Life starts at 30, they say. There’s a lot of truth in these words because the longer you live, the better you get at living – although this is not always the case. Even science believes that a person’s brain is not fully developed until they are 25, so the “ultimate 30” thing actually makes sense.  It’s not merely about mental or physical development but an accumulation of experiences and a person’s level of independence. It may seem like a stereotype or society’s annoying way of placing unnecessary pressure on people in their late twenties. However, the age of 30 is generally regarded as the point where a person has become fully matured and finally “adult”.
When you hit the three-decade mark, there are a lot of things about your life you should already have in order or at least, be working towards them. Indeed, we don’t all have the same situations and privileges, but the age of 30 is a time to stop making excuses and get your act together. Aside from learning to never compare your life and path with anyone else’s, here are 10 crucial boxes you need to have checked off at this age. 
1. Quit sharing the details of your personal life with everyone
There are two reasons why people are often eager to talk about their personal lives.
- It makes us feel better when we share our problems with other people who are actually listening, regardless of how well we know them.
- It appeals to our subtle narcissistic natures as humans to have an audience listening.
For whichever reason, it’s better not to tell others everything about your life. It’s not in your best interest when everyone knows too much. People can hurt you by knowing deeply personal information about you. This is why it’s helpful to have a very tight circle of friends whom you trust or a professional therapist who listens and offers advice. Therapy is not only for people going through problems but also for people seeking to share and feel better.
2. Get a job or start a business that you enjoy
When it comes to jobs and earning a living, a lot of us don’t always have plenty of options. Millions of people out there are simply working to survive and are not following their dreams due to a lack of opportunities. This is why so many people are unhappy in their workplaces, and it contributes to stress, anxiety, and depression.
As you near your thirties, you’ll need to strategize and at least make an effort to seek better things for yourself. You do not deserve to spend the rest of your life working a job you don’t enjoy. You should start saving toward starting that business if it’s what would truly bring you happiness. It’s time to take the reins and change your life for the better.
3. Prioritize according to your happiness
This particular point is the reason why so many people in their late twenties are depressed. The fact that society expects you to have your act together by 30 does not mean you must conform to any laid-down rules. Having a family, three college degrees, your own house, a fully paid car, and other expectations can drive a person into unnecessary anxiety. You should prioritize, of course, but at your own pace. The only thing that matters is how focused you are on the goals and aspirations you believe are great for you at this stage. Prioritize solely for your happiness and wellbeing.
4. Learn to speak in public
A lot of people are naturally shy and would rather prefer to never address a large audience, especially one filled with people they don’t know personally. Being the center of attention may be scary sometimes but it’s a necessary skill for every adult, especially for a person who has great ambition and hopes to have an influence.
5. Find your own style
Thirty is the age where everyone must understand that fashion trends are just that – trends. They come and go but a person must adopt a sense of style that suits their personality and different moods. You need to learn to go for what makes you feel the most comfortable, not what everyone else is wearing. From your shoes, jackets, hairstyles, jewelry, and even your makeup, whatever you settle for should be something that perfectly suits your life, career, and personality.
6. Read more books
Great books allow you to travel the world without moving your feet and amass the wisdom of many excellent minds without actually conversing with them. The smartest people in the world are always avid readers. It’s helpful to develop a good reading habit across all genres of literature to expand one’s knowledge, horizons, lexicon, and intelligence. Books increase your versatility and intensify your awareness of many cultures and mindsets in the world. You can never go wrong when you read a well-written book.
7. Plan for vacations
Relaxing vacations are simply the best. A lot of us these days are so overworked and we barely get any time for ourselves. Taking an occasional holiday to relax and revitalize your mind and body is essential to your health and wellbeing. Vacations are relative to available funds, and they don’t always have to be flashy trips to exotic locations. Including vacation plans while saving and budgeting is a smart plan that pays off pretty nicely. You may be tempted to splurge those funds on a brand new phone or new shoes, but try to resist the urge and take a rejuvenating vacation, at least once a year.
8. Know your true friends
You’re always going to encounter fake and toxic people in your life, but no one said you have to tolerate them forever. As you near the age of 30, it’s definitely time to identify the people who make up your tight circle of true friends. While it’s also the age to start being nicer to people, letting just anyone into your life easily has to stop. It’s poor spiritual hygiene to give everyone access to you. Also, be thankful for those who have stood the test of time and will stick with you to the very end.
9. Learn to cook your favorite meal
Not everyone enjoys cooking, but at the very least, you should know how to prepare your favorite dish. It doesn’t have to be a meal you’d cook to impress anyone. You don’t have to do it and expect validation. Just prepare it for yourself one day and be sure to enjoy the process and the outcome. With time, you’d get better. I hate cooking but I love pizza and I can bake a mean barbecue chicken delight!
10. Exercise should be a daily habit
While people of all ages should take exercising seriously, you could get away with laziness at a younger age. However, as you near the three-decade mark, you’d have to take your health and wellbeing more seriously. The reason why most people don’t work out is due to “lack of time”, but ten-minute sessions every day is better than nothing at all. Exercise improves your body’s metabolism, improves your heart health and circulation, and keeps your muscles firm and toned.
Finally, at the age of 30, the most important thing is to have figured out who you are and what you want to do with your life. It’s okay not to have all the plans laid down yet, but at least have a sense of the direction you want your life to take. The reins are in your hands and you just have to do what will make you truly happy.
- “Adolescent Maturity and the Brain: The Promise and Pitfalls of Neuroscience Research in Adolescent Health Policy.” NCBI. Johnson et al. Retrieved October 13, 2020.
- “30 Things About Life Everyone Should Learn Before Turning 30.” Inc. Nicholas Cole. Retrieved October 13, 2020.