People who have the big 3-0 looming before them may be fearful of leaving their party years behind. But you can put those fears to rest: I’m here to tell you your twenties might have been youthful and fun, but, like a vintage wine, maturity is something to look forward to. Much of the carelessness and immaturity of your younger days is falling away, to be replaced by a bit of wisdom and knowledge that you’ve picked up over the years.
Keep the following in mind the next time you dread the thought of becoming a 30-something.
Shame is for the past
Yes, that’s right. Shame is for your younger self, when you had the time and desire to care about pettiness. Your twenties are over and signs of maturity are leaving a mark – in a good way. Own your battle scars and your smile lines. You’re officially in your prime and the new and improved self-confident you is here to stay.
Your mistakes aren’t as big
Now you’re much more likely go to a bar only on the weekends, and you often cut yourself off at two drinks. Whether you like it or not, the fact that you often find yourself being more responsible than your “twenties self” is an inescapable fact. You’ve seen too much. You know too much. Sure, you will still make stupid mistakes at times, but you’ll know it more quickly afterward, instead of having it blindside you down the road.
You’re no longer a noob
If you’re a college graduate and you were lucky enough to enter the workforce in your desired field, you now get to say you are no longer entry level. Throw yourself a modest party in celebration of such a milestone – and then maybe argue (diplomatically!) for a raise.
You can switch it up
If you’re switching careers, congratulations! It’s never too late (or early) to make a change to a career better suited for you. A college diploma is more attainable than ever, so finishing your degree online at a local college and using federal grants can help you get into your desired field without breaking the bank. You understand a lot better now then you did in your twenties just how valuable the right degree can be, which means when you commit to finishing, you won’t be playing around.
You can dress more formally
Hitting thirty years old doesn’t mean dressing like a grandparent all of a sudden. But it does mean making an effort to come across as the mature professional you are. Over time, what has come to be acceptable attire for professionals has changed somewhat. It’s a little more laid back now than it was when small cell phones were a groundbreaking innovation.
Today’s professional standards accept above-the-knee wear for ladies – but the mini-skirt? Not so much. Jeans, t-shirts, and suits are great for the science conference, but less suitable for the boardroom (unless you’re Mark Zuckerberg, in which case you can pretty much wear whatever you want.)
Meet anxiety head on
Anxiety is a fact of life in our culture, but there’s a lot you can do to face it head on. Have a cheat sheet protocol ready at hand for when that happens. Plan on meditating, do the occasional liver detox, and learn more than you ever thought possible about essential oils.
Health and nutrition are a must
As you get just a bit older, health and wellness are vital. It turns out you aren’t invincible after all. The fast metabolism you might have inherited is slowing down, and even when you work out, it seems like for every one step forward, you take two steps back (drat those sedentary office hours!). Try listening to podcasts on your way to work to make sure you stay motivated.
Let go of your fast car dreams – for now
A snazzy Mustang may have been all the rage in your twenties, but now you’re getting on with your bad self in a sensible four-door sedan that’s good on gas. Own it. Relinquish the desire for the two seater, or even the four seater, and come to terms with the fact that you’re probably going to own your current “underwhelming” vehicle until the day it dies. That’s because from now on, you’re going to be all fiscally responsible and grown up with your money. Right?
Stick to the plan and pay off those loans
Speaking of being level-headed about money, college debt may still be hanging over your head. I know, it sometimes feels like a growing cloud of life-sucking doom. Even though you may sometimes think you’ll never pay it off, learn more about how to balance a budget and say no to all sorts of things you think you need, but truly don’t.
You can allow turning 30 to be a source of depression, or you can look at it as the start of the best years of your life. Once you realize you have a choice, it should be a no-brainer to embrace the next decade with open arms. A positive outlook will only contribute to your success.
Are you looking forward to turning 30? Let us know in the comments and follow Café Quill on social media to join in on the conversation!