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October 3, 2006 11:43 AM   Subscribe

What's so great about 30?

I turn 30 in two and a half weeks. I've liked my 20s. And I'm not so keen on 30. Thirty sounds old. Please tell me, what is so great about turning 30?
posted by orangemiles to Grab Bag (58 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
It's just a number, babe. You won't suddenly start feeling older or anything like that. That happens when you turn 37.
posted by Mister_A at 11:44 AM on October 3, 2006

You realize how stupid you were when you were in your 20s.
posted by matildaben at 11:45 AM on October 3, 2006

I'm taking college courses right now, with a lot of people who were born in 1988. Being 30 has no comparison to their tech-filled wonderlands.
posted by bonaldi at 11:47 AM on October 3, 2006

Happy birthday!
I turn 30 a month after you.

I don't think anything has to change just because you reach some arbitrarily-round numbered age... But your 30th birthday is an excuse for a just-as-arbitrary big party. :)
posted by jozxyqk at 11:53 AM on October 3, 2006

you'll find that people will begin to take you more seriously. you'll scare the shit out of little kids.
posted by lester's sock puppet at 11:53 AM on October 3, 2006

Age is meaningless; it's neither great nor bad to turn 30. 30 is just a nice round number that people obsess over - after all, it's not like on your 30th birthday you're a radically different person than the day before, when you were 29.

Relax, don't worry so much, and throw yourself a big honkin' birthday party.
posted by pdb at 11:54 AM on October 3, 2006

All of your wildest dreams will come true.
posted by jazzkat11 at 12:00 PM on October 3, 2006 [2 favorites]

That happens when you turn 37.

That actually did happen when I turned 37. It was like a switch went on and the alarm bells started ringing with a deep, menacing voice saying "You are no longer young. Get cracking."

To the OP: what's so great about 30? Yes, you get taken more seriously, which provides many more opportunities.

Besides, 30 is the new 20.
posted by solid-one-love at 12:00 PM on October 3, 2006

When I turned 25 I freaked out a bit because it was so close to 30 which seemed so old. However, actually turning 30 was no big deal, and my 30s have been considerably better than my 20s. I've heard that when they ask progressively older people which decade has been best, it's generally whatever decade they're in at that moment. So, don't worry about it.

However, if you see any sandmen run!
posted by willnot at 12:02 PM on October 3, 2006

One of my close friends said that the great thing about turning 30 is that you now feel perfectly justified in doing whatever you want, regardless of peer pressure.

"It's late, I'm going home. Know why? BECAUSE I'M 30 AND I CAN!"

It sounds silly, but I think it's been a good way of thinking about it. I just care less what my friends (or others) think, and more about what I actually want and how I want to achieve that. Long-range planning's a little easier. I don't get as freaked out about minor things because I know what will blow over.

I really liked my 20s, for the most part, as well. But there's something just really nice about 30.
posted by occhiblu at 12:04 PM on October 3, 2006 [2 favorites]

Besides, 30 is the new 20.

Spoken like someone who's over 30.
posted by Johnny Assay at 12:04 PM on October 3, 2006

If you liked 30 you'll LOVE 40.

I'm lying. 30 was great. For the same reasons everybody said. But 40? All I can say is appreciate 30.
posted by tkchrist at 12:07 PM on October 3, 2006

I celebrated my 30th birthday in a bar in Antigua Guatemala with a bunch of strangers and a few good friends. With exception of a few small dips, my 30s have beaten the tar out of my 20s, here's why.

- I feel like I know how to find and maintain relationships and friendships with people I want to be involved with, I don't feel at the whim of who is in my peer group or who is not being weird or too cool for school lately
- My friends have really interesting lives and jobs and my life is enriched by knowing them. My 20's friends (some of them are the same, natch) had fun lives and quirky jobs, but there is something to be said for being a bit established in a field/profession doing something you love
- my parents are more on my level, or I am more on theirs', and I have more mature relationships with them that don't involve as much second-guessing of me and my choices, even though I'm not doing things terribly differently
- I like being in the place where I've had things, relationships, a house, a job, for longer than just a few years.

