17 Important and Fun Things You Can Do When You Turn 20

WhatToGetMy Instructional Article

  • Turning 20 years old is fun and exciting because you leave the “teen” behind in writing your age, and you are one step closer to full adulthood with no limitations whatsoever.
  • It is also an age where more is expected of you in terms of responsible living and wise decision-making. And in this article, we give you a list of important and fun things you can do when you turn 20 that would make you feel great and excited about being 20 years old.

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Turning 20 is exciting but maybe you don’t agree because you just turned 20 and are not sure how you feel about it. It may feel just the same for you and you’re wondering what the big deal is about being 20 years old. Well, wonder no more and buckle your seat belt and let’s take you on an enjoyable ride on what the big deal with being 20 years old is. We will be telling you everything you can do when you turn 20. At the end of reading this article, hopefully, you will be more excited about turning 20 years old, or being 20 years old if you’ve been at it for some months now.

In our article on 25 Things To Do When You’re 18, we gave good suggestions like investing, buying a car, and traveling. Check out that article as it contains useful suggestions of things to do before turning 20 that you may not have tried out yet and should definitely do before you turn 20.

Things To Know When You Turn 20.

turning 20

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There are two exciting facts about turning 20 that you should be aware of. These facts should get you excited about the age of 20 because it is an exciting age to be at.

You’re Officially Out Of The Teenage Tag.

When you turn 20, you no longer have the “teen” in your age. For some reason, even though you became an adult officially on your 18th birthday because you still had the “teen” in your age, you are rarely considered an adult but still looked at as a teenager. Now with “twenty” and no “teen” in sight, suddenly you’re magically no longer remembered as a teenager.

Ain’t that cool and exciting? It sure is. This is one important and exciting fact about 20 that should excite you.

You’re One Step Away From 21 And Full Adulthood.

Until you turn 21, there are still a few things you cannot do, unfortunately. Now, you are inching closer to that age where all shackles and limitations are completely removed and you can do absolutely WHATEVER it is you wanted to do. If the first fact did not excite you, this one should definitely excite you and make you not only itch for 21 but also try to get as much pre and post 20 fun and activities in between now and when you turn 21.

And we think you should start now to start planning your 21st birthday so that it is memorable for you, and we already give you a helping hand to get started in our articles on Things To Do For 21st Birthday Without Alcohol and What To Do On 21st Birthday Without Friends.

What Can You Do At 20 Years Old Legally?

At 20, you are now an adult and can do all adult things except the few restrictions placed on you until you turn 21. We cover all these exhaustively in our article on Things To Do When You’re 18 and it will be useful to read that article to get all the gist on what you can legally do and not do on attaining adulthood from 18 until you turn 21.

It is important to make the point again that as you inch closer to full adulthood, responsible living, and taking decision-making seriously remains key. The expectation to be more measured and matured is all the more expected when you are 20 and inching closer to full adulthood.

What Can You Do At Age 20? Important Things To Do When You Turn 20.

As you turn 20, consider embarking on one or more or all of these cool and important things as part of preparing for full adulthood and enjoying the last year of limited adulthood.

1. Save, especially for retirement.

Savings are important as you get older, and there is no better time than the present to get started on it. And in case you needed the motivation to save, you could perhaps draw inspiration from this chart that shows the motivation for some Americans surveyed in 2013 to save.

What is your greatest motivating factor behind saving? (U.S., 2013). Source: Statista

What is your greatest motivating factor behind saving (U.S., 2013)

Those motivating factors remain as relevant and important today as they did in 2013. And the reason why you need savings is because as an adult, you will be expected to cater for yourself. You can no longer rely on your parents or be a liability, and this is where your savings come in handy. Savings help you on a rainy day when you urgently need money for whatever reasons.

One important item you should be saving for is your retirement. By the time you reach the age of retirement, you will be limited in mobility and may not be able to work as hard as you can work in your youth. Without a good financial cushion, you will not enjoy retirement and would wish you started preparing for it sooner.

The advantage of starting this early to save for retirement is that it would be easier on you and would not be burdensome. Starting early, you can set aside smaller amounts on a monthly basis that will keep growing each year if you are consistent with setting aside a small amount every month. So, for instance, if you decide to set aside $200 every month as savings towards retirement, that translates to $2,400 in that year. By the time you turn 25, you have $12,000 in savings towards retirement if you maintain the same amount. And if you increase the amount, it will be more. By the time you reach 50/60 years old, with all the savings accumulated over the years, you can live comfortably when you retire.

