People have been making a fuss about the recent advice given by Wander Onwards about what 20-somethings, specifically 22-year-olds, should be doing instead of getting engaged. While the advice is quirky, entertaining, and personal-goal oriented, it fails to address some of the most fulfilling aspects of being young and single.
Now is the time to focus on you, get out, explore, see the world, push yourself to overcome obstacles, learn new skills, and meet new people. But a single person’s independence and flexibility also empowers them to give an incredible amount of time, energy, and talents to those around them.
We single 20-somethings should certainly make time to achieve our most cherished goals. But living life to the fullest doesn’t always mean it's all about us all the time. So here are 23 ways to step outside ourselves—instead of “16. Watch GIRLS, over and over again”—but yes, also before we get engaged.
Go on a service trip.
Set aside some time each week to volunteer locally.
Clean out your closet and give unneeded items to a charity.
Put on a musical show for the residents of a local nursing home.
Go out to lunch with one or both of your parents.
Write a letter to a friend you haven’t talked to in a while.
Take a younger sibling, cousin, niece, or nephew out for the day to do something fun.
Spend a day cleaning up your local park.
Hold a book drive.
Ask the cashier at the grocery store how he or she is doing.
Tutor someone who’s struggling in an area you excel in.
Bake a twenty-layer chocolate crepe cake for a friend.
Do someone else’s laundry, whether for a roommate or a family member.
Write a letter to the editor about an issue that’s important to you.
Invite someone you know who’s lonely for dinner.
Make peace with that person you’ve had a grudge against for a long time.
Surprise a friend or family member with a poem, short story, painting, or song written for them.
Run a 5K or 10K that’s raising money for a good cause.
Set up a regular tea date with someone you’d like to get to know better.
Smile at strangers.
Read up on a friend's hobby or passion.
Get in touch with a relative you hardly ever see.
Eat that entire Jar of Nutella in one sitting...shared with friends. A Nutella party is always more fun than downing the entire jar by yourself!
(Photo by Gabriela Hansen)