20 Things to do Before you Turn 20: A Doable Bucket List.

I spent the better part of last night stalking other bloggers’ thirty by thirty lists. If you are unfamiliar with the idea, you just make a list of thirty things that you would like to do before you turn thirty. For me, thirty still seems so far away. I thought instead I could put the pressure on and make a twenty by twenty list.

I have about 7 months left before I turn twenty, which means I am going to have to complete about three of these per month in order to stay on track! Wish me luck!

As a teenager, my twenties seem so far away. But in reality they are creeping up on me faster than I would like! So I came up with a list of twenty things to do before I turn twenty - are any of these goals on your bucket list?

Twenty by Twenty

  1. Run a half marathon
    So this isn’t quite as ambitious as the usual ‘run a marathon’ goal on a lot of these lists, but it’s a heck of a lot more practical! I was a runner in high school, and a good one at that. I am going to work to get back into shape and finally run that half marathon that’s been in the back of my mind for ages.
  2. Come up with a few “signature” dishes
    I think basic cooking skills are a must have for any person, and I’ve been fortunate to be taught how to cook over the years. A lot of the women in my family have the dishes, desserts, and apps that they’re known for – I love the idea of perfecting a recipe and having people love it enough that they request it at every gathering.
  3. Go on a legit, all day hike solo
    I am cautious in all parts of my life, but physical safety is a big one. Out of everyone of my friends and family members, I am, unfortunately, the most enthusiastic about the outdoors. That means if I wait for my friends to adventure with me, I’ll never get my fill. I also have a fear of doing “scary” things alone. I watch enough crime documentaries that I’ll never feel fully safe alone in the woods, but 99% of that fear I’m feeling will be baseless, thanks to situations I’ve created in my head.

    I think if I could get over the fear of being isolated in the woods alone for a day, I will be able to get over a lot of my other fears, too.

  4. Write every single day
    Now that I am blogging, this one isn’t very difficult, but it is important. Now that I am constantly writing I have gotten much better at expressing myself and as cheesy as it sounds – understanding myself. Writing doesn’t have to be for work or school, it can be therapeutic, too.

    Journaling has really helped me grow as a person and work through things that happened to me when I was younger that I’d bottled away. I feel like journalistic writing has been a great coping mechanism for me lately.

  5. Start investing
    Let’s be real: I don’t necessarily have a ton of money to invest, but playing with a spare $15 or $20 a month could help me become competent with money management (something I’ve never been taught!), and bonus points: there’s the chance to really help set myself up financially in the future.

    I have a Robinhood account, but at this point only have about $40 invested into a stock my grandpa recommended. If you want to invest with Robinhood, you can sign up with this link and both of us will get a free stock worth between $5 and $200!

  6. Travel independently
    I feel like 19 is such an odd age – I have more freedom than I ever have, but I also haven’t done much with that freedom. Without a big budget, freedom can’t get you far. I want to save up and go on a solo weekend trip – my budget insists it be by train rather than plane, but even then I should be able to get somewhere cool.

    I can couch surf or find a cheap airbnb, either way I want to do it alone. No boyfriend, friends, or family. Just me learning how to navigate somewhere new for a weekend.

  7. Start documenting family stories
    I am a nostalgic person, and lucky to be part of a tight knit family. I have two living grandparents, and the older I get the more I realize how little I know about what makes them them. Before I left for college, and now when I’m home for breaks I visit them every single Friday and I know who they are now but I want to know who they were decades before I was ever born.

    I’d love to hear the stories of their first loves, their first heartbreaks, their first jobs, how their love story unfolded, and everything in between. Not only that, but I want to document it so that when I’m 80 one day and perhaps my granddaughter is asking about me, I can tell her about them and how they shaped who I would become and taught me what it meant to be a grandparent.

  8. Learn to sew.
    And by that I mean, really sew. I did a sewing class in middle school, but I didn’t learn much. I would love to be able to create my own clothing! I also love thrift shopping and oftentimes find great vintage pieces that just fit a little awkwardly. I can do basic adjustments, but at my skill level I’m afraid I’ll end up butchering the vintage pieces so I end up not touching them.
  9. Wake up in time to see a sunrise.
    The world is an absolutely beautiful place, and I keep saying I’ll see it when I have the money. Well, the truth is there is so much beauty that doesn’t cost a penny and I’m just choosing to ignore it every single morning. I am working to fix that.
  10. Become a competent coder.
    I’d love to be able to code for the obvious reason (blogging!) but also because it’s a super valuable skill when it comes to finding a job, and it’s also an incredibly cool thing to know how to do.
  11. Begin being more health conscious
    When I was young I had a skewed sense of what “healthy” was. I had a lot of influence from the media, and until just a few years ago associated thinness with health (I know, toxic, but I genuinely thought it was true!). I am naturally on the slimmer side, and always thought that just meant I was healthy until I got to college and started taking biology courses that luckily overlapped a lot with nutrition. And one thing I quickly learned was that surviving on grilled cheese and easy mac isn’t going to get me far.
  12. Work on my sleep hygiene 
    Most days I run on 4 hours of sleep and then a midafternoon nap. Coupled with copious amounts of caffeine and desperation to succeed, I’ve been making this work but I know it’s not the best habit to be in. One day I’ll need to function outside of my college schedule and I can’t see anyway that I’d be able to make this work in the real word.
  13. Learn about where I came from
    I want to take an Ancestry DNA test and learn more about my roots. I feel like I’m not super in touch with any culture besides “generic midwest white family that fights at every Thanksgiving” and that doesn’t leave me feeling over inspired.
  14. Be more generous
    I am a people pleaser and I always have it in the back of my mind that people are mad at me, annoyed with me, or just generally unhappy about my presence. So I’ve spent a lot of time avoiding confrontation or the potential for rejection. I think the best way for me to get over this fear is by jumping in cold turkey and start putting myself into more positions where I might be rejected until I lose the anxiety I have around it.
  15. Become a little more self assured
    I’m afraid of silly little things like the judgement of others, too. And that is something I just need to let go of. Easier said than done, and I haven’t really developed a plan on how I’m going to do this. I wish I had so I could impart that same wisdom on you, but for now it’s just a goal.
  16. Make a few new best friends
    My high school friends were and are the most amazing people. Our dynamic is my favorite thing in the world, and sometimes I think I take it for granted. Eventually things will change – people will break up, get married, get jobs, move away and all we have is each other right now. I really want to start branching out and finding more people who I feel the same amount of bliss being around.
  17. Become confidently conversational in ASL
    American Sign Language is such a beautiful and complicated language, and I have been practicing for almost a year now. I would love to get to the point where I could have easy conversations with anyone in sign language.
  18. Complete 10 crochet projects
    I love to create and make things. I especially love crochet because it works up so quickly! Several people I know are having babies soon, so I am going to get started on lots of baby blankets!
  19. Do that thing my mom told me never to do and meet my online friends in real life
    As a blogger, I feel like half of my best friends are people I’ve never actually met. You get to know a lot of incredibly people blogging, and I so badly want to get to know them in person!
  20. Start outlining my novel
    When I was a kid I was constantly writing – it was my dream to be a published author by middle school. That didn’t pan out. But I haven’t given up on my dream of being a published author. I want to finally get started on that goal!

So there it is – my twenty by twenty! Some are silly, some are going to kick my butt, and some are a bit ambitious but I am going to do everything I can to make sure I accomplish everything on this list!

Do you have any advice for me? Do any of my goals align with yours? Let me know and we can cheer each other on!