I’ve been a thirty something for two years. During those two years, I realized something. I realized that being in your thirties is better than being in your twenties. I feel as if the twenties is an extension of adolescence. The twenties is all about growth, but unfiltered and unrestrained with the absence of parental authority and curfew. The twenties is all about living life with abandon, recklessness, and that powerful feeling of being invincible. By the time you become a thirty-something, you start to settle down. Maybe even start a family of your own. You have finished school and have settled into a career that you could potentially keep long term. You become more stable and keep your head on straight for longer.
Before I turned thirty, I wasn’t looking forward to it at all. Like most people, I don’t like change. After a decade of being in my twenties, I resented and even feared being in my thirties. It was one step closer to getting older and eventually dying. It was one step closer to losing my youth. I may have looked forward and enjoyed the transition from teen to twenty-something adult, but going from my twenties to my thirties was an entirely new ball game. I always thought that being in your twenties was the best years of your life, but now I think being a thirty something is the best.
3 Best Things About Being a Thirty Something
- Getting taken seriously as an adult
- Growing older and wiser
- Witnessing the growth of social media
Getting taken seriously as an adult
I feel that when you are in your twenties, you aren’t taken seriously as a real adult. As a person in your twenties (particularly in your early twenties), you aren’t an adult, you are a young adult. That difference speaks volumes. It means that you’ve only ventured a half of a step away from adolescence. You may be old enough to vote and to drink alcohol, but in the eyes of the world, you aren’t mature enough for some things. Part of that is biological — studies have said that the brain doesn’t fully develop until around age 25. And part of that is societal expectations — society expects that we do things at a certain age and if you do something earlier than you may get the look.
But once you are in your thirties, then I feel as if you finally get the street cred of being a bona fide adult. You are no longer a young adult. You are someone who has several years of adulthood under your belt. You have experience in adulting, so much so that you could probably put it on your resume. You are no longer a young person. While that may be partly disheartening, it is also reassuring because it means that you are growing older and wiser every subsequent year.
Growing older and wiser
While growing older has its own form of turmoil and angst, there are good things about it too. For one, it means that you won’t get carded when trying to purchase alcohol. For another, it means that you become more grounded in reality and are more purposeful with your life. You aren’t just living for people, but for yourself and your happiness. Another good thing about getting older is that your relationships are mature, serious, and last longer.
But what I love most about being a thirty-something is that I feel as if I am kinder to myself. I am less likely to beat myself up for something trivial as waking up late or not getting something done in time. As we get older, we realize that those things don’t really matter. We realize that there are more important things, such as living in the moment and appreciating the little things.
Witnessing the growth of social media
Being a thirty-something millennial puts me in an unique position. That means that I have lived during two major periods. I have lived in a time in which there was no social media. I have lived during a time when we weren’t constantly on our devices — I call that the good years. I have also seen and witnessed the growth of social media. Being a witness to the growth of social media allows me to evaluate the before and after, the pros and cons, of both lifestyles.
I am glad that I didn’t have social media as a teenager because I was able to live without putting my life on the screen. I see kids with social media accounts today and I am flabbergasted at how well they seem to navigate this world. It is a huge responsibility to use social media well, because of the very permanence of it. What you do on it will stick with you for life and I’m not sure that kids today understand that. That is why I am glad that I didn’t have social media before my twenties when I might have been too young to use it properly.
I love being a thirty-something on social media. Even though I may sometimes feel old when I see kids using Snapchat (What’s that?) or TikTok, I also feel young because I am still part of the majority demographic to use social media. I am young enough to know how to use it, but old enough to know how to use it effectively.
On the whole, being a thirty-something is pretty cool. It means that I am wiser than I ever was in my life. It also means that people are more likely to take me seriously than a child or a young adult. And I love that I have experienced the before and after of the social media evolution. I think that being a thirty-something right now, as a millennial, is really the best. We may be thought of as idealistic, lazy, and narcissistic, but there’s no denying that millennials are at the forefront of great change that has happened and is yet to come.