I turned 30 in September last year, and was the first of my group of friends. When you’re younger reaching milestones first is a good thing – first to drive, first to have legal ID. Not so much at 30! There’s definitely this big deal that your 30th seems to carry with it, but truthfully I wasn’t that bothered. People say all sorts of typical stuff near to their 30th, you know the sort ‘I’m much more confident in myself’ type thing. I’m well aware that some of these might be quite cliche, but here’s 30 things I either realised at 30, wish I’d known at 20, or found out about life at 30.
Education and Career
1. Wherever you thought you’d be at 25, I’m not sure why but 25 seems to be the benchmark for ‘adulting’ when you’re 18, whether that’s professionally or personally – you won’t be anywhere near.
2. When parents and teachers are making you choose GCSE’s, A levels, a degree, even a job – you won’t really know what you want to do. Even when you’re working full time and find yourself in a real life job, you still might not know what you want to do. I didn’t until I was 28.
3. If you do find something you really want to do, don’t give up on it. Teachers told my sister she wouldn’t get an A level good enough to do French at uni. She moved up four grades, got the A level, moved to France for a year, did a French masters, did another year in France, got a French speaking jobs and is now fluent. I’m not quite so triumphant but one day I did decide I wanted to work in social media, blogging and digital marketing. So I put myself through a top up qualification after my degree, did loads of freelance experience, started a blog and got a totally new job when I was 28. It’s never too late. You spend most of your life at work. It helps to like it.
4. That old cliche ‘work to live – don’t live to work’, well you actually start to buy into it. You never know what will happen so don’t spend your whole life obsessing about work. I actually think this applies more if you work for someone else. If you have your own business then I can easily see how it becomes your life and fair play, some of the most driven people I know run their own businesses. But at risk of sounding like a new year champagne toast – health and happiness matter more.
5. Make the most of your school and uni holidays. Don’t waste hours in front of nickelodeon (do kids still do that? Hey Arnold anyone?), lying on the sofa watching TV. You will never have that much free time in your life again. Do something with it.
6. Those awful school feuds mean nothing and are actually now quite funny.
7. You will either be engaged, married, mortgaged up, have a brood of offspring, or you really really won’t. And either is actually fine. The ‘proper’ way to do families and ‘settling down’ doesn’t exist anymore, everything is fine, any order you choose to do things, or even not at all is fine, every situation is fine.
8. People will always bullshit their way through Facebook. Like honestly, how much of a shop window do people paint about their life? #myworld #sohappy #boydonegood. There’s reality under all of that somewhere and it’s never how it appears so no point comparing your reality to someone else’s Facebook/Instagram. You’ll be a lot happier for it.
9. You appreciate the finer things in life. Alcohol, food, clothes, make up, hotels, holidays… anything applies. Even if it takes six months to save up for all of the above because you know, we aren’t that successful yet.
10. You show a very weird interest in the news, politics, current affairs. Like this shit actually affects you now.
11. Time fucking flies.
12. So does money, straight out your bank account. T’ra!
13. Olives. Are. Nice. Especially the deli counter at Sainsburys ones, or dare I say it – Nandos. Ooooh and the ones at Tynemouth market at a weekend.
14. Weight does not shift easily. That thing people warned you about called a metabolism decides to give up on you, and before you know it those family sized bag of doritos and ten tonnes of carbs appear straight on your hips, arse, stomach, face. And it is seriously hard shifting them.
15. If you want dinner or drinks with your friends, plan it at least six months in advance to have any hope of all being free at the same time.
16. The only thing in your life that doesn’t get any less attractive are carbs.
17. Hangovers are the absolute devil. I know everyone in the world says this, but aside from very rare occasions a hangover would last until late afternoon at most in early twenties, now it writes you off for a week. Sunday is an emotional trauma, Monday you’re knackered and still want comfort food, by Tuesday you’re starting to perk up but ah well I’ll just take that extra portion of chips anyway still feel a bit rough – maybe its a bug not a hangover? It’s not a bug.
18. Day drinking is the way forward. It won’t stop the hangover, but it will give you an extra five or six hours sleep and an hour less of crying at how hungover you are, and besides there’s a lot of good day drinking deals out there. All you can drink prosecco for £20 anyone?
19. Christmas morning is a completely different experience. As a kid I used to think imagine being excited over clothes. Now it’s literally a case of how much of Topshop can I cram in my stocking. Or which one pair of shoes are all I want this year? The pretty Loubs please.
20. While I’m on about Christmas, the best part is no longer presents, it’s clearly Christmas dinner with your nearest and dearest. And a lot of the time your life depends on it to cure the Christmas Eve hangover.
21. There’s no point being a psycho. We’ve all been there lasses – psycho moments, crazy bitch texts, horrible drunk crying. There’s just no point. No good comes from this.
22. Not all boys are stupid/arseholes/pathetic/or in my more finer moments complete ****. There are decent ones out there, you just have to kiss a few frogs to find one.
23. Karma is real and there’s nothing better than when it comes full circle, however long it takes. The immature child inside of you still exists and finds it hilarious. Lols.
24. Your parents were always right.
25. You find it a lot easier to not give a shit what people think, it’s not just something you say either, you really don’t give a shit.
26. You have a lot more self control. This massively applies to me. I don’t go out of my way to be confrontational but when needs must I would happily go in all guns blazing at any opportunity to get my point across in the past. Now I pick my battles because frankly, I can’t be arsed anymore.
27. Coffee is life. Coffee gets you through the day. Don’t ever leave me coffee.
28. Homeware excites you. Especially Anthropologie.
29. Your passport photo sticks. For TEN YEARS! Don’t do anything drastic like cut all your hair off the day before you get your photo like I did. It will haunt you.
30. Gone are the days of using your hair straighteners to iron your clothes at uni. You now buy real life appliances that cost a fortune, and use them. And if it’s not appliances it’s insurance. Bah.
Ok, so there’s actually 32 cause I can’t count…
31. Everything does happen for a reason.
32. You don’t take things for granted. Now you’re a grown up and watch the news, and unfortunately also in real life you see bad stuff happening. You’re no longer wrapped up in cotton wool or swanning around in an oblivious bubble. Bad stuff happens, so you appreciate the good a hell of a lot more.
Cheers to life at 30!
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