Cheers to your amazing teen years and the dreamland you lived in where mamma and papa were your knights, protecting their little ones from the wrath of the ‘zalim duniya’. But now the kids are big enough to combat the world on their own. Congratulations! You’re in your twinkling twenties! You no more wear that school uniform and carry that gargantuan schoolbag. However, now you’ve got a bigger bag of responsibilities on your shoulders as you open new chapters of your life. With your twenties, you’ve entered into a new phase of experimentation and freedom. To make this journey fun-filled and indelible, here’s a list of 10 things you should do in your early 20s:
- Travel with your group of buddies
I’m sure; this already is a part of your ‘to-do’ bucket list. So pack your bags, get along with your comrades and hit the road. Just remember to be travelers this time and not just mere tourists. Sleep under the stars and wake up at an unknown place. Go for a 10 to 15-mile odyssey in the Himalayas or a night walk at the beach. Learn how to survive independently at a new place.
- Exercise You are not 16 anymore! And your body has suffered enough from the physical and mental strain you gave it while growing up with your chaotic lifestyle, late night studies and, of course, the unhealthy food you gifted it with. Yet you managed to pull off your good looks with grace as the building blocks of your body were still multiplying. But to maintain this grace even when you’ve got gray, you need to do a stretch or two on a regular basis. Doesn’t matter how slow you go, you’re still lapping everybody on the couch.
- Learn to Cook Now that Maggie has been banned, I wonder what embellishes your ‘I can cook these dishes’ list? The early 20s is a period when you step into a whole new world. You might have to leave behind your hometown and ‘maa ke haath ka khana’ and build your niche in a new city. Learning how to cook would help you save your Wonga, sew up your hygiene and health and yeah, it would be a lot of fun. So the next time you plan a dinner date, you can be the chef yourself. *wink*
- Volunteer for a Charitable Cause
“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.” –Winston Churchill
This is a phase of life, when we work towards making a living via our chosen careers. Amidst the rat race to success, we forget the fact that ‘we rise by lifting others’. Volunteering for a charitable cause would utilize the enormous amount of energy that you encompass in the most optimal way as you would give something back to the society, thus fulfilling your moral and social obligations. It’s not necessary to join an NGO and be a full-time volunteer, for it is said, ‘charity begins at home’ but you should make sure that it doesn’t end there.
- Make an Investment It could be towards anything. The very fact that you’re saving money for something you’ve always longed to possess would push you out of the bed, take the regular run around the world and save that extra buck you’d have spent on the rickshaw, instead of the walk you’re taking to home. But isn’t it helping you reduce that extra fat which escaped with you missing your morning exercise? Told you, you are not 16 anymore!
- Learn to be Alone and Like it You’ve passed the age when your phone book was filled the digits of your ‘best friends forever’ and all of them knew about the new guy in your life or Pammi Aunty catching hold of you at the movies. You’ve realized that it’s not the quantity but the quality of friends that matter. And nobody can be a better friend to you than YOU! So take out time for this friend, go on an individual date, wolf down your favorite pizza or sit back and play your favorite video game (Oh, you’re never old enough for this).
- Take your parents for a Date This is something you should ruminate upon seriously. Plan a surprise date for your parents. It could be a movie, or an outing or a lunch date at home (Remember, you’ve learned to cook now?). Nothing would please your parents more than the time they get to spend with you.
- Give up on your grudges
You got to do this! The heartbreak you face in high school and the scuffle with your best friend before you both stopped talking and the zillion other grudges you hold onto till date. You need to let go of them. There’s much more to your life than something that happened in the past. Remember, “Grudges are a big waste of happiness.”
- Get a makeover Now this could range from dying your hair blue to getting inked. Or it could just be wearing something you’ve never worn before. For once now, you need to leave behind your teenage image and show up the world that you’re finally in your 20s and independent (Though I hope you survive that whack from your mum when she sees that tattoo on your neck).
- Learn to accept and love yourself The teenage years encompass a phase of discovery and knowing who you are. And now is the time that you embrace yourself with open arms. You must accept and love yourself, no matter what others have to say about you because you know the best about your journey and struggle which have molded you in the person you are today. After all, what matters the most is how ‘you’ see yourself.