Growing up is hard. We have to navigate the ways of life to become adults when in reality, most of us just want to be out playing kickball during recess. Okay, maybe just some of us. But the fact is many people think youth is wasted on the young because they take it for granted. If only Benjamin Button had it right all along: get the old person stuff out of the way first and then live a life of youth and vitality.
But, sadly, that is not the reality we live in. We must learn from our mistakes, grow, age, wisen up, and become the adults we are destined to be.
That means that the things we did in our teens, we probably stopped in our twenties, and the things we did in our twenties, we should stop doing in our thirties. If you’re unsure where to draw the line, we have helped compile a list to help you live your best life.
Keeping Your Money in One Place
This is truly the ladder to success in becoming an adult. We started out with piggy banks, then grew to keeping cash in random sock drawers, then to a savings account, and now we most likely have real jobs and make an actual income. Sure, a savings account is good, and a checking account is okay, but if you really want to be an adult, be smarter with your money.
People have varied opinions on tipping, but if you’re at a full-service restaurant in the United States, then it shouldn’t be a debate. A lot of us have had jobs in the restaurant industry and we know, it’s not easy. What makes it worse if when you do your job and then you get stiffed by some people who choose not to tip.
Sure, college students maybe only be able to cover a 10 percent tip because they don’t have the means (which is hardly an excuse) but if you’re in your thirties, you should pretty much always be tipping 18-20 percent. Most American servers survive off tips and at the end of it, it should hopefully make you feel good about being nice.
You may not agree with tipping culture, but not tipping someone who's busting their butt isn't going to change it; all you're doing is stiffing someone with no control over the situation.
Living in the Past
Were you fired from a job? Or maybe interviewed for your dream position but didn’t get it? Did you try your hand at something and fail? Anything that you deem embarrassing that happened in your twenties is now pardoned in your thirties. Everyone has skeletons in their closet that hang on in the darkest corners of our mind, but we can’t let them control us.
Regret is dangerous downward spiral so it’s best to learn from the mistake, admit to it, deal with it, and then move on. Melanie Greenberg, Ph.D., says regret is "a negative cognitive/emotional state that involves blaming ourselves for a bad outcome, feeling a sense of loss or sorrow at what might have been or wishing we could undo a previous choice that we made.”
However, regret can actually help turn our focus around as a comeback story. Being in your thirties is the perfect time to learn from those past failures and move forward.
Worrying About Everyone Else
So much easier said than done. This one may always be with us, no matter what age we are, but the best we can do is try to let it not bother us so much. In high school and even in college, we ran in such circles with people that we tended to have one ear in front and one ear behind. But by now, hopefully you’ve come into yourself more and know your identity.
And if you’re comfortable in your own skin, then honestly, why bother with others' opinions? Confidence is the name of the game in your thirties, so wear it proudly and boldly. After all, we have all spent enough years worried about what others think.
And if you ever need a reminder, just listen to Dr. Seuss: “Today you are You, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than You.” And that's a good thing.
Hating Your Wrinkles (and Not Wearing Sunscreen!)
Wrinkles happen with age. When we reach our thirties, we’ve most likely had some life experience and stresses and definitely too many days in the sun without sunscreen. Therefore, we have some wrinkles. What we have also had are wonderful days filled with traveling, food, and laughter. All things that cause wrinkles. It’s time to realize the laugh lines on your face tell the stories from the good times, not the bad.
But we don’t want to get carried away, so be sure to use sunscreen every day. All it takes is 15 minutes of unprotected UV rays to make an impact. The American Academy of Dermatology says that one in five people will get skin cancer, and stresses the importance of sunscreen, so while kids can be more affected, adults need to get in the habit too. We can’t use the excuse of being young and dumb on this one. Sunburns are no joke.
Loving the Wrong People
Whether you had a bad-boy (or bad-girl) phase, or were a "fixer" trying to help your crush with their personal problems, or been in any other number of issue-based relationships, it’s time to stop. Hopefully you have fallen in love, maybe fallen out, and maybe got your heart broken, and those helped you learn, because now is the time to stop letting the bad ones in. Your love life shouldn’t be the stuff of country songs anymore.
Dating in your thirties is much different than from when you're younger. At this point, most of us crave stability. We've learned to live alone but want someone to share your already fulfilling life with. It’s time to focus on the good eggs and drop the bad ones.
While we conquered some more of the in-depth stuff to stop doing in your thirties, here are some more abbreviated things to stop doing in order to help you have a great third decade of life:
Social media stalking your ex. That's never helped anyone.
Sleeping away your entire weekend. Waking up before noon is actually pretty enjoyable.
Smoking. You should know better by now.
Eating junk. Treat your body better; it will thank you.
Hanging unframed pictures or posters on your walls. IKEA sells frames for just a few dollars. Come on now.
Washing your bath towel and sheets every three months. Haven't you heard of germs?
Texting while driving. It's not worth ending anyone's life over. The text can wait.
Ignoring flossing your teeth. Though opinions are split on this now, many dentists will agree that gum health is crucial to maintain before you get too old.