20 Things Everyone Should Learn to Do In Their 20s

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Your 20s can be a challenging decade. With the safety net of college gone, it’s finally up to you to not only take care of yourself, but set yourself up for future success. Pressure’s on, right?

Luckily, you have the power to make this decade one of your best. Learn to do these 20 things and you’ll keep yourself happy, healthy and on-track for the next 10 years.

Cook.

At least one great meal. And that doesn’t include something with directions on its packaging. Buy a cookbook, Google a recipe, or call a kitchen-savvy family member and have them walk you through a favorite dish. Knowing how to feed yourself is important for your health and your checkbook.

Write a check.

This one’s pretty self-explanatory, but growing up in a credit/debit card world means not everyone learns how to do things old school. You can’t pay every bill with a credit card, so don’t wait until it’s too late to learn how to write a check.

File your taxes.

It might be a snooze, but knowing how to file taxes is an important rite of passage (sigh). There are plenty of programs online to walk you through the process, but no matter how you go about it, save your important documents — W-2s, loan interest reports, bank statements, receipts, etc. — in a folder for when the time comes.

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Tip.

Wait staff, bartenders, hairdressers, valets–they all should be tipped. The standard rate is 15 percent. The better the service, the better the tip should be. If you can’t figure out what 15 percent of your bill is, don’t guess. Use the calculator on your iPhone.

Take care of your body.

Gone are the days when a bowl of cereal can pass as dinner. Taking time to wash your face, exercise and use sunscreen may not be at the top of your priority list, but you’ll be kicking yourself later in life if you overlook them.

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G. H. was raised in Minnesota, but currently calls Seattle her home. She's a blogger, editor, and journalist, and she's written everything from news reports to restaurant reviews. If she's not putting pen to paper, G. H. is probably experimenting in the kitchen, chilling out on her yoga mat, or running through a city park.