At time of posting I have just turned 21! I am very pleased to look back at everything I have achieved so far and what my goals are for the future, if you’re looking for some motivation, here are 21 things to do before you turn 21!
1. Pass Your Driving Test
This might be an easy tick for most people but if you aren’t in the process of learning to drive or prepping for a test I would really recommend it before you turn 21. Not only is it a generally useful skill for day-to-day use, it can also be a requirement for lots of jobs if you need to travel around the place. Additionally, it may seem like a huge expense for a student (I know from experience), but it can also require a lot of hours of practise and you are far more likely to have the spare time while you are a student rather than when you are in a full-time job.
2. Decide On A Career
Hopefully if you have got all the way through school and potentially to university you will have at least a general idea of what you would like to do with the rest of your life job-wise (or at least where you want to start). If you still aren’t sure then get on the internet and do some research – what jobs are out their in your field? What job do your skills and passions qualify you for? Or ask for guidance from a a career tutor/advisor.
3. Start Saving
This is really important, if you haven’t already it is vital that you set up a savings account. Even if you’re only putting a little away every month it can go a long way and you will be so grateful for it if you ever have any unexpected or emergency payments.
4. Do What You Love
Figure out what you want to do with your spare time, what your hobbies are and enjoy doing them!
5. Clear Out
It might be time to say goodbye to some of your childhood things and move into your new organised adult life! No doubt there are piles of old clothes, school books, toys and other rubbish you don’t need in a cupboard at your parents house. Why not gift them with some free space by going through it and getting rid of everything you definitely won’t need anymore. I’m not saying throw all your childhood possessions away, obviously keep those which are meaningful memorabilia, but maybe not the dried out pens and half used notebooks that you didn’t even know you had.
6. Make Your Bucket List
It’s good to have things to aim for, ambitions and dreams. A bucket list can comprise of places you want to travel, personal aspirations or just general goals. Make your bucket list and start ticking things off as you go!
Or at least be making plans to. This doesn’t mean you have to travel all over the world because most people obviously don’t have the money for that. However, you should definitely branch out beyond your normal environment to see what else is out there. Maybe it’s a day trip to another city or a proper holiday abroad, get out there and see something different.
8. Explore Where You Live
Alternatively, I’m always discovering new things in the city where I live. Find out things to do locally, new restaurants, markets or other activities!
9. Learn To Cook For Yourself
Being a student might feel like an excuse to just have takeaways or beans on toast but this is the best time to learn how to cook some proper meals. Check out some essential cooking skills as a starting point!
10. Start Learning About Politics
It feels like everything in the news at the moment is about some kind of new legislation or petition, so, now more than ever it’s important to know what’s going on! Whatever your opinions, make yourself aware of who your local representatives are and make sure to vote when elections come up!
11. Have Had Your First Job
This might seem like a given to lots of people but I do know some students who have somehow managed to get themselves all the way through university without getting a job. However, I cannot stress enough how valuable having a job is, whether it’s part-time or full, this can contribute so much to your confidence as well as building your practical experiences (plus money…).
12. Stop Relying On Your Parents
Obviously your parents are there for you whenever you need them but it might be time to start being a bit more independent. Stop bringing all your dirty washing home and scrounging for cash, ask for help when you need it but don’t take advantage.
13. Have A Sensible Sleeping Routine
If you’re still a student when you get to 21 it might be easy to stay in bed until 10 minutes before you have to get to a lecture and then stay up to all hours of the night/morning. However, having a healthy routine requires a sensible sleep pattern and when you eventually get into the world of work you will 100% be grateful for the routine.
14. Making Sensible Decisions
Whether it’s going out when you know you have deadlines or eating mountains of rubbish food and snacks, a part of growing up is establishing boundaries and having enough will power to say no and make the right decisions. Equally, having the motivation to do the things you know you should be doing, going to the gym, getting that piece of coursework done, you can do it!
15. Learn To Tidy Up
It’s time to start tidying up after yourself, if you’re in a shared flat with other messy people it’s easy to just ignore it and blame other people. However, it is a much more pleasant living environment when you have tidied and got things organised!
16. Basic Hygiene
Again, this might seem like common sense but everyone has gone through their dirty teenage phase. By the time you get to 21 you should have sorted that out and be looking after yourself properly.
If you ever want to get involved in any kind of charity work or volunteering, this is the best time to do it. Once you’re in a full time job and paying your own bills etc. it becomes a lot harder to have the time and energy to do the extra work.
18. Work On Your Health & Fitness
Lots of people struggle with fitness their entire lives so it would be unrealistic to say that you should be fit or have reached your fitness goals by the time you turn 21, but if you have a goal and are working towards it then that is great!
19. Know How To Maintain Your Car
Obviously this only applies if you drive but it is so vital to have even a basic understanding of car maintenance to avoid any nasty bills or to help you get out of any difficult situations like a flat tire.
20. Try To Be Realistic
With all of these points it is important to set yourself realistic goals and not put too much pressure on yourself. Otherwise you are just going to feel let down when you can’t meet your own impossibly high standards. Know your capabilities and aim to push yourself to an achievable and yet challenging goal.
21. Start Feeling A Bit Like An Adult?
I’m still not 100% there but I can definitely see myself having grown and matured a lot in the last couple of years. I can look after myself properly now and have really grown accustom to my grown up routine!
Comment below if there are any other things you think you should do before turning 21!
Also See: How To Get Organised