If your twenties are for exploring life and finding yourself, turning thirty is when true adulthood sets in. It’s time to settle into life and adult responsibilities before reaching middle age.
It’s the age when, historically, society believes you stop being “young.” As such, it’s a challenging milestone to cross. Though we should all be thankful to have thirty years and more on this planet, the truth is reaching thirty comes with many complicated feelings and unexpected consequences.
One Reddit user on the cusp of their thirteenth birthday turned to the internet for information on what turning thirty truly entails. Though their question focused on the negative aspects of reaching true adulthood, the responses ranged from those sticking to the heart of the question to those offering a different perspective.
Turning thirty has its pros and cons. Here are the most interesting responses.
30 is Better than 20
Though turning thirty gets a bad rep, many pointed out that it’s actually pretty great.
“30 is like 20 except ideally you’re smarter, have more money, you’re more confident in who you are, and don’t care about what others think anymore!” shared one user with an enthusiastic outlook on aging.
We tend to let things go as we age, allowing us to focus on things that really matter. As we approach thirty, we should also be more stable in our lives and careers, giving us more freedom to choose our own paths.
There’s No Difference
Moving from 29 to 30 may seem like a gigantic leap, but it’s really not all that different. You’re the same person at 30 as you were at the tail end of 29.
“If you’re healthy, your 30s are just extra 20s that you actually know what to do with,” claimed one user.
Can’t Eat the Same
Many users pointed out that their bodies no longer allow them to eat the horrible but delicious foods they survived on in their twenties.
Some said they no longer tolerate alcohol as well as they used to, while others lamented that they could no longer satisfy late-night pizza cravings without experiencing horrific heartburn.
Some claim the most devastating aspect of entering your thirties is a change in societal expectations.
When you’re in your twenties, you get a free pass. You’re young, just figuring things out, and immature. That’s okay for twenty-somethings, but society changes its attitude once you hit the dreaded 3-0.
Maybe our thirties wouldn’t seem so overwhelming if society allowed everyone to grow at their own pace.
No More Potential
Before 30, your life is full of potential. The world is your oyster. Your friends and family watch expectedly, praising your attempts at “making something of yourself.”
The hype fades by the time you reach your thirties. Now, nobody talks about your future potential. Instead, the conversation shifts to whether you lived up to the hopes they had of you.
Those who felt the need to impress their families may feel this shift more drastically than those who define success on their own terms.
No More Late Nights
Remember when you could pull an all-nighter and then go to work or school the next without any problems?
When you hit your thirties, those days are long gone.
After you hit your thirties, you realize how precious sleep really is. You can’t function without it, and even one late night on the weekend can ruin your entire week.
The “I’m Old” Mindset
Thirty isn’t old. Unfortunately, the media bombards us with messages of youth, highlighting hip new actors, telling us wrinkles are ugly, and promoting the idea that youth is ideal.
Many internalize these messages and believe that life after thirty is a meaningless drudgery of old age.
That couldn’t be further from the truth. Thirty isn’t old. It’s not even middle age. Thirty-somethings still have decades of life in front of them.
Don’t let anyone else’s ideal trick you into believing you’re old when you’re not.
Things Start Hurting
Wear and tear on our bodies does eventually catch up with us. For many, that starts in our thirties and gets worse from there.
That old snowboarding injury will throb and weird times. You’ll wake up with a sore back for no reason. Muscles you didn’t even know you had will poke you with painful reminders.
Taking care of your physical health as early as possible is vital to minimizing the effects of chronic pain later in life.
It’s the Best Decade
Many users claimed that their 30s were their best decade.
“Your body is still strong and youthful and beautiful, and people start treating you with respect that you never got in your 20s,” commented one Redditor, explaining why the decade is so fantastic.
Others said they found a groove in their careers, started families, had money for vacations, and spent the decade enjoying the vast bounty life has to offer.
It doesn’t have to end in your forties, though. If you take good care of your physical, mental, and financial health during your thirties, the good times can roll on for the next few decades.
How Do You Feel About the Big 3-0?
Older folks may look back on their thirties with pride and longing, while younger ones may look forward with fear and trepidation.
Whatever your feelings about the big 3-0, you aren’t alone. As some of the remarks in this thread highlighted, it’s a time of transition and growth, which can be challenging and scary. However, it can also be inspiring, motivational, and exciting!
Make the best of your thirties and every decade of your life!
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.