11 life lessons to learn before you’re 30
Want to ease into the next decade like a pro? Follow these lessons before you turn the big 3-0.
Published Mar 13, 2015 11:00 AM
REALIZE FRIENDSHIPS CHANGE
The hardest relationship to navigate as you approach your 30s is with your best friends. You’re not going to have the same friendship with someone you once shared an apartment with now that she’s living with her husband an hour away. Rather than fight the changing dynamics, learn to embrace them. The great thing about having friends who are in different walks of life is that you’ll get to learn from them along the way.
FORGET THE DRAMA: IT’S EXHAUSTING
To quote the incomparable Fergie, “No more drama. No, no, no more drama.” We think the Queen of Lady Humps got it right and probably wrote this song from experience. A secondhand story of someone else’s sordid tales sound enticing, but it’s more exciting to get a daily dose of drama from your favorite Netflix show.
ADVOCATE FOR OTHER WOMEN
Support your fellow females. It’s easy to get caught up in the “frenemies” fad, but we think it’s a term that should be banned for good. A lot of great things can be done in the world when women band together instead of rip each other apart.
BE PASSIONATE ABOUT A CAUSE
If your Instagram is filled with photos of your cat, donate some volunteer hours to a local pet shelter. If playing soccer growing up was one of the happiest times of your life, try coaching a local rec team. You don’t need to pursue world peace to make a difference (though hey, that can’t hurt) but instead, focus your energy into something you’re passionate about.
OVERSHARE OVER COCKTAILS, NOT ON FACEBOOK
Find yourself cringing over an OSU – oversharing status update? Luckily you can always hide them from your newsfeed. If you want to rant about a bad day at work, don’t take to your Twitter feed. Instead, grab a few friends, a glass of wine and vent in real time.
SAVOR ALONE TIME
Whether it’s a Friday night tradition of reading a trashy mag in bed or a weekend walk to pick up your favorite breakfast bagel, enjoy some solo time. What used to be things you had to do with a group, can now be things you’ll enjoy on your own.
COMPARE YOURSELF TO…YOURSELF
By the time you hit the big 3-0, you’ll have friends with babies, friends that are single, friends that are VPs, friends that are struggling in their careers – you name it. Every one will be on a different track and that’s okay. Set your own milestones and evaluate yourself based on those, not based on how everyone else is doing.
CONSIDER THE WORST CASE SCENARIO
And then go for it. At this point in your life, you’ll undoubtedly have been dumped, embarrassed yourself on a date, been turned down from a job—the works. But you survived and came out on top. Keep that in mind and enter your thirties with the bravado to get that guy/girl/gig that you’ve been dreaming about.
DON’T BUY THE SHOES
Be smart about where your money goes. If you’ve ever tracked your spending over a month, you know that you could be pinching pennies. Instead of your weekly dinner out with friends, host a potluck at your place. Rather than splurge on that new pair of two-tone loafers for spring, tuck that away for retirement, a house or whatever else you’ve got your sights set on.
BELIEVE THAT HONESTY REALLY IS THE BEST POLICY
This old adage is true. If that looming deadline at work is starting to feel really impossible, speak candidly with your boss. If you don’t feel like going out on a Friday night, you don’t need to make up an excuse. Just tell your friends you need a night at home. Candor is appreciated, but just make sure you exercise caution. You don’t need to tell your neighbor what you really think about her new hot pink front door.
EAT (AND DRINK) YOUR GREENS
We all want to have a strong, sexy bod, but the reality is that nourishing ourselves from the inside out becomes far more important as you age. Are you going to have the occasional midnight craving for Pad Thai takeout? Of course. But now you’re old enough to know that if you indulge, the next day will require a spinach smoothie so you can keep your body and your health on track.