7 Things Every Woman Should Do Before Turning 30


For a lot of twenty-somethings, the looming threat of the dreaded 3-0 hovers over everything. It feels like a natural deadline for having your life together, when everyone thinks you should be entrenched in a career and on your way to stability.

And while changing economies, job markets, and societal norms are pushing that boundary further back every year, (seriously, who hasn’t heard the phrase “20 is the new 30” lately?) it still feels like a big milestone.

No matter where you are in life – whether you’re in the corner office or behind the counter at Starbucks, married or still living in your college pad – there are a few things that you should definitely do by the time you turn 30.

Live by yourself.

Even if it’s only for three months, even if you hate it, even if you can only afford a shoebox… live by yourself at least once in your life. There is no experience that I’ve found that is simultaneously more freeing and insightful than living by yourself.

You learn A LOT about yourself when you’re on truly on your own. Like, for instance, how long you can truly stand to go without taking out the trash or doing laundry. But also, you have to learn how to fix little everyday things, how to rely on yourself for emotional support, how to stop settling in relationships. Learning how to be by yourself is the best thing you can do.

Figure out what you want in life.

It doesn’t have to be a documented five year plan, but at some point you should sit down and really put some thought into where you’re headed in life. Where do you see yourself by age 30, where do you want to live and what stage do you want to be at in your career? Do you want kids at all, and how many, and when? What are you looking for in a life partner? Should you get bangs? All important, soul-searching questions.

Forgive and forget.

Carrying around grudges only hurts yourself. At a certain point, it’s time to let go of all the terrible exes, the frenemies, the high school bullies, the insecurities and move on with your life. Those people aren’t losing any sleep over you, so why should you give in to the anger or resentment? Life’s too short, baby.

Start a savings account.

Even if you can only spare $5 a paycheck, you should start a savings account. Life is unpredictable, and you never know when your car will break down or you’ll be faced with an unexpected move or need to start planning a wedding. For maximum impact, set up your savings account with a different bank than you have a checking account, so it’s much harder to simply transfer money over to your checking account or overspend on your next shopping spree.

Learn how to cook.

Listen, there’s nothing cute about an adult person who can’t properly feed themselves. Maybe you could survive on Chinese takeout and Taco Bell when you were a sophomore in college, but if you’re pushing 30 and can’t make a decent meal for yourself, buy a cookbook or look up some Youtube videos.

Take a solo trip.

Traveling alone is another life experience that will teach you so much about yourself in a short amount of time. When you’re by yourself in a completely unfamiliar place, you have to rely on your own wits to navigate, stay safe, make it through baggage claim, you name it. But on the flip side, you get to do exactly what you want to do the entire time… no annoying younger brother or needy significant other to consider.

Do something totally impulsive.

Go bungee jumping, get a spontaneous tattoo, dye your hair pink… do something that reminds you what it feels like to be alive. It can be so easy to get caught up in the mundane day to day life, and before you know it you’re 30 and haven’t really lived. Make time to do something fun and impulsive and maybe a little bit crazy.

What's on your twenty-something bucket list?

Lizzie Lizzie Benson, Founder
Lizzie is the founder and head girl of & She's Brave. She's a twenty-something blogger, social media manager and marketer living in Chicago with her boyfriend and her enormous ginger cat, Scully. She loves coffee, sunflowers, vinyl records and 90s sci-fi.