All About You

19 things to do before you turn 19

Your teenage years will end up being some of the best years of your life. Make sure to live them up and celebrate every day. Whether your 19th birthday is right around the corner or you're still dreaming of reaching those double digits, it's never too late (or too early) to start planning what you want to accomplish. Keep scrolling for 19 things you should do before you turn 19!

1. Take tons of pictures.

Smile for the camera! Snap a pic of anything and everything you experience. Photos are one of the best ways to look back on fond memories.

2. Explore another culture.

The world is *so* much bigger than the small town you've lived in since you were little. Travel to a foreign country, learn another language or simply read up about other cultures. Nothing like broadening your worldly horizons!

3. Reconnect with an old friend.

Wondering what happened to your kindergarten BFF? Chances are, they're wondering the same thing. Reconnect with someone special from your past. You never know what new relationships you can cultivate.

4. Learn to play an instrument.

If the piano or the guitar is calling your name, teach yourself how to play. The Internet is full of free resources and tutorials.

5. Start a service project.

Giving back to the community is one of the best things you can do. Maybe it's making fleece blankets for the children's hospital. Or maybe it's starting your own nonprofit organization to raise money for the animal shelter. 

6. Sleep under the stars.

You don't need to go on a fancy camping trip—simply pitch a tent in your backyard and pile on the blankets. Even better if there's a bonfire involved. S'mores, anyone?

7. Read an entire book series.

Has Harry Potter been on your TBR list for, like, ever? Take the time to read through a whole book series—and then reward yourself by watching all the movies.

8. Take a digital detox.

Try to go without your phone or computer for a set amount of time. Maybe it's a day, or maybe it's a whole week. Unplugging is super healthy, and it might give you time to practice mindfulness or find what you're really passionate about.

9. Go to a concert.

Seeing your fave musician on tour is truly a spiritual experience. Gather your besties, throw on those flower crowns and dance like there's no tomorrow at a music festival or concert.

10. Tell your crush you like them.

If you've been staring at that cutie from chem class since freshman year, now's the time to be bold and tell them how you really feel. Coming clean with your feelings can be *so* freeing. And who knows where it could lead!

11. Start journaling.

You know how fun it is to flip through your childhood journal? Flipping through your teenage journal will be just as entertaining when you're older. Start jotting down your memories so you can have something to look back on.

12. Master a recipe.

Everyone should go into adulthood knowing at least one awesome recipe. So practice that gourmet mac-and-cheese dish 'til it's practically perfection.

13. Let go of a grudge.

Still mad at the girl who *totally* copied your outfit back in 6th grade? Now is the time to forgive and forget. If you're still harboring unhappy feelings about a minor argument, try to let it go. 

14. Change up your hairstyle.

Get a bold new haircut or color to change up your look. Nothing says "whole new you" like a fresh, trendy chop.

15. Find a job.

Sure, it might not be your dream career, but getting a job can help you learn a lot about yourself. Whether you're babysitting for the kiddos down the street or bagging groceries at the store, having a job will teach you both responsibility and accountability. Plus, it's never too early to start saving money.

16. Start a garden.

There's something incredibly soothing about growing your own plants. You can start easy with some basic indoor succulents or challenge yourself with a full-out vegetable garden. 

17. Vote.

Once you turn 18, you have a say in what happens in our country. Make your voice heard and cast your ballot in the national, state or local election.

18. Take a road trip.

Pile into the car with your fam (or your besties) and take a trip somewhere. The destination isn't the important part—it's the ride that matters!

19. Make a vision board.

Got goals? Define your plans for the future by creating a gorgeous vision board. Who can say no to overachieving when everything looks so #aesthetic?

What's on your bucket list before you turn 19? Let us know on Twitter @girlslifemag

All GIFs via Giphy

Slider & top image: Jonathan Borba on Unsplash


by Kathleen O'Neill | 2/25/2021