything in. I decided to try and figure out a recipe which wasn’t my decade old chicken and noodles(with soya sauce obvs). Facebook is good for suggestions!
Day 5. Resist the urge to sign up for a new credit card, and rethink the cards you have
“The temptation to buy a bunch of new stuff you probably don’t need isn’t worth the free T-shirt. Some cards these days do come with tantalizing promises pf travel bonuses and sweet perks, but only sign up for one if you know you can pay off the balance in full each month. If you can’t, you risk getting swept away in a tidal wave of accumulating interest – and you’ll end up paying way more than you already have to. Are they still a good investment, or just adding stress to your financial load?”
OK, this was perfect timing. I have finally paid off a £25k loan, a £1k credit card and am paying off my one remaining credit card. I have seen my credit card rating soar in recent months, after my rating had flatlined for years. Admittedly, I had started to look at other credit cards which I could now get! What was I thinking!? So after reading this, I have made a firm decision to not get any other credit cards and just keep on top of these ones!
Jessica Misener – The Interview
Jessica Misener (San Francisco) is a senior editor whose writing has appeared on BuzzFeed, Huffington Post, Cosmopolitan, The Atlantic, and more. She’s also worked as a T-shirt folder, dry cleaning assistant, grocery store cashier, librarian, and ancient Greek tutor. She lives in San Francisco, where she regularly eats twice her weight in burritos. Broke Girl in the City asked Jessica a couple of questions which we felt would resonate with other girls in the city.
What inspired you to write this book?
For me, turning 30 felt pretty scary. 30 always seemed so old — I remember watching the show Friends, in particular the episode where they all turned 30, and thinking about how far away that seemed. Then suddenly I was 30, and I still felt like a kid. I wrote this book not as a laundry list of things people should feel like they HAVE to do—there are 600 things! It’s a long list! Haha— but more as an inspiration towards making the most of your 20s and taking time to not only enrich your own life, but invest in your relationships and the greater world while you’re young.
If you could give one recommendation from your book, what would it be?
I personally love a really simple and kind of paradoxical one, which is to go through a breakup. I first started dating when I was 15, and I just recently got engaged (at 34). So that’s almost 20 years of romantic ups and downs. And believe me, there were lots of downs! I’ve been cheated on. I’ve been ghosted. I’ve had my heart broken by unrequited love after unrequited love. And in the moment, those situations were brimming with so much despair. I was convinced that there was something wrong with me because I couldn’t find someone, that no one would ever love me and that I was destined to a life alone. But going through each of those heartbreaking moments has given me so much strength. I learned what I didn’t want in a partner, and what I needed to fully love and be loved. It wasn’t until I finally decided that I’d rather be alone than settle for another half-interested, half-hearted relationship that I met the right person for me.
What do you love about living in the city?
I’ve lived in three of the biggest cities in America (New York, Miami, San Francisco), and I love city life! It’s great being able to walk and bike everywhere and live among a diverse population. In a city, you can’t sit behind the wheel of a car all day, insulated from the world around you. It forces you to experience the world as it really is. Plus, great late night food: in New York it was pizza, here it’s burritos. Yum.
What are the top 3 things about San Francisco?
- The nature. In just an hour, you can drive north to hiking or wine country, or south to some beautiful coastlines, or east to the Berkeley hills.
- The vibe. I grew up on the East Coat, and I had some culture shock moving to California. People value work-life balance more here.
- The burritos! Check out Taqueria Cancun for the best veggie burrito you’ll ever experience.
If you could give your 20 something old self some advice what would it be?
I’d tell her to stop taking rejection so personally. If you don’t get a job you wanted, it doesn’t necessarily mean you weren’t qualified; maybe the job went to the CEO’s niece instead. Or if a relationship pans out, it just wasn’t a good match — it doesn’t mean there’s something TOTALLY DEFICIENT about yourself. Have confidence and faith in who you are, and what’s meant to be will be.