Your savings will also come in handy for other nice things like a vacation, a house, a car, and other luxury items you may desire. You may want to travel to France for instance for your 21st birthday, by saving now for it, you get to have the 21st birthday of your dream.

2. Get Financially Savvy.

In 2013, 64% of a cross-section of 18-32 year old Americans surveyed said they felt more financially secure than they did five years earlier. And this can only be because they were financially savvy and knew how to make their money work well for them.

Do you feel more/less financially secure today than five years ago? (For 18 – 32 Year Olds, U.S., 2013). Source:Statista

Do you feel moreless financially secure today than five years ago (For 18 - 32 Year Olds, U.S., 2013)

Money is the currency of life, and if you don’t know how it works or how to generate it, your adult life will be filled with misery and pain. And waiting to turn 21 or get older before you start learning about how money works, will only be short changing yourself. You will certainly not be among the 64% in the above chart, but in the 17% who felt less secure about their financial position.

Topics like taxes for example are very important to get a hang of, as soon and early as possible, and here’s why. As an adult, every transaction you will perform and every money you will deal with will be affected by one tax or the other from income tax to other withholding taxes. Learning what taxes affect whatever amounts you will be coming in contact with, and how that tax will apply is in your best interest, to ensure that you are not overcharged.

Another important area to get financially savvy with as you turn 20 and get older, is investments and investing. Such markets like stocks and shares and the real estate market are good investment topics you are not too young to get in on. Famous billionaires today like the relatively young Mark Zukerberg are what they are today because they started early enough to get financially savvy.

Knowing where to start can be daunting with all the books and information out there. In addition to the Rich Dad, Poor Dad book we recommend in our article on turning 18, you can also read Increase Your Financial IQ by the same author, as well as the Wealth Secret of the 1% by Sam Wilkin and Personal Finance in Your 20s & 30s For Dummies by Eric Tyson.

3. Reduce Debt.

Reducing debt or avoiding them entirely if possible, is another important aspect of being financially savvy. From this 2011 survey by Demos, one gets a glimpse of the type of expenses that get 20 year olds into debt.

If your personal debt has increased in the last four years, has that been increased credit card debt, mortgage debt, school loans, a car loan, other personal loans, taxes, medical bills, or something else? (18 – 24 Year Olds, U.S., 2011). Source: Demos

If your personal debt has increased in the last four years, has that been increased credit card debt, mortgage debt, school loans, a car loan, other personal loans, taxes, medical bills, or something else

Some of these debts are unavoidable, like your student loans, medical bills and taxes. However, the rest of them are avoidable as they are debts you willingly assume, like the credit card debt for example.

At the young age of 20 and since you are still starting out in life and trying to find your feet and bearing, you don’t need a credit card. Reducing debt also means trying to live within your means and not take on debts that are not necessary in the larger scheme of things. You can sacrifice the momentary pleasures that will come with swiping that credit card to save the money to grow in order to afford those luxuries later by paying for them, rather than owing for them. An exorbitant car loan is also not necessary at 20. You can instead choose to save up now or take a small loan instead, to buy a cheap but good second-hand car as your first car, until you have enough to pay for a new car.

4. Get A 529 College Saving Plan.

It is encouraging to note that according to a 2017 survey by Edward Jones, a good number of American Millennials know about the 529 College Savings Plan.

Have you heard of 529 college saving plans? (U.S., 2017). Source: Edward Jones

Have you heard of 529 college saving plans (U.S., 2017). Source Edward Jones

A 529 College Saving Plan is one that helps you save up towards paying for your college debt, as well as enjoying some tax benefits. This is very helpful and useful because as the above 2011 survey by Demos showed, student loans are a large chunk of the debt that engulfs 18 – 24 year olds. Taking a 529 College Saving Plan will be both financially savvy and help you reduce your debt liability by at least 50% which is great.

You can read more about the 529 College Saving Plan here. And even if you are not yet in college, now is still a good time to get in on it, in preparation for college.

