There comes a time in everyone’s life where we come to realize that we are either on our way to becoming or have already become full fledged adults. While we all may reach this point at different ages, one thing is for sure: there are certain things we should be able to do on our own by the age of 30. Consult this list to see if you are on track or at least on your way to getting there!
1. Fix a flat tire (or in my case fight a flat)
If you ever find yourself alone with a flat tire and no one around to help you fix it, you could always call AAA, but just imagine how satisfying it would be changing it yourself. Besides it is a useful skill to have (Check out Your First Time Changing a Tire to learn how!).
2. Buy/own/ or have your own means of transportation
3. Learn how to say NO and stand by it
Say no to choices that you know are bad for you, or friends who want to borrow clothes but are notorious for never returning them, or to your friends who try to set you up on another blind date, after the other ones were clearly not right for you making you wonder: Do they know you at all?
4. Learn how to save and be responsible with your money
By the time you reach 30, if you have not already started saving for retirement, you are in a bit of pickle. You want to set yourself up for the future. You also want to maybe not overextend your wallet because you had to have that new jacket/watch/iPad, whatever it may be.
5. Know what a 401k is…and how to use it.
This kind of goes along with #4, but in order to set yourself up for the future, you should have some sort of 401k or Roth IRA, or at least a savings account that you don’t touch. It may not seem like much now, but continuous contributions now equals a happier you in the future.
6. Know proper table manners
You know…no elbows on the table, know which fork to use with which course, which fork to use as a weapon when someone tries to steal off your plate…common sense mostly.
7. Have one signature meal you can whip up
Whether it is cider-glazed ham with a ginger-lime glaze, or a bacon and guacamole grilled cheese sandwich, it’s always good to have one signature meal to impress your friends. Whether or not it is edible remains in question.
8. Get a real bed (not a futon, or your friends couch)
9. Make a bed
It doesn’t have to be hotel quality, but at least pull up your sheets neatly and fluff your pillows. Trust me, there is nothing more inviting after a long day than a freshly made bed.
10. Set up a home
Have a place you can call your own. Whether you decide to share this place with someone is your own decision, but you should at least know what it is like to have your own place and your own space.
11. Own a piece of furniture not previously owned by anyone in your family
Unless it is vintage, a family heirloom, or holds some kind of sentimental value, it is time to get rid of that old couch you have had since college.
12. Be alone for a while…
Learn to be comfortable with being alone. Embrace the silence. Listen to your thoughts. Clear your mind for a while.
13. Stop apologizing for things that aren’t your fault
14. Take a compliment
Don’t fight it, or deny it or list the reasons why you are not worthy Just simply say “thank you.”
15. Fall in love without losing yourself
16. Do your laundry…
On your own…without dropping it off at your parents house.
17. Load a dishwasher
Now there is no one way to do this, but doing it correctly can extend the life of your dishes.
18. Grow some plants
Learn how to keep something alive before you have kids. Learn how to nurture it,watch it grow and protect it from harm.
19. Have a mentor
Find a mentor in somebody. Look up to them, discuss choices they made, paths they have taken and mistakes they have made. Do your best not to make the same mistakes.
20. Be a mentor
Then, when the time is right, be that person for someone else.
21. Stop following fad diets
22. Know that the only real way to lose weight is through healthy eating and regular exercise.
23. Get into crazy good shape
Do it for yourself and then take lots of pictures to prove that you were once in crazy good shape. Then try to maintain it for as long as you can so that you don’t have to say “Once upon a time I was in crazy good shape, but then…”
24. Know what works for your body type
Accept what your body type is and know what styles and colors work for you. Try to avoid the trendy items and stick with what works for you.
25. Properly format a resume…without padding it
26. Tie a bow/necktie
27. Learn how to take a good photograph…and not just a selfie
Photos capture moments in time and help us capture great memories. You should learn to take a good photograph that showcases these memories and all the people in them…and not just to fill up your Instagram feed.
28. Drink like a grown-up…
Meaning for every alcoholic beverage you consume, you must drink one glass of water. Also no getting “black-out” wasted and dancing on tables…unless you had a really rough week.
29. Know how to kiss in a way that communicates perfectly what you would and wouldn’t like to happen next
30. Discover yourself…
Not in that way! Tsk tsks…get your mind out of the gutter! But do know your strengths and weaknesses. Admit to your weaknesses and play up your strengths and you will be on your way to global domination…or at least domination in the workplace.
Whether 30 is around the corner for you, a few years away or already in your past, these are a few of the things that you should be able to do by the time you reach this glorious age.
Originally posted March 10, 2014.