Here’s the thing: you can learn all of the algebra and history and chemistry in the world, but someday you’re going to look back on your younger years and think, ‘I could have been happier then. Why didn’t I do something more?’ Here’s a list of 10 ‘somethings’ you can do right now.
1. Know what’s going on in the world.
Ignorance may be bliss, but not knowing something that has been flashing across CNN headlines for weeks is just negligent. This could mean even just joining Tumblr; I can’t count the number of times I’ve heard about something there before a lot of the media has covered it.
2. Buy a camera.
You don’t have to be a photographer to take pictures of things. Now I know, a lot of people hate taking pictures or getting theirs taken, but someday, you’ll be thinking about that trip you took ten years ago, wondering how comically horribly your hair looked then, or you’ll be showing your kids and grandchildren all of the cool places you’ve been and things you’ve done. You’ll thank yourself for this then.
3. Take a cross-country trip.
Bring your camera. Bring friends. Take pictures of everything you think is worth looking at again someday. Be safe. Make sure you have a spare tire. Keep your money and (charged) phone in a safe place, at all times. Don’t drive when you’re tired.
4. Go to midnight premieres.
If it’s well known, and people are cosplaying, go in costume like everyone else. Make friends. Who knows? You might find the Black Widow to your Hawkeye.
5. Join a gym.
No one is calling you fat. Life is stressful. Between working and school and dating and family and whatever else, it can start to feel like the world is lunging onto your shoulders. Put some music on, and hit the gym. Do some yoga. And hey, if you manage to get your body how you want it to be too, where’s the harm in that?
6. Pay it forward.
Make someone’s day, even if it’s just paying $5 towards the next person’s order at the Starbucks drive-thru. (Go ahead and keep doing this throughout your life.)
7. Be the DD.
And actually BE one. Don’t have even one drink (and then just one more, and then and then…). Many bars give designated drivers nonalcoholic drinks on the house, so you’ll have more money in your bank account in the end, and your friends will get home safe.
8. Learn how to cook at least one week’s worth of meals.
Ramen and Taco Bell are good when you’re a broke college student, but out in the real world, it’s nice to be able to make your own dinner, especially when it’s not the same dinner every night (even if it’s just for you to Instagram later. #chefbethany).
9. Have a hobby.
Everyone needs a healthy outlet, and the gym is great for stress relief, but what about getting some creativity out? If you can draw, get a sketchbook. Paint? Buy some canvases and get artistic. Learn an instrument. Join a yoga class. Paint, play, or downward-face dog at least once a week.
10. Go to local events.
Pick up the entertainment section of your area’s newspaper, or go to your local news channel’s website. If you live in a big enough place, there will always be something going on. Hit up a poetry slam or battle of the bands, and show your support.