I know you asked about turning 30 specifically and to that I agree with everyone else that it's just a number, a number that freaks some people out (my recent ex hit it and went all nutso) and one worth commemorating in some nice fashion. This is just a note to say that even if your 20s were a good place to be, there's a good chance that your 30s will too. If you're that sort of person, that you can put yourself places that you enjoy, doing things you like, you'll just be able to do that more effectively and with more skill as you age. Happy Birthday.
posted by jessamyn at 12:09 PM on October 3, 2006 [7 favorites]

If you haven't already, seriously think about joining the military. You only have a few years left.
posted by Monkey0nCrack at 12:10 PM on October 3, 2006

What was the best year in your 20s? 23 let's say, 33 will be great too, look forward to it.
What would you like for your bday?
posted by convex at 12:12 PM on October 3, 2006

When the neo-hippie generation forms, they won't trust you anymore.
posted by Saydur at 12:12 PM on October 3, 2006

I agree, the world starts taking you seriously. When I hit 30 I got a big promotion at work, for no reason. I easily could have done the job at 25, but no one thought I was a grownup. It kind of pisses me off, actually.
posted by futility closet at 12:13 PM on October 3, 2006

Beats not turning 30.
posted by infinitewindow at 12:13 PM on October 3, 2006 [6 favorites]

I found my twenties to be a lot of delirious reckless up-all-night fun figuring out what shape I wanted my life to take. I regret none of it, but now that I'm a few years into my thirties I'm happy to be past that and getting on with accomplishing the things I dreamed and schemed about in my twenties.

I also care much less with each passing day about cool/trendy/stylish/fashionable stuff. I can't be hip, and trying to be would look increasingly pathetic with each year deeper into my 30s I get (not that I was ever very stylish . . .). I like what I like, and I'm not closed to new ideas but being new seems like less and less of a virtue in and of itself. Very liberating to feel like there's nothing in particular you need to keep up with.

On preview: also what jessamyn said.
posted by gompa at 12:14 PM on October 3, 2006


Seriously, though. what gompa said.
posted by keswick at 12:18 PM on October 3, 2006 [1 favorite]

It's just a number, babe. You won't suddenly start feeling older or anything like that. That happens when you turn 37.

Oh, so very true. 37 is the number of death.

(I am 37.)
posted by jdroth at 12:23 PM on October 3, 2006

30 was the new 20 for me! Unfortunately 31 was the new 70. Well, it felt like it. I don't know, man. You can't predict when your turning points will show up.
posted by furiousthought at 12:24 PM on October 3, 2006

Apparently, at 30 you get a free pass on chatfilter questions.
posted by meehawl at 12:26 PM on October 3, 2006 [3 favorites]

At 30, I finally feel like a mature adult, but guys on the street still check me out. It is a delicate balance that I suspect is somewhat temporary.
posted by amro at 12:26 PM on October 3, 2006

apparently 30 means you can't read the the guidelines. Chatfilter.
posted by terrapin at 12:28 PM on October 3, 2006

I found myself consolidating my social circle a lot, down to a tighter set of people whose friendship I value much more than I used to.

I also stopped giving a rat's ass about what anyone thought of me.

And all of the "experience" stuff people noted here.
posted by mkultra at 12:30 PM on October 3, 2006

It's a magic number that can slash the cost of your car insurance.
posted by -harlequin- at 12:31 PM on October 3, 2006

But 40? All I can say is appreciate 30.

Oh bugger that. 40 was gooood, and 50's gonna rule.
posted by hangashore at 12:41 PM on October 3, 2006

I'm 32, and planning to hold a HUGE party in about 7 months when I hit 33 + 1/3. Youse will all have to wish me happy LP-RPM then, and watch the kids say whuh?

No point stressing out about 30. It's just an accident of the number system. Did you know when you hit 28 you had your last birthday that was a perfect number? That's never gonna happen again. You're prime now, and will be in a year and two weeks or so, but not again till 37. In two and a bit years you'll be 20 in hex. These so called "round numbers" are nothing to worry about and just an accident due largely to (most of us) having 10 fingers.
posted by handee at 12:53 PM on October 3, 2006 [1 favorite]

The best thing about turning 30 is that you finally get it over with, already.
posted by tentacle at 12:54 PM on October 3, 2006

30 didn't hurt. (35 hurt a lot.)
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 1:05 PM on October 3, 2006