5. Get Health Insurance.

Health insurance is important because health-care is expensive and health insurance is the only way to get affordable and good health-care. And you will definitely be needing health-care as you get older. Starting early enough to invest in good health insurance will ensure you are covered when you need to go for important health treatment because you may not be lucky to fall in the 44% in 2009 who their employers paid for their insurance.

Health care coverage of U.S. Millennials in 2009, by age. Source: Demos

Health care coverage of U.S. Millennials in 2009, by age.

6. Get An Online Job.

Finding employment in recent years has proven to become an uphill task, with the rate of youth unemployment in America as of September 2020 standing at 13.5% according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor.

Monthly youth (16-24) unemployment rate in the United States from September 2019 to September 2020(seasonally adjusted). Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor

Monthly youth (16-24) unemployment rate in the United States from September 2019 to September 2020(seasonally adjusted)

This notwithstanding, part of being an adult is getting a job to support adulting and all that it comes with.

Online jobs now seem like the way to go. And they afford a lot of advantages like working at your own pace and working from the comfort of your home. According to this 2015 survey accessed from Statista, 79% of 18 – 29 year olds apply for jobs online, so rest assured you are not alone.

Share of adults in the United States who have applied for a job online as of July 2015, by age group. Source: Statista

Share of adults in the United States who have applied for a job online as of July 2015, by age group.

So, as you turn 20, explore the possibility of working remotely online to start early to make a living for yourself, and be able to save up for those finer things in life. And if you don’t know where to start, you can start with this list of the top 12 online work sites and sign up on at least two of the platforms. Guru and Upwork are our two favorites, especially Guru which is not as stringent to join as Upwork and still reputable. Most of them have a free plan so you don’t even have to worry about any joining fees.

7. Start A Blog.

Blogging is fun and exciting. Think of blogging as your online scrapbook where you can keep the world entertained with the thoughts and ideas that fascinate you. Blogging is exciting to get started with as you turn 20 if you haven’t started on it yet because it allows you to express yourself in ways you may not be able to, to other people, or face to face. The fact that it is virtual provides a safe space and zone for you to be you without worrying too much about being vulnerable in person.

And it is not even difficult to get started on. A platform like WordPress for example allows you to start a blog for free with loads of cool free themes to use, and it is very easy to use even if you have zero knowledge or skills about setting up websites and the likes.

8. Stay Fit.

Staying fit is a good practice to start early to help you age gracefully and enter your older adult years still looking twenty and more agile. Part of staying fit and healthy is eating the right foods and exercising. Our article on What Foods Should We Eat To Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle gives very helpful insight into the types of right foods to eat for such a healthy life and will be a good read.

Our articles on How Can We Protect Our Health And Lengthen Our Lives and Influences That Can Affect A Person’s Life will also shed more light on other useful things to do for quality, longer, healthy and exciting life.

9. Volunteer And Make A Charitable Donation.

Generosity is a good quality to have and 20 is a good time to get started on simple generosity activities like making small charitable donations. And it doesn’t even have to be big because when it comes to making charitable donations, nothing given is too small to show generosity to others.

You can even give out some of your used clothes that are still in great condition if you have some to spare. Or you can even help the NGO Samaritan Purse with packing a Christmas shoebox with gift items that cost less than $20 for underprivileged children in developing countries.

And if you want to go big, you can donate to a charity that advocates for causes that you are passionate about. Check out our article on How To Give A Charity Donation As A Gift to give you good insights on how to go about it.

Volunteering is another altruistic quality that is good to cultivate as early as possible, and 20 is another good time to start volunteering if you haven’t gotten in on the volunteering wagon yet. As you turn 20, consider volunteering as one of the things you do. There are many shelters, homes, and places around you to volunteer. Check them out and get started.

10. You Don’t Need To Be In A Hurry To Leave Your Parents’ House.

Unless of course, you are itching to have your freedom sooner and not be shackled by the house rules of mummy and daddy’s house, there is no rush to move out just yet. You can instead save up the money for rent and use it for something as important as making a down payment for an apartment that you can rent out to make more money.

Some parents become more flexible when you get older with house rules, so you may be pleasantly surprised by the leeway mum and dad will give you should you decide to stay.

And in case you are thinking that still staying at home at 20 is out of place, let us put your mind at ease with this 2020 survey by Statista that found that as of July 2020, 52% of 18 – 29 year olds still stayed at home with their parents.

