Your college experience flies by so fast that you’re often stuck standing in line for graduation wondering where the past four years went. You vaguely remember meeting your best friend when she held your hair back after your first frat party and you kinda remember that all-nighter you pulled to get 3 term papers done in one night. But the rest is a blur of theme parties, walks of shame, and begging your older sister for her fake ID.
Before you know it, you’re out in the real world, working a real job alongside real people, wondering what happened to no-class Friday and $3 pitchers. And trust me, it ain’t fun.
It gets pretty easy to get caught up in it all and forget to be young and crazy. That’s why, with only a little way’s to go until I hit the big 2-5, I’ve put together the ultimate list of everything we, as fun-loving and fearless women, need to accomplish before we turn 25.
1. Have a really good one-night stand with a gorgeous guy. Forget about your personalities matching up and forget about Facebooking him the next day. Appreciate the smoking hot naked body…and take some Plan B in the morning just in case, because if you did it right, you have no way of ever contacting him.
2. Do an illegal drug. Otherwise your kids will think you’re totally lame 30 years down the road when they’re all like “Mom, I bet you were so wild and fun back in the ’10s” and you’ll have to respond “well, one time I drank beer before liquor.”
3. Live in another country (even if it’s just for a short period of time). You’ll get an entirely new perspective on our country, on the world, and on how far reaching American scandals go in other countries. Nothing like your Spanish host mom bringing up Monica Lewinsky years after the fact.
4. Travel on the cheap. Pick a destination and do it up, backpacking-style. Stay in hostels, eat unidentifiable food, and make sure to have anti-diarrhea medicine on hand. Once you’re over 25, your body will no longer be able to stomach staying in those places, eating that food, and experiencing food poisoning in front of a ton of foreign strangers.
5. Confront a fear. Doesn’t matter if it’s a fear of heights or a fear of spiders, figure out a way to face it head on just once.
6. Be brave and be bold and have sex with the lights on. He’ll find you even sexier, which will only boost your own self-confidence.
7. Splurge on an awesome pair of jeans that fit you really well. Bonus points if they also fit your completely different-sized best friends just as well and make magical things happen.
8. Apologize to someone you were mean to in middle school. Except for that one girl who didn’t need braces, everyone was feeling insecure and left out in those days. A quick Facebook message apology will brighten her day.
9. Make a real guy friend who is really just a friend. As in you don’t want to ever see him naked and he doesn’t ever want to see you naked. No points if you’re related.
10. Get a job working with food or working with clothes. You’ll never treat your waiters, your bartenders, your salespeople the same way ever again. You’ll suddenly understand why they ask you to get off the phone when you’re ordering and why they request that you take your clothes out of the dressing room.
11. Figure out what kind of wine you actually like. There is life beyond Franzia and you’ll feel so mature and adult when you can tell a date that you prefer a dry Chardonnay over a sweeter Pinot. The best way to figure this out on the cheap? Go on a wine tour. You’ll sort things out real quick. Oh, and learn how to work a corkscrew. No wine is enhanced by chunks of cork floating around.
12. Take a roadtrip with your friends. The destination doesn’t matter. As Miley Cyrus once “sang,” it’s all about the climb. Nothing brings friends closer than endless games of “Count the Cracker Barrels,” hours upon hours of deep conversations (out come the family secrets!), and Disney sing-a-longs.
13. Try an exotic food you can’t pronounce.
14. Go to a college football game and go all out. Paint your face, lose your voice from cheering, and tailgate like a rockstar.
15. See a Broadway show. Even the most cynical people leave a show happy.
16. Go 24 hours media-free. That means turn off your cell phone and shut down your computer. With the exception of getting tagged in heinous photos that you can’t de-tag right away, you won’t miss anything.
17. Skinny dip.
18. Give back to the community. Whether it’s building houses for Habitat for Humanity, participating in a campus Relay for Life, or standing for days on end for a Dance Marathon, you’ll have an awesome time and feel really, really good about yourself. After a 12 hour nap, of course.
19. Learn to do your own taxes and how to manage your own money. It will make that transition into real life so. much. easier.
20. Take your parents out to a nice dinner. Because they deserve it.
21. Start a blog about your life and update it regularly. Sure it seems self-centered now, but you’ll be grateful ten years from now when you can reflect on your life when you were really living it up.
22. Go to a Pride Parade. There is nothing on earth as fun, happy and memorable than a parade dedicated to gay pride.
23. Go to Vegas and let go. Party hard, then party harder. Then hit up an all-you-can-eat buffet to sober up…so you can party again.
24. Learn to drive a manual car. They’re cheaper and, really, it’s just a cool party trick. Plus, from what we hear, it’s a major turn-on for guys.
25. Donate blood. If you think donating is scary, imagine being the person who needs it during a blood shortage. And if that’s not enough, there are cookies.