I remember when I was in my early 20's, I had a friend who was 27, and remember thinking that he was starting to get old. Of course when I reached 27, I no longer thought that way. Also, I've noticed that certain age numbers, like 30, 40, and the big five-o, seem to have a psycological impact, until you've reached them. I am 58 now, so 60 looms large!! I'm sure though that I will find a way to convince myself that life begins at 60.
posted by Chessbum at 1:09 PM on October 3, 2006

If you're excited about death, 30 is one step closer. It's like Christmas is just around the corner. But instead of presents under the tree, you'll find a corpse. Only it will be yours. But, you won't find it, because you'll be dead. Not that it will happen when you're 30, just that you'll be a bit closer to the inevitable descent into senile dementia and a longing for it to all be over. Trust me, stay 29 forever.
posted by blue_beetle at 1:23 PM on October 3, 2006 [6 favorites]

Someone told me recently reaching the end of the decade that you're in leaves you with thoughts of goals unachieved. Luckily, right around the corner is the next decade, where you can begin afresh. So 29 (39 - me) sucks, 30 (40) rules. Apparently.
posted by b33j at 1:24 PM on October 3, 2006

My thirties were my best decade (so far--I'm 45). You still have all the energy of your twenties but more experience and wisdom to channel those energies productively. You've already made most of the big dumb mistakes that everyone makes at least once. You are still attractive tot he opposite sex, but now you know what you want from relationships, and how to close the deal. You know a lot more, you have a fuller intellectual life and more varied interests. The thirties is the best of all worlds.
posted by LarryC at 1:48 PM on October 3, 2006 [3 favorites]

I'm 25 and actually looking forward to turning 30. People in their thirties are so much more well-adjusted than people in their twenties. They've got their shit together. They know what they want. They've listened to more music, seen more movies, and read more books, so they know what's good and can share their knowledge.

Bottom line: people in their thirties are cooler than people in their twenties. Would someone in their thirties say something as asinine as "don't trust anyone over 30"? No. Because they are not nitwits.
posted by hazelshade at 2:22 PM on October 3, 2006

When I turned 30, a 40-something friend said to me: "Congratulations! Now you don't have to worry about being hip anymore."

It is certainly a weight off one's back.

I'm 40 now, and it's even better.

I look forward to when I'm 70 and I can really not give a shit what anyone thinks about me.
posted by matildaben at 2:36 PM on October 3, 2006

I'm 43.

Hair grows out of my ears; not on my head.

A "wild night out" is driving down Lake Shore Drive and arriving home at a sensible hour.

Enjoy 30 because you'll only have it around for a year.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 2:50 PM on October 3, 2006 [1 favorite]

Bottom line: people in their thirties are cooler than people in their twenties. Would someone in their thirties say something as asinine as "don't trust anyone over 30"? No. Because they are not nitwits.
posted by hazelshade at 2:22 PM PST on October 3 [+fave] [!]

I've heard something similar: In your 20's you worry about being cool. In your 30's, you know you're cool.
posted by vacapinta at 2:56 PM on October 3, 2006 [1 favorite]

Turning 30 sucked because, despite talking about how it didn't bug me, it did. It wasn't the age as much as where my life was, where I was headed and what I hadn't accomplished yet.

Being 30 was stressful and triumphant and wonderful and tumultous because I decided to do something about that unsettled malaise and become who I wanted to be, despite that not being what other people wanted me to be.

Now I'm a boring 31 year old person who has her dream life that I built myself. Yep, happy as hell.
posted by Gucky at 3:06 PM on October 3, 2006

I hope when I hit 30, I am not as stoopid as I am now.

Year and a half to go on that one...
posted by jenfullmoon at 3:30 PM on October 3, 2006

I've been wondering this a lot recently (and will do so till Feb), and the only thing I can figure out is that - even though I had a criminally good time for most of those 10 years - I don't really find that level of sheer insanity enjoyable anymore. But, maybe I just got boring.
posted by absalom at 3:42 PM on October 3, 2006

jdroth wrote...
Oh, so very true. 37 is the number of death.

Big time.

