Buy a house, have a baby, become the boss… we all had grand plans for our late 20s as children, but the reality can look a whole lot different – and that’s not a bad thing. There are so many amazing things to experience right now, and while not everyone has the same goals or timelines, making a list of things to achieve before you hit the big 3-0 can help you discover what you really want to try…
1. Get a tattoo: Or a piercing. Yes, that one you’ve been saying you want to get for years.
2. Fall in love: And if you end up heartbroken, learn the tools to pick yourself back up – they’ll come in handy again and again.
3. Start a pension: You'll be thankful in years to come. Even at the age of 25, you need to be putting away several hundred pounds a month to receive a decent pension when you retire.
4. And a savings account: Whether you save a lot or a little each month, it’s always good to have something for a rainy day.
5. Travel, travel travel: Especially if you don’t have a family to look after and a mortgage to pay yet – use these years to be adventurous, adaptable and able to be a little bit selfish.
6. Live in a house share: While we can't guarantee you'll chance upon a Friends-esque setup, it's a good way to learn about your boundaries and what you like (or don't) in a living situation.
7. Find a cause you believe in: whether you go on a march for women's rights or do a sponsored run for a charity - you'll feel good doing something selfless or for a greater good.
8. Buy something you’ve always wanted: And pay for it in cash (not on a credit card). Whether it’s a car or handbag, don’t be afraid to treat yourself when you’ve worked really hard.
9. Learn a new language: While it’s never too late to learn a new language, why not start now while you have more spare time?
10. Master a work out: Whether it’s running your first half-marathon or committing to weekly Pilates classes, finding a work out you actually enjoy can do wonders for your health – both physical and mental.
11. Tick something off your ‘bucket list’: That California road trip or hot air balloon ride you’ve been dreaming of doing since a teenager? Don’t put it off longer than you have to.
12. Live in another city: If it’s always been your dream, then make it happen – there will never be a ‘perfect time’ but don’t let that stop you.
13. Conquer a fear: Whether it’s doing that big move abroad or going sky diving, you’re far more likely to actually do the scary – but exciting – things now.
14. Get a pet: If you can give a pet the quality of life it needs, there’s no reason to put off adopting one.
15. Be with someone who's not your type: Even if only for a little bit – you’ll learn a lot about yourself and love.
16. Take steps towards the career you actually want: - it's all too easy to fall into a line of work after school or university that isn't really where you see yourself. But it's well worth taking the time to work out what it is you really think you'd be happy doing, and the steps you'd need to take to achieve this. Start making them before you hit the big 3-0.
17. See an idol live: Whether it’s your favourite singer, band or sports team, there's nothing like being in a crowd of supporters cheering on a performer or player you love.
18. Figure out your priorities: Not everyone can be – or wants to be – a homeowner, parent or high-flyer by the time they’re 30 (or ever), but try to figure out whatever it is that you want to achieve in the near future and make positive steps towards it.
19. Spend quality time with your friends: You’ll see them less and less as you gain other responsibilities and commitments, but make good friends now and they’ll last a lifetime.
20. But make time for family too: You’ll never regret showing your family how much they matter to you.
21. Let more things go: It’s common to spend your twenties worrying about things out of your control – but learning to let the small things go will have you feeling more free.
22. Take risks: Now’s the time to be brave – with your love life, career decisions and everything else in between.
23. Pay off your credit card debt: If you have it. You’ll feel so much better once you do.
24. Learn how to cook: Even if it’s just a few signature dishes – everyone should have something in their repertoire.
25. Become an expert in something: Wine, skincare, 19th-century gothic novels… it’s never too early to become a connoisseur on a subject that fascinates you.
26. Start looking after your skin: Your future self will seriously thank you.
27. Discover your passions: Don't let work become your entire life. Having a passion on the side – whether it’s music, running or supper clubs – can help your life feel more full.
28. Learn how to apologise: and do it more often.
29. Build a ‘personal brand’: You don’t need to be making millions from Instagram to have a personal brand – pretty much every employer will look at your online presence and social media before hiring you, so make sure yours is up-to-scratch.
30. Give yourself some credit: Chances are – even if you’re not where you want to be yet – you’ve come a long way since your teen years.