Living in the 20s

22 Feb

I recently stumbled upon this blog post. Cameron Schaefer writes that the twenties are foundational years and should not be wasted or lived unintentionally.

This really got me thinking. Am I wasting my twenties? I spent the first couple years in school, busy getting my degree. And now that I’m graduated and working at my first job, sometimes it feels like I’m running on repeat – work, sleep, work, sleep, work, sleep.

After reading Schaefer’s list of 20 things to do in your 20’s, I was inspired to come up with a list for myself. The twenties are a time to discover who you are and take on the world. Here I go!

Note: My list is a little shorter. The first five are ones that Schaefer recommended with my comments, and then I added on five of my own.

US Embassy in Berlin

1. Travel – I am fortunate that my parents thought it was important for their children to see the country. I’ve skied in Utah, walked through the Redwood Forests in California, hiked in the Grand Canyon, felt the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, visited the monuments in D.C. and the list goes on. As much as I appreciate and cherish these memories, I want to see the world beyond the United States. I was lucky enough to visit Germany this past summer, but that’s just the start. I have the whole world ahead of me!

2. Learn a foreign language – I attended a private school from kindergarten to eighth grade, and every week we had Spanish class. I even took two years in high school. Sadly, I can maybe say three sentences, and that’s pushing it. I regret not paying more attention, because everyone should know at least one other language. My new goal is to learn German. Wish me luck…

3. Develop an active, healthy lifestyle – When I played soccer in college, I was extremely fit. These days I’d kill to have my 18-year-old body again. But seeing as I love food, and I don’t run three hours a day anymore, something has to change. I’m trying to become more aware of what I eat, and I try to exercise five times a week. It’s easier to develop these habits now, instead of waiting until I’m old and fat.

4. Start a blog – I wonder how I got the idea for this blog… hmmm. A blog is a good way to document your life, share your thoughts and create a personal voice. I believe everyone should put themselves out there at one point in their life.

5. Create a monthly budget – As my parents kindly remind me, having your finances in order when you’re young will ensure financial stability in the future. Is it OK to splurge on a pair of shoes or a nice dinner? Absolutely! As long as I budget for these little splurges, I’ll never look at my bank statement and say, “What happened!?” Well, maybe I will, but hopefully a monthly budget will limit this occurrence.

6. Learn to cook – Cooking has always been a problem for me. I’m not the worst chef in America, but cooking is an art, and I don’t have it down. I’m always amazed how someone can pull out what’s in the fridge and whip up something amazing. I don’t want to be the person who eats Mac n’ cheese and hot dogs. Hopefully some cooking classes are in my near future.

7. Live overseas – OK, so this probably isn’t everyone’s goal in their twenties, but it’s one of mine. As previously mentioned, I spent some time in Germany, and it really opened my eyes. Don’t get me wrong, I love good old America, but I’d love to spend a few years experiencing an entirely different culture.

8. Live on your own – It’s not like I’ve never lived on my own. In college, I lived off campus and experienced all the joys of paying rent and managing bills. But, I always had roommates, and I knew mom and dad were there to back me up. I look forward to having my own place someday and feeling completely independent.

9. Live in a major city – I realize this is the third item about “living,” but they all make sense to me. Anyway, I grew up in a rural area, and after visiting so many cities, I know this is something I have to do. Maybe I’ll try New York or Chicago… or maybe Frankfurt or Berlin? There is just something about being in a large city that is so energizing. I look forward to experiencing it.

10. Surround yourself with good people – I’m lucky that I grew up with great parents, learned from amazing teachers and now work at a job with wise mentors. I hope to always surround myself with people who motivate me to be a better person.

So cheers to all the things I will do in my twenties. As Ferris Bueller said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”

What are some of your suggestions of things to do in your twenties?

7 Responses to “Living in the 20s”

  1. Carrie Drummond 02/24/2011 at 7:51 pm #

    This post was inspirational! :) Thanks for putting things in perspective. I have a senior year bucket list, which is kind of like this list…just specifically Kent State themed. I need to get to work on that. Only 71 more days! Then I’ll make a new list of things to do in my 20s. I can’t wait to read about you making everything on your list happen!

    • maryjospletzer 02/24/2011 at 8:03 pm #

      Thanks, Carrie! I think a senior year bucket list for Kent State is brilliant. Wish I would have thought of that! And yes, you better get working on it. Your last semester sure goes by fast…

  2. Michele Ewing 02/24/2011 at 11:19 pm #

    Enjoyed your post. Hmmm, a few of your things are still on my list. And, we know I’m well beyond my 20s!

    • maryjospletzer 02/25/2011 at 6:24 am #

      Thank you, Michele. You could always do a variation of your list. For example, if a goal was to live overseas, take a two-week trip through Europe. It’s never too late to check things off your dream list!

  3. Gracie 03/03/2011 at 4:04 pm #

    Great entry MJ! You really are a great writer. Also, thanks for reminding me that I too had a list of things I wanted to accomplish before I’m 30, and that it’s time to start working at it again…because before you know it, this decade of life will have come and gone.


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