As for 30, it means that people can no longer pull that "you'll understand when you're older" crap on you. Now it's your turn to start.
posted by tkolar at 4:01 PM on October 3, 2006 [1 favorite]

I forgot the best part of turning thirty--giving up on all that "being cool" nonsense. Not caring about being cool is so liberating. After thirty, you are more comfortably yourself.
posted by LarryC at 6:14 PM on October 3, 2006

What Jessamyn said. Also, I second-guess myself less often now. Basically, I a) trust my instincts more; and b) find that my instincts are more accurate. I guess that's life experience.
posted by hot soup girl at 6:39 PM on October 3, 2006

I'm 30 and I'm really enjoying it. I find that nearly everyone (well, except teenagers) takes me much more seriously and, in fact, this happened nearly overnight right around turning 30. Moreover, I have a certain confidence in my own experience and knowledge and a certain comfort in my own skin that I did not have before.
posted by willpie at 7:20 PM on October 3, 2006

I just turned 30 a couple weeks ago and don't feel different at all. I still look and act about 25 (and sadly, I'm not just saying that -- it actually kind of sucks in my line of work, execs don't take me as seriously as they should given my experience).
posted by echo0720 at 7:49 PM on October 3, 2006

I thought 20 is when you should be totally done with the neurosis of caring about how people perceive you. Isn't that the entire point of being a teenager... so you can finally become comfortable with yourself and get on with your life?
posted by phrontist at 9:53 PM on October 3, 2006

Wow, it's too bad I didn't know that 37 was the number of death last October, so I could have loathed the entire ensuing year. What's 38?

(30... is no big deal.)
posted by kindall at 11:20 PM on October 3, 2006

Sex got a lot better after 30. A *lot* better.
posted by mediareport at 11:35 PM on October 3, 2006

Realizing that nothing you did in your 20's was able to kill you.
posted by Cog at 1:12 AM on October 4, 2006

Maybe we have the exact same birthday, because same goes for me!

I'm excited about turning 30. I feel like it's a reward for all the hard work of my 20s. Some people call your 20s the Decade of Terror. Your 30s are when you get to use all those lessons learned.

If 30 still seems really old to you, go make some older friends who will scoff appropriately. I have a good mix of older and younger friends, and it definitely helps me feel comfortable with my own age.
posted by Sprout the Vulgarian at 4:26 AM on October 4, 2006

Getting carded for cigarettes by 18yo cashiers.
posted by paxton at 6:04 AM on October 4, 2006

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone, except for the chatfilter suggestors. You two can bug off.
posted by orangemiles at 6:40 AM on October 4, 2006 [1 favorite]

I'm so late here, but I just wanted to add my voice to the 'being 30 is rather nice' crowd. It is just a number but somehow since I turned 30 I feel like a know who I am quite a lot better. I turned 31 a couple of weeks ago and I'm absolutely fine with being in my 30's. Once you're over that hurdle you can stop obsessing with turning 30 and get on with things. Lastly, if anyone talks down to you your default response can be "Fuck off I'm 30". Somehow saying that when you're 29 doesn't quite cut the mustard...
posted by ob at 9:15 AM on October 4, 2006

The best thing about turning thirty, is waking up realising it doesn't matter.

I'm 36 now and I'm loving my Thirties, I enjoyed my Twenties (the bits I can remember), but I feel the thirties are more 'me'.
posted by matholio at 3:57 PM on October 10, 2006 [1 favorite]

The two serious relationships I've had in my life were both with skinny men. Runner types, you know what I mean? They just looked LEAN. Well, with BOTH of them, the minute they turned 30 they gained a bunch of weight. It was most noticeable right around the middle and in their faces. Cracked me up because BOTH of them had previously said to me about struggles with weight, "I don't have to worry about that. I'll always be skinny." Heh. I have always struggled with my weight and found that in my 20s I could EITHER change my eating habits OR get serious about exercise and I would lose weight. When I turned 30 I found that I had to do BOTH. And now that I'm 40, forget about it. My metabolism is apparently shot to hell. And I had to get glasses for the first time in my life. So basically my body just totally fell apart on me. 30 was good.
posted by angelfish at 8:07 PM on October 10, 2006

Oh wait a minute, you asked what's so GREAT about turning 30, not what SUCKS about turning 30. Um... what everyone else said. (sorry) But to make up for wasting your time on my earlier post, I'll give you a link to the lyrics of Tim McGraw's song "My Next Thirty Years." Of course it's better to listen to it than to read it, so see if you can find a copy fo it before that big birthday!
posted by angelfish at 8:08 AM on October 11, 2006

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