Between the floundering economy, the desperate job market, and the omnipresence of (must-have) new technology, it can feel like the weight of the world rests heavily on the shoulders of the millennial generation ... and it's forcing us to grow up very quickly. While age can bring wisdom and a certain level of worldly experience, there are plenty of reasons to want to stay young. Here are 20 ways to keep from growing up too fast.
19) Eat dessert first
Although no doctor or nutritionist would agree, eating dessert before dinner (or in rare cases, as dinner) will certainly bring a huge smile to your inner-child’s face. I do not advocate dessert for dinner as a lifestyle since it will not lead to a long, healthy life, but it can be a sweet treat every once in a while.
18) Go to an amusement park and ride every ride (you physically can)
Bask in the fact that you are (finally) tall enough to ride every ride and old enough to know which ones are actually worth the long line wait. If you’re worried about long lines and annoying crowds, take a day off from work and go on a weekday. Isn’t that what personal days are for?
There's no denying that exercise is a great way to keep the body feeling young, so why not spice it up with time-tested techniques like jump rope and monkeybars? Instead of hitting the gym, hit up a local park and have a field day. If you bring enough friends along, start up a game of tag, Red Rover, or any of the other classics to get your heart pumping. For an extra sense of nostalgia, don’t forget to pack a snack complete with healthy fruit slices and juice.
16) Drink something with a funny name
What you drink says a lot about you, so it is only reasonable that as a person ages, they choose a go-to drink that connotes a certain level of maturity and refined taste. However, there’s nothing like a little blushing to make you feel young again. Order a drink with a name you can’t say without laughing (Sex on the Beach, Fuzzy Navel, Slippery Nipple, and the list goes on) and have a Mountain Dew Me tonight; you can always get an Old-Fashioned tomorrow.
15) Stay out till the first train home
Although this is not a typical goal of a night out on the town, it can indicate it was a night well spent. Go out and enjoy yourself so much that your night doesn’t come to an end until the sunrises. It may not become weekend habit, but chances are if you are stumbling home at early dawn, you’ll have a good story to tell the next day.
14) Learn something new
Studies have shown that learning something new is one of the best ways to keep the brain fresh. Take a class on topic that you’ve always found interesting, or pick up a new hobby. Even if you suck at it at first, sometimes it’s good to remember what it is like to get better at something through time and practice.
13) Go to the children’s or discovery museum
Anything that has “children” and “museum” in the title is hands-down awesome because it tend to be hands-on. One nice thing about getting older is developing an appreciation for modern art and antique sculptures — things you can’t touch — so there’s something so fun in going to a place where everything is a) educational and b) interactive (i.e. touching is allowed).
12) Dance (or sing, or paint, or whatever) like no one is watching
Not everyone is endowed with great artistic or creative talent, but at the age of 6, most of us didn’t know that. Even though you might be painfully aware of our creative limitations now, that doesn’t mean your love for drawing or playing the piano has disappeared. So pretend you are 6 again and do something you love to do just because you love to do it. Even if no one else can appreciate your unique talents.
11) Go to the zoo (aquariums and farms work too)
They are so much fun, and if you haven’t been in a while, it’s a great throwback to the countless fieldtrips taken as a kid to get to know more about animals and nature. There is something infinitely pleasing in watching a baby cheetah playfully chase his brother that brings out the childlike wonderment in all of us.
10) Try something new
Never been rafting? Go. Always wanted to try Lebanese food, find a restaurant. It’s easy to become stuck in a rut with things we like as we get older, but one of the best parts of being young is constantly encountering new and different things. Just think, there was a time in your life when you didn’t know what chocolate was. Now just think what else you could be missing out on.
9) Ask your parents (or a wise adult) for advice
Maybe easier said than done, but listening to someone whom you respect that is older and more experienced than you will keep you from growing up too fast. Just remember the easy part is asking for advice, the hard part is actually following it, but it’s always worth a try (you did ask them their opinion for a reason).
Whether it’s a faraway foreign country, or just a just a little town you’ve never visited before, traveling is a great way to see the world in a new light. Fresh perspectives = fresh thinking.
7) Discover new music
One of the surest ways to feel old is turn on the radio and not recognize anything. So go on a quest to find the newest, freshest young artist out there. Doesn’t mean you have to follow the mainstream to keep yourself from growing up, but being hip on the future of usic will make you feel like your younger than your years.
6) Re-read a favorite childhood book
Everyone has at least one book in their life that is inextricably linked to their childhood. Try reading it again and you may find yourself surprised by how many new things you pick up this time. Didn’t catch the New Testament references in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe the first time around? They might be blaringly obvious now. And reading Charlotte’s Web again may just remind you how fragile and important friendships are.
5) Re-watch your favorite childhood show or movie
See #6. All the above applies to the same classic movies and shows you watched as a kid. Especially if it is anything produced by Disney.
Ever notice how most of the people standing out on street corners shoving flyers and clipboards in your face tend to be under 25? Maybe it is because anyone that is willing to stand outside for hours on end to tell the world the importance of whatever cause they are supporting, without pay, must be incredibly passionate. If you have any cause your interested in – no matter how extreme or unknown – volunteer. Being surrounded by that much youthful zeal will undoubtedly rub off.
3) Change your relationship status
Single? Fall in love (with someone, something, somewhere). Nothing says youth more than young love. And by learning about someone else, you learn so much about yourself (your likes, dislikes, dreams) in the process. On the flipside, if you just got out of a relationship, stay single for a little while. Making a long-term commitment to another person is one of the surest signs that you’re ready to grow up. So before making that leap, take some time to really get to know you. Your 20s are one of the few times in your life where you can be as selfish as you want to be and it’s ok.
2) Go on an adventure with your friends
This can happen anywhere, anytime, anyplace. Just go somewhere you’ve never been before and be determined to discover something new. Never visited that neighborhood on the other side of town? Go and see what's over there. Whether you come back with a treasure trove (it’s up to you to determine what that means) or empty-handed, at least you’ll have a good story to fall back on.
1) Look in the mirror
No matter how old you feel or think you are becoming, remember that you have a long and full life ahead, so there is no point in rushing to get to the end. Take a moment to look in the mirror, and no matter how old you think you look, you are as young as you feel.