Majority of U.S. Young Adults Now Live With Their Parents. (U.S., July 2020). Source: Statista

Majority of U.S. Young Adults Now Live With Their Parents. (U.S., July 2020)

Fun Things For 20 Year Olds To Do.

Here are some fun and funny things you can do when you turn 20.

11. Make A Bucket List of Buckets of Fun.

A bucket list is something everyone should have from even as young as a teenage bucket list. If you don’t have a bucket list yet, do it. Bring that pen and paper out and start making your bucket list. Some non-exhaustive ideas of things to put on your bucket list in case you want some ideas are:

  • Visit Disneyland either alone or with a BFF or your boyfriend;
  • Have a sleepover with your besties for a week;
  • Go bungee jumping;
  • Have at least 25 beach vacations on or before turning 25 (check out our article on Things To Bring On Vacation To The Beach in packing for your beach vacations);
  • You can also have something as crazy as milking a cow.

And for more bucket list ideas, you can also take inspiration from this list by some Americans in this 2014 survey.

Most popular bucket list activities for United States travelers as of March 2014. Source: Statista

Most popular bucket list activities for United States travelers as of March 2014

12. Travel/Vacation.

Taking a vacation, especially a solo vacation, is something you should strive to do by the time you turn 20 if you haven’t already done so.

13. Take A Road Trip.

Road trips are a good time for reflections and just enjoying the beautiful scenery on the sides of the road. If you still haven’t gone on a road trip by the time you turn 20, you should definitely take a road trip, either alone or with friends, although road trips are more fun with friends.

14. Spoil Yourself Alone One Full Day Before, After Or On Your 20th Birthday.

Spoil yourself alone one full day with an itinerary that looks something like this:

  • A spa/full-body massage treatment;
  • Ice-cream/smoothie outing. Don’t forget to get yourself a slice of birthday cake while you’re at it;
  • Watching a movie at the cinema;
  • Take yourself shopping and buy that favorite sneaker or fashionable crossbody bag you’ve been dying to have.
  • A mini-makeover – get a hair treatment at a salon and a manicure and pedicure treatment.

15. Call Up Friends And Acquaintances Randomly.

Those friends or acquaintances that you haven’t spoken to in a while, why not hit them up. They will be pleasantly surprised by the out of the blues call and you would be pleasantly surprised at how much catching up you get to do. Building relationships is also an important aspect of growing up, and by rekindling such connections, you build important bridges even without realizing it.

16. Play In The Rain.

We all have played in the rain as kids. It’s always good to have that childhood sensation again and you can remind yourself of the blissful glee of playing in the rain as you turn 20. Our article on Fun Things To Do In The Rain Outside will give you more fun ideas on how to make your play in the rain fun.

17. Go To A Concert Or Live Band Performance.

Your pre-21 years will not be complete without attending at least one live band performance or concert. If you still haven’t attended one yet, find out when your favorite band is in town or find a nearby city or town where they are scheduled to perform and attend.

The great feeling that comes from being in a room where there is a live band performing and just feeling all that energy is one that cannot even be described with words; you will need to experience it for yourself to understand it. There’s nothing quite like it and one you must try.

Frequently Asked Questions.

  • What do you have to do when you turn 20?

Well, you don’t have to do anything you don’t want to be doing. And if you are looking for great ideas of things you can do once you turn 20, this article is just the right article for you. You should try out as many of the things to do when you turn 20 listed in this article.

  • What are some things to do before turning 20?

Our article on 25 Things To Do When You’re 18 has a good list of things to do before you turn 20, be sure to check it out.

  • What is a good teenage bucket list before 20?

When it comes to bucket lists, it is difficult to dictate what will be a good bucket list because there are no bad bucket lists. A bucket list is always peculiar to each individual and reflects your deepest desires and needs. And so, your teenage bucket list before 20 should be a list of literally everything you want to try out before you turn 20, whether it is as wild as staying awake for 24 hours or covering yourself in beach sand from head to toe. Whatever makes you happy that you had always wanted to do before leaving the “teen” behind, make a list of all of them, and get through them one after the other, before you turn 20.


Turning 20 is exciting and exhilarating. Bask in that excitement and remember that you are inching closer to full adulthood. Enjoy the last year before full adulthood and explore everything you can do when you turn 20 that we list in this article and you’ll be glad you did. Happy 20th birthday, enjoy it.





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