Sixteenth birthdays are a big milestone. I mean, why else would MTV make an entire show about them (and use Jennifer Lawrence to advertise it)?!
Having a sweet sixteen party and finally getting your permit or license are all awesome things to look forward to on that special day, but there are also a few things you should do before you even turn 16.
From things that will challenge you to learning practical skills to just doing something fun, here are 16 things you should check off your teenage bucket list before blowing out the candles on your sixteenth birthday!
Read A Classic NOT On The Reading ListI know - teachers already can pile on a lot of reading, but those lists only scratch the surface of amazing books. Read a classic just for fun! You never know when that knowledge will come in handy or if you will have found your new favorite author. Source: Shutterstock.com
Learn To Make A Signature DishOpen up a cookbook and find something that you can make. I'm sure you make an amazing grilled cheese, but this should be something you'd be proud to serve up for some distinguished guests. Those sorts of cooking skills will wow your friends and keep your future dinners from ever getting too boring. Source: Shutterstock.com
Look Up Some CollegesYou don't need to decide where to go or anything like that, but just poke around on some websites or check in with your guidance counselor. At least looking now will give you plenty of time to know what sorts of things schools that interest you might look for in an applicant. It will help save you from a complete panic when application time comes out of nowhere senior year. Source: Shutterstock.com
Get OrganizedEveryone has a different approach to organization, so find what works best for you. Is it bringing a planner to school? Making a spreadsheet of your weekly schedule? Getting multi-colored folder for different documents? Try out some systems to see what works best for you. Source: Shutterstock.com
Make Some DonationsAs part of defining your organization system, you'll want to de-clutter. As you get older, you start outgrowing stuff, but the longer you leave it, the more it piles up. You definitely don't have to toss things that would be special to you or your family, but take some time to go through unwanted old clothes or toys and give them a new home. Plus, it'll clear out some closet space for those Sweet Sixteen presents! Source: Shutterstock.com
VolunteerDonating your old stuff feels good, right? That's why another thing you should do before turning 16 is volunteer. Not only does it help others, but volunteering helps relieve stress. It's a win-win! Seriously though, it's just a good lifelong habit to start early and try to do often. Source: Shutterstock.com
Attend School FunctionsEven if you're not into sports, go to the Friday night basketball game! Just because your older friends warn school dances are lame, go anyway! Get tickets for each drama club production! School is more than just what you do during the day, and taking advantages of those social opportunities can help you make new friends and discover new interests. Source: Shutterstock.com
Learn All The CapitalsI say this to you as someone who is still so bad at geography and it's embarrassing. It sounds silly, but basic trivia like state capitals are the kinds of things that are good to just know on reflex. Other similar topics worth learning? All the U.S. Presidents, who your state's political representatives are, or even challenge yourself to learn all the world capitals! These seemingly simple bits of knowledge show people that you are in the know. Source: Shutterstock.com
Get Some Sewing SkillsYou don't need to get on a Project Runway level, but being able to hem your own jeans or sew a button back on will save you money and give you a sense of self-sufficiency. Source: Shutterstock.com
Mail A Letter Just BecauseI love sending mail and still don't even do it all that often. You've likely grown up dealing mostly in technology-based communication, so just send a letter out of the blue. It could be to a friend who moved or to your grandmother. It's something a little more personal than your usual e-mails, plus they can hold onto it as a special keepsake. Source: Shutterstock.com
Pick A New PartnerWhen teachers say "choose your own partner," we tend to hone directly in on our friends. But let's be honest, those "study sessions" often can turn into distracted gossip fests. At least once, be partners with someone new. It could mean a lot to that person that you weren't "forced" to work with them. You actually may be more focused than you would with your BFF, maybe getting you a better grade and a new friend in the process! Source: Shutterstock.com
Go For An AuditionWhether it's a spot in the school play, a choir solo or a sports team, put yourself out there and try out for something. You don't need to make yourself super uncomfortable, but a little positive risk to push yourself every now and again is a great habit to get into. As they always say, you'll never know until you try! Source: Shutterstock.com
Put Together A Time CapsuleYou can bury it in your backyard or just hide it somewhere in your basement. Fill it with things that are special to you right in this moment. Include a letter to yourself about what's going on here in the present and any questions for future you. Then forget about the time capsule for a while! It'll be a lot of fun to see what was going on when you go back and re-open it a few years down the road! Source: Shutterstock.com
Plant SomethingEveryone can use a little bit more nature in their life! It's rewarding to see how caring for a plant allows it to grow and thrive. Whether it's planting flowers in a pot or tending a garden, get your green thumb on for a bit. Source: Shutterstock.com
Expand Your PalateWe all have our favorite pizza toppings or our go-to menu items at local restaurants, but try to order something different to mix things up. You may find a new favorite, and it's just a tiny way to live spontaneously and keep yourself out of a rut. Source: Shutterstock.com
Know How A Car WorksYou don't have to be a certified mechanic, but before you get your license, you should know how cars generally work. Have someone teach you basic car knowledge, so that way you'll know if anything is ever acting funny and you can figure out how to deal with it in the safest way possible. Source: Shutterstock.com
How many of these things have you done? What else do you think you should do before turning 16? Tell me in the comments!