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30 Things Everyone Should Try Before they are 30

By Christian Roemer

Technically, I’m on the wrong side of 30 to make any definitive statements about what folks should do before they meet the three decade age milestone. As a 32 year old dad, I’m pretty boring. But I wasn’t always this way, and maybe the extra two years of my 30s that I’ve lived give me the knowledge and experience to definitively say what you definitely should do with your life before kids, marriage, jobs, and general adultness overtakes traditionally fun activities.


But this list isn’t about me. This list is about YOU. These are the things that I think everyone should do before they turn 30.

  1. Get to know your parents - Something you don’t realize when you’re young is how quickly we all age. Don’t take your time together for granted.
  2. Swim in a river - Just find a river somewhere and jump in. Why not?
  3. Go on a blind date - Unless you’re in an open marriage, the meaning of going on a date changes dramatically when you’re older. Go on a blind date while you can--when the stakes are low and nothing really matters anyway.
  4. Read The Great Gatsby - Mostly everyone reads this book in high school, which is probably good. I recommend reading it again in your mid-late 20s. The book takes on a different meaning completely with some age on you.
  5. Eat sushi - Just eat some sushi. It’s delicious and good for you.
  6. Hike somewhere - When you get older, your joints start to hurt. Go hike something and see cool things when it doesn’t take a week of recovery for your body to bounce back.
  7. Camp somewhere - Being outside is therapeutic--especially when you’re younger. Sleeping on the ground starts to hurt as you age.
  8. Talk to your grandparents - Your grandparents are fountains of wisdom. Hang out with them while you can.
  9. Ride a bike - Bikes are awesome. Go cruise around on two wheels a little bit. Let the wind blow in your hair.
  10. Build a sandcastle - Sure, you can build sandcastles when you’re older, but they’re not as magical as when you’re young.
  11. Do a cartwheel - Logistically, before 30 is probably your best chance of doing a cartwheel and not hurting yourself tragically.
  12. Live with a roommate - Technically, if you’re married, you live with a roommate. But it’s also more complicated than that. Just live with a bud and have some good parties or something.
  13. Live alone - The opposite side of the coin, it’s good to live alone for a little while. Get to know yourself.
  14. Adopt a pet - Once you’re tired of being completely alone, learn the magic of adopting a pet. It can be a dog or a cat, but having a furry buddy around is awesome.
  15. Learn something cool - Are you into physics? Study physics. Are you into Hegelian philosophy? What’s wrong with you? Learn something else, nerd.
  16. Develop good habits - This one isn’t actually a joke. Good habits can follow you around for the rest of your life and set you up for success. Start young. It’s easier then.
  17. Get plenty of sleep - Most Americans don’t get nearly enough sleep. It’s bad for your health to miss too much. You should be getting 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Now go to bed.
  18. Eat well - Learn how to eat well when you’re young. My general rule of thumb is, if it comes out of plastic packaging after being processed in a factory, it’s probably not good to eat. Keep it simple.
  19. Learn to cook - There’s no better way to make sure you’re eating well than by learning to cook food yourself. You can control what goes in your meals. Put good in, get good out.
  20. See the White House - There’s nothing all that special about the White House, but everyone should see it. Whether you’re into the current inhabitants or not, seeing the building is pretty cool.
  21. Ride a rollercoaster - Rollercoasters are fun. Do I really have to tell you why you should ride a rollercoaster?
  22. Tell a dirty joke - When you’re my age, all you tell are dad jokes. Dad jokes aren’t funny. Dirty jokes are funny.
  23. Delete your Facebook - I just don’t like Facebook. You can save yourself tons of wasted hours if you delete this “social” media.
  24. Go on a road trip - Just go hit the road for a couple of weeks. Go see a cool new place. Picking up and leaving is way harder when you’re older.
  25. Write a song - Even if you don’t know how to sing or play an instrument, you should write a song. It can be cheesy or serious. Just write something.
  26. Go to a rad show - Whether you choose a concert by your favorite band or a Broadway play, go watch a show that makes you smile.
  27. Stay up all night - I know I told you to get plenty of sleep, but you should also pull an all-nighter at least once. It’s fun!
  28. Have a sleepover - Kill two birds with one stone by having a sleepover AND staying up all night. Drink Mountain Dew and eat Taco Bell to give your sleepover a true 90s flair.
  29. Build a pillow fort - Tear off the cushions on your sofa and build a fort. Stay inside your fort all day. Give it a name. Destroy it in a fit of rage. It’s your fort; do what you want with it.
  30. Pet a fluffy cat or dog - You don’t have to be under 30 to pet a fluffy dog or cat, but you should definitely pet a fluffy dog or cat before you’re 30.

What else should be on the list? 

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