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Why Today’s 30s Are Not the New 20s

Why Today’s 30s Are Not the New 20s

The popular mindset these days is that the 30s are the new 20s. This can work as an excuse for many people, telling them they don’t have to grow up yet because there will be time for that later. People are getting married later, finding steady jobs later, not opening retirement accounts or making property investments until they’re older, and more. As a result, people might think of their 20s as a time to do whatever they choose, and wait until their 30s to start getting serious about life. This can be detrimental to one’s maturity and personal development.

Getting married after high school, or even in your 20s, is a trend that is starting to fade away in popularity. This means there’s less pressure to settle down and have everything figured out at a younger age, which is a great relief because it gives people time to figure out what they really want out of life. It seems more possible now to find happiness in life because you have time to find the right career, home, and relationship for you, instead of having to settle down when you’re younger and know less about the world.

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I used to think that I’d have everything figured out by the time I was in college. Instead, I took a year off after high school because I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do. I went to a university for a year, then switched to a community college to quickly get a practical degree because I still didn’t know what I wanted to do. It was frustrating to me that adults expected me to know what I wanted from my life, and to be well on the path on accomplishing that dream. Even though I didn’t know what I wanted, I made sure to not stay stagnant. I didn’t want to be a bum, wasting time until my purpose came to me in a flash of brilliance. I got a two year degree that would help me get employed more than any other degrees I would later pursue—and it was a career I had never considered before!

I think it’s important to give students time to pick what they want to study, especially as competition for jobs grows and degrees mean less. These days, experience means more than a piece of paper, so it can be more beneficial to work in the field, or even have an apprenticeship, than to just get a degree. I think it’s more important for people to explore their options and try different jobs for shorter periods of time than to immediately commit to something that might not be the right job. While you don’t need to commit to one particular career in your 20s, it’s important to be laying the groundwork for your future. Study different things in school, and test the waters of different jobs so that once you’re older and ready to settle down, you’re going to get exactly what you want.

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As far as relationships go, taking it slow and knowing what you want is always important. Love is an intoxicating emotion, and it’s easy to be swept away in it. If you’re not concerned with getting married while you’re young, then you can explore relationships to their full extent, but still be free to live your own life. Being committed too young can be detrimental to both individuals in a relationship because they’re compromising their own hopes and dreams, as well as their personal lives. That doesn’t mean you should date around in your 20s just to do it, but you should feel free to explore the possibilities of different relationships. If you find the right person and you’re sure of it, that’s great! But there’s nothing wrong with being in a few relationships and learning what you want when you’re older and ready to settle down and start a family.

You might not know what you want right now, regardless of your age. The world is so open to possibilities that it’s a little easier to start a new career, or take courses online to continue your education. There has been an influx of older people re-entering the job force, and while it creates more job competition, it’s also refreshing to know you’ll always have the possibility for freedom and change later in life. Even so, it’s important to not throw away your 20s as a time to party and be immature, and to lay the groundwork to settle down and be successful in your 30s.

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There’s a great TED Talk by clinical psychologist Meg Jay that further explores the idea that your 20s should not be a throwaway decade of your life. Check it out here!

Featured photo credit: Kyle Sullivan via flickr.com

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Last Updated on July 3, 2020

30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

30 Small Habits To Lead A More Peaceful Life

In today’s world, true peace must come from within us and our own actions. Here are 30 small things you can do on a regular basis to increase your overall sense of harmony, peace, and well-being:

1. Don’t go to every fight you’re invited to

Particularly when you’re around those who thrive on chaos, be willing to decline the invitation to join in on the drama.

2. Focus on your breath

Throughout the day, stop to take a few deep breaths. Keep stress at bay with techniques such as “square breathing.” Breathe in for four counts, hold for four counts, then out for four counts, and hold again for four counts. Repeat this cycle four times.

3. Get organized and purge old items

A cluttered space often creates a cluttered spirit. Take the time to get rid of anything you haven’t used in a year and invest in organizational systems that help you sustain a level of neatness.

