Turning Thirty: This Is Why You Should Look Forward To Your Next Birthday

Turning thirty doesn't need to be cause for the alarm and terror that it so often produces. On the contrary, turning thirty should be embraced for several reasons.

Many women dread turning thirty because it is seen as something akin to youth sprinting away. After all, your 20s are the time to discover yourself, play the field, explore, travel and more. But, you may be surprised to learn that your 30s are even better and should be embraced with open arms.

It’s easy to believe that your 20s are the best years life has to offer—and, in some ways, they are. As a 20-something, you likely have few responsibilities to tie you down, making it easier to pack up your life and move across the world in search of adventure and new opportunities.

Your 20s are, essentially, the time to screw up, screw around and fail with minimal repercussions. This needn’t stop after turning thirty though.

Think of your 20s as the testing period before the final product is launched. Even then, there’s no reason changes can’t be made after turning thirty—in fact, it’s guaranteed you will make many, many changes throughout life. The best part, though, is that you’ll be more confident when making these later decisions thanks to the test period that is your 20s.

1. You know who you are


At 21, I had the opportunity to be a contestant on a game show. Aside from being one of the first contestants to be voted off the show (apparently 80-foot anacondas are not found outside of C-grade horror flicks), I only remember part of the conversation I had with the makeup artist. She told me to relax.

When I said that I tend to be self-conscious, the sage wisdom she offered—accompanied by a flick of the hand—was that everything would be better in my 30s. I also remember rolling my eyes and thinking that turning thirty seemed a long way away.

Now, I realize just how right she was. Perhaps one of the best things about hitting your 30s is that you have a clearer understanding of who you are as a person. You know your strengths, weaknesses, triggers, tolerances and all the other things that make you who you are.

You know what you will and won’t accept from others. You also likely know what you want in life—or, at least, what you don’t want. Basically, you’ve established your identity more firmly.

2. You’re more settled in life

Young business woman having a break at a cafe

Building on the previous point, you’re generally more settled in life in your 30s. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you have your ideal job. You might still be figuring out how to get that great job or even what that job may be. Being settled also doesn’t have to mean that you’re married, have 2.2 kids, a dog and a mortgage.

You’re settled within yourself and at peace with your decisions—even the bad ones—because they’ve shaped who you are by this point in your life. Your 30s present more opportunities to meet like-minded people who genuinely share your interests and values.

You may find that your pool of friends has shrunk significantly, but that’s also ok because the people around you are people you really want in your life.

You may still be looking for Mr. Right or you may have already found and lost him at this stage. The important thing to focus on here is that while you may be more settled in life, it’s not the same as settling for things in life.

Being unmarried at 30 is increasingly common. Being single in your 30s is also no longer as traumatizing as it once was because you’re likely independent and secure. Enjoy that.

3. You stop caring what people think


Part of that security comes from caring less and less—if at all—what other people think of you and your life choices. Want to quit your high-paying job to follow the love of your life halfway across the world? Why not. Thinking of changing careers completely even though it means going back to college to re-train? Go for it.

Do these things while you’re flexible and free enough to so do—it gets a lot harder once you have children and a partner depending on you financially and emotionally. It’s harder, but not impossible.

Dating is also easier in some ways. There’re fewer games involved because you’re old enough to realize that even if the guy rejects you, you haven’t lost anything because you never had him to begin.

First dates will still give you butterflies, but they’re not the swarm of angry newbies that you previously felt on every first date; they’re more like a gentle twirl of excitement as they flex their wings and glide.

4. You’ve learned your boundaries

cute teenage girl with cup of coffee on the terrace


Whether it’s your boss, friends or family, you know where you’ve set the boundary lines for other people in your life. It’s harder for others to push you around now because you have that valuable life experience everyone spoke of so highly in your 20s.

You understand that you parents are worried about you meeting your financial obligations because you quit your job, but you’ve learned that you don’t have to stick things out just to make them happy. You’ve also learned that no job is worth the misery it may bring.

You now know that you can go out drinking and partying all weekend, but that doesn’t mean that you can phone in sick every Monday morning when you still have a killer hangover. Your friends respect that Wednesday and Thursday nights are reserved for your hobby/date night/family time—and you don’t feel guilty for staying in when they go out.

You know that splurging on those $800 shoes may be a great idea at the time because they’re just so cute, but you’re wise enough to know the difference between an investment and a purchase that’ll end up at the back of your closet after one night. In short, you know when to stop, when to reign yourself in and when to run free.

5. You can afford better quality things

Happy woman with a shopping bags

The good news about those $800 shoes is that when they go on sale for 50% off, you’re likely to be a position where you can actually afford to splurge a bit. Even if they’re still beyond the reach of your budget, you’re generally able to afford better quality of whatever it is that you choose to buy.

Sure, you’re still waiting on your dream house and that promotion at work, but things that were unaffordable in your 20s no longer seem as far out of reach. You’re no longer relegated to the bargain bins at Old Navy for the bulk of your clothes shopping. The moment you walk into those “grown up” stores, you’re likely to notice the difference in quality and you’ll never look back!

So, if the next birthday you’ll be celebrating is the big 3-0, plan a huge bash for yourself and party the night away. Far from being behind you, the best years of your life are just starting, so run into them with a light heart and don’t worry about those minor lines that you may be more aware of now on your face—they’re your experience!

About the author

Sarah Coutts

Passionate about anything to do with language, Sarah enjoys writing as much as reading. She's a voracious reader and loves music, traveling and theater as much as language.

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