Life can be messy and beyond confusing at times. We all have to make decisions that are very difficult to make. Many life altering decisions are made while we are in our early twenties. It is important to have an educated and open mind of the world when we make these decisions. As I am turning twenty soon, I have decided to compile a list of the things that impacted my outlook on life the most. These are the things I would recommend you do at least once before you turn twenty. If you are already past twenty, that’s okay, it’s never too late to start! Without further ado,
1. Visit a Different Country
This is number one on my list because I think it is important to be able to view the world from someone else’s perspective. It’s important not to be close minded about things if you want to have a positive effect on the world. If I had to pick one event that had the biggest impact on my life, it would be doing missionary work in Peru for two weeks. It completely changed how I viewed the world, and it was a change for the better. If you have the opportunity to visit another country, do it.
2. Study a Different Language
This goes along with the last one a little bit. Learning another language opens the door for you to be able to communicate with millions of other people. It helps you to further view things from a different perspective. It also boosts your resume and chances of getting hired. If you have not done so already, give learning another language a shot. If you are interested in this, please stay in touch with my blog as I will be writing more about the best ways to study and learn languages. (This is coming from someone who speaks English, Spanish, and Chinese,)
3. Play a Sport
Participating in sports can come with so many benefits. It builds character, it can give you a second family, it teaches you how to push yourself and how to work hard for something. It also teaches you important lessons like how to both win and lose with good attitudes. Not only that, but it helps you stay fit and healthy.
4. Be Involved in a Team of Some Sort
This can go along with the other one if you decide to play a team sport. But if you play a sport that does not involve a team, it is important that you try out some kind of activity that requires teamwork. It will help you to cultivate social skills that will help you greatly down the road.
5. Visit a Home for the Elderly
Go spend some time visiting a home for the elderly. Not only will you receive a reminder of the reality of the shortness of life, but you will also gain a lot of wisdom from spending time with the people there. Besides that, many of the people in elderly homes do not have family that visits them. It would make their day and yours if you spent some time with them.
6. Love Someone out of choice
By the time you turn 20 you should know what it is like to love somebody out of choice. I suppose you could say everyone we love is out of choice. But for this I am specifically referring to someone other than family members. Find someone and choose to love them despite their flaws. It can be a best friend, or a boyfriend/girlfriend. Find someone that you have to push yourself to love and maybe even hurts you to love. I am not saying you should date someone just to get your heart broken. I am not even saying you need to date someone before you turn twenty. I am saying you should know what it is like to choose to love someone and to overcome difficulties. You should know what it is like if that person moves away or something else happens. Your heart will grow in the process and you will be able to relate with a lot of people in various stages of their lives.
7. Discover Hobbies and Invest in Them
Before you turn 20 you should already have found some things that you like to do. You should find hobbies that benefit you. Use your free time to build on these hobbies so that you can be skillful in something that you like to do. Put your hobbies to good use. Try picking something that you will be able to continue doing for the rest of your life. Things like: instruments, tennis, bicycling, volunteering, collecting things, and playing chess are all good ideas to possibly get started with.
8. Talk to your Grandparents about their Past and your Family’s Origins
One of the most enriching assignments I had in high school was to speak with my grandparents about their lives. I had a deeper appreciation for my grandparents once I found out all that they had been through. I also learned out a lot about where I came from and that inspires me to make sure that I keep going in the right direction. If you cannot speak to a grandparent, find a relative or a family friend you can talk to.
9. Set long and short term goals for your life
By the time you turn twenty you should have ideas and aspirations of where you would like to end up in the future. You should be thinking through where you want to be in the next five, ten, twenty years of your life. You should also be making plans on how to get there. You are still young though, and a lot can change. So do not set anything in stone. Rather, write it with a pencil that has an eraser.
1o. Work a public service job
Working a job in the public service industry can and will be trying. You will look at people very differently than you did before you started the job. You will appreciate the waiters, dish-washers, shelf-stockers, and cashiers of the world a lot more than before you did it. You will have both negative and positive experiences with people. It will teach you a lot about the world. This one is so important that I dedicated a specific article just for this topic.
11. Own a Pet
Owning a pet will teach you responsibility. You are a very powerful being as a human. Your pet will need you to nurture and care for it. It teaches you to be responsible as well as selfless. In return you will get to experience the unconditional love of an animal.
12. Go to Some Kind of Church or Worship Center
Even if you do not hold any religious beliefs, it is a good thing to be educated about people who do. There are a lot of generalizations made about people involved in various religions. Go visit a few churches, or mosques of temples to learn for yourself what the people inside are really like. You will also get to see people fully committed to a higher power. Whether you believe in that higher power or not, it is still enriching to see people fully committed and worshiping something that they believe is higher than themselves. That is something that even if you do not believe it, you can respect it.
Thanks for reading! Hopefully you found this article a helpful and informing. As always, if you have any stories of you doing the 12 things above, or anything you think should be added to the list, please comment below!