It’s easy to get FOMO in your 20s. Looking at your social media apps, it almost seems like everyone is having more fun than you: Instagram is full of vacation pictures, Snapchat is full of stories of people partying, and Twitter, well…actually, Twitter is pretty safe in terms of FOMO.
If you’re constantly feeling like you’re wasting your youth, fear not. First of all, social media is a horrible way to judge how much fun other people are having. Secondly, what others are doing shouldn’t be how you measure fun. Put down the phone and figure out what’s really going to make you feel happy, fulfilled, and like you’re living your best life (in a real way, not an Instagram-caption kind of way).
Here are 7 tips for living your life to the fullest in your 20s:
Take a Class/Find a Hobby
If you’ve always wanted to learn to cook, write, dance, paint, learn how to woodwork, whatever- now is the time to pick it up. Of course, you can learn (or improve on) a new skill at any time in your life, but why not start now? Bonus points if the class is outside of your comfort zone! Not only will you learn how to do something cool and new, but you can make friends with people who have similar interests. It’s incredibly satisfying to see the products of your hard work, whether it’s that new birdhouse you constructed or the fact that you can actually do a full, choreographed dance now. Word of advice: go outside of your comfort zone, but not too far out of it. I know most people would say the opposite, but if you’re too uncomfortable and awkward in the class, it might end poorly for you.
Say “Yes” More
No, not like that, you perv. Obviously, you can’t just go around saying yes to everything. For example, you might need to say no to your friends with high-paying jobs asking you to go to Italy, as you might end up bankrupt. Agreeing to things you normally wouldn’t do is a great way to life a fuller life. This also means following up with people. When your friend offers to have you come along to a concert or wants to make brunch plans, why not actually make it happen?
Stop Playing Into the “Canceling Plans” Culture
I see about 100 tweets per day with the same general message: everyone loves canceling plans. Only here’s the thing: while you might want to stay in bed and watch Netflix in the moment, it’s those times you actually went out and saw friends that you’ll remember when you’re old and bedridden. Sure, everyone needs a night off if they’re sick or really tired from the week. Just try not to make ditching plans a hobby- you’ll end up regretting it later on.
I mean, if you have the funds to travel around South America, absolutely do that. But, I know a lot of people in their 20s don’t have that kind of luxury. So when I say “go places,” I don’t mean you need to be backpacking across Europe. Exploring a different neighborhood or doing work in a different coffeeshop than usual works just fine. Walking around is free, and it’ll make you feel better about life. No fancy resort in the Caribbean needed!
Try New Foods
Obviously, once again I understand that most of us 20-somethings can’t just visit Michelin star restaurants whenever we want. Why not look up a recipe you’ve never attempted to make before, or pick up an ingredient at the grocery store that your mom never used? Your 20s is a great time to explore a new flavor palate, and learn your own go-to recipes. The way you eat doesn’t have to be limited to the mac-n-cheese you lived on from 0-22 years old. Go outside the norm and try to cook something that sounds ambitious- it’s probably easier than you think!
Do Movie Nights With Friends Instead of Binge-Watching Alone
Netflix and Hulu are super easy and convenient. I, personally, am a huge fan. However, watching these can be a bit isolating, and I find myself watching the same series over and over, kind of like a comfort food version of TV consumption. Get together with friends every once and a while and go to a movie theater or stream a movie that none of you have seen. Bring microwave popcorn and some wine, and pretend to be movie critics together. There’s something about watching a movie with people that feels so much more present that watching Parks and Rec on your laptop for the 18th time (that’s me dragging myself, btw).
Be Bolder in Your Dating Life
In the dating world, people are constantly afraid of rejection. Here’s the thing: everyone is lonely and looking for something. Find someone whose wants match yours and get it poppin’. Sign up for the apps, look for creative dates to go on, whatever. Your dating game will improve immensely when you realize that nobody actually gives a shit. You’re a girl? Ask a guy out. You’re a guy? Put away the cheesy pick-up lines and be real for once. It’s okay to be bold and honest about what you want- even if it’s not what you think the other person wants to hear. You don’t need to be on your way to an engagement ring at 25.