Earlier in the year, I came across a post “30 Signs You’re In Your 30s.” It was cute, and I related to some of it, but many of the signs related to being a parent. Which I am not. Also, I have come to realize that my 30s (OK, the first couple years that I’ve survived) are pretty awesome. Dare I say better than my 20s. In honor of birthday #32, here are my reasons why your 30s are better than your 20s.

1. You don’t care what other people think. By now, you’ve gotten over caring about other people’s opinions and can truly just do whatever you want to be happy.


2. You’re no longer at the bottom at work. My first job out of college sometimes felt like an internship with benefits. That’s fine, it was an entry-level job. But I’m so happy those days are behind me. If I wanted to be a boss (again), I have enough experience for that role. Right now I enjoy “experienced manager with no direct reports” type of roles.

3. You can have nice things. 10+ years into your career, you can finally do something with your money. (Like pay off debt?)

4. You can live in nice places. We’re not quite at the point where we could live in a nice place in any neighborhood in Chicago, but we can definitely afford a nice place in a nice neighborhood.

5. You know what you like. And what you don’t. And going back to #1, you have the confidence to pursue what you like and skip what you don’t.

6. You’re friends with your parents. Hopefully, this happened around the age of 18, when you were getting out of those teenage years and no longer living at home. By now, you have an established friendship with your parents. And hopefully they are still alive, although sadly for some of my friends that is not the case.

7. There are lots of other babies around to get your fill. If you don’t have kids of your own, you can get in your baby cuddles and hand them off when they start crying. And then come the fun toddler and kid years. I love being the cool aunt. (I’m the cool aunt, right?????)

madelineballerina babyT

8. 30 is the new 20. Being 30 (or 32) is not scary. Promise. It’s awesome. Also we’re living longer or something. You still have like … 5/8 of your life left. (Although according to this, my life expectancy is 94, so I have 2/3 left.) My point is, we still have a lot of life to live. (So please open a 401K or IRA now if you haven’t yet.) We still have some time left to “grow up.” Although by now that means time to save up for a down payment on a house/condo and/or have [more] kids if you want them.

9. We enjoyed the 90s. Sure, we were teenagers, but we got to experience the birth of alternative music and the awesome grunge fashions. (I’m not being sarcastic! Grunge was awesome.)

10. People take you seriously. Because, you know, you’re an adult and stuff and therefore wise.

If you’ve made it to the other side of 30, what do you enjoy the most about it? 

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12 Comments on “Thirtysomething”

  1. I think the photo in #1 might cancel out #10! Ha ha! Totally just kidding! It’s interesting you put #1 on there… I have always not been one to care what others think about what I do. I think that might be more personality, than age, cause I know some people who are totally going to be like that until the end of their time.

    I don’t imagine there being much of a difference between my 20s and 30s. I would like #3 and #4 to happen if we somehow get more money 🙂

    1. Haha, I almost wanted to put that photo after #10. I’m someone who should definitely (not) be taken seriously.

      I think I’ve always leaned more toward not caring what others think, but the older I get, the more I realize opinions of others do not matter and have no bearing on my happiness.

  2. I love this! Everyone, and I mean everyone (specifically women), tells me that they enjoy(ed) their thirties much much more than their twenties. I’m secretly afraid of getting older still but reading this and hearing about the experiences of other thirty-somethings makes me very excited for the future 🙂

    Is today your birthday? HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

  3. Epically #7. Definitely not a kids person myself, but LOVE that I can act all maternal on someone else’s little ones – and totally pass them off when the waterworks start! I’m not quite at the big 3-0 yet, but I’ll be there soon, and posts like this make me a lot less nervous to get there!

  4. Happy birthday! You make great points here. In your 30s you usually have (some) money but you also have time and energy to spend that money 🙂

    I was never afraid of my 30s. Now, though, I think about how I turn 35 in January and that kind of freaks me out. I admit I’m afraid of my 40s but I don’t know why.

  5. I’m loving my 30s. I feel like there’s less drama in my life and I’m happier with where I’m at as a person. Unfortunately I went to grad school so I haven’t quite moved up the totem pole in the workplace, but I’ll get there I’m sure. Hope you have a fantastic birthday!!

  6. What a wonderful post! I loved my 20s but I’m glad they’re behind me. I’m really enjoying life in my 30s so far. Although, I’m with Erin. The sound of turning 40 in 10 years is super scary. Thankfully that is 10 years away 🙂

    Happy Birthday! We still need to get our donut milkshakes to celebrate!

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