4. Stop yourself from being judgmental

Whenever you are tempted to have an opinion about someone else’s life, check your intentions. Judging others creates and promotes negative energy.

5. Say ‘thank you’ early and often

Start and end each day with an attitude of gratitude. Look for opportunities in your daily routine and interactions to express appreciation.

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6. Smile more

Even if you have to “fake it until you make it,” there are many scientific benefits of smiling and laughing. Also, pay attention to your facial expression when you are doing neutral activities such as driving and walking. Turn that frown upside down!

7. Don’t worry about the future

As difficult as this sounds, there is a direct connection between staying in the present and living a more peaceful life. You cannot control the future. As the old proverb goes, “Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do, but it won’t get you anywhere.” Practice gently bringing your thoughts back to the present.

8. Eat real food

The closer the food is to the state from which it came from the earth, the better you will feel in eating it. Choose foods that grew from a plant over food that was made in a plant.

9. Choose being happy over being right

Too often, we sacrifice inner peace in order to make a point. It’s rarely worth it.

10. Keep technology out of the bedroom

Many studies, such as one conducted by Brigham and Women’s Hospital, have connected blue light of electronic devices before bed to adverse sleep and overall health. To make matters worse, many people report that they cannot resist checking email and social media when their cell phone is in reach of their bed, regardless of the time.

11. Make use of filtering features on social media

You may not want to “unfriend” someone completely, however you can choose whether you want to follow their posts and/or the sources of information that they share.

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12. Get comfortable with silence

When you picture someone who is the ultimate state of peace, typically they aren’t talking.

13. Listen to understand, not to respond

So often in conversations, we use our ears to give us cues about when it is our turn to say what we want to say. Practice active listening, ask questions, process, then speak.

14. Put your troubles in a bubble

Whenever you start to feel anxious, visualize the situation being wrapped in a bubble and then picture that sphere floating away.

15. Speak more slowly

Often a lack of peace manifests itself in fast or clipped speech. Take a breath, slow down, and let your thoughtful consideration drive your words.

16. Don’t procrastinate

Nothing adds stress to our lives like waiting until the last minute.

17. Buy a coloring book

Mandala coloring books for adults are becoming more popular because of their connection to creating inner peace.

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18. Prioritize yourself

You are the only person who you are guaranteed to live with 24 hours a day for the rest of your life.

19. Forgive others

Holding a grudge is hurting you exponentially more than anyone else. Let it go.

20. Check your expectations

Presumption often leads to drama. Remember the old saying, “Expectations are premeditated resentments.”

21. Engage in active play

Let your inner child come out and have some fun. Jump, dance, play, and pretend!

22. Stop criticizing yourself

The world is a hard enough place with more than enough critics. Your life is not served well by being one of them.

23. Focus your energy and attention on what you want

Thoughts, words, and actions all create energy. Energy attracts like energy. Put out what you want to get back.

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24. Assign yourself “complaint free” days.

Make a conscious decision not to complain about anything for a whole day. It might be harder than you think and the awareness will stick with you.

25. Surround yourself with people you truly enjoy being in the company of

Personalities tend to be contagious, and not everyone’s is worth catching. Be judicious in your choices.

26. Manage your money

Financial concerns rank top on the list of what causes people stress. Take the time each month to do a budget, calculate what you actually spend and sanity check that against the money you have coming in.

27. Stop trying to control everything

Not only is your inner control freak sabotaging your sense of peace, it is also likely getting in the way of external relationships as well.

28. Practice affirmations

Repeat positive phrases that depict the life and qualities you want to attract. It may not come naturally to you, but it works.

29. Get up before sunrise

Personally witnessing the dawn brings a unique sense of awe and appreciation for life.

30. Be yourself

Nothing creates more inner discord than trying to be something other than who we really are. Authenticity breeds happiness.

Featured photo credit: man watching sunrise via stokpic.com

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