Day 331: Advice About Being However Old You Are (especially if you’re in your 20s)

by ashleighpenrod

I keep seeing Facebook posts from my 20-something friends about 20-something stuff – everything from how to make the most of your 20s while you’re still young and free, to how to get through your 20s without having a complete meltdown.

At the ripe old age of 30, I feel I have to share my own wisdom on this topic. In fact, I’ve kind of shared it before. Here are some more helpful tidbits:

1. Things get better as you get older. You can argue this if you want, but it’s really all about state of mind. I know some pretty happy and awesome 80-somethings who aren’t worried about what’s going to happen to their youthful 80-year-old skin when they turn 90. They’re mostly just trying to see the world and soak it all in.

2. No one cares whether you’re 26 or 34. Once you’re no longer able to stay out until 3 a.m. and go for a spritely jog at 7 a.m. the next morning, those ages are pretty much all the same (although I continue to profess that 30 is, like, the best year ever).

3. You don’t need to accomplish [insert random measure of job or domestic success here] by the time you’re 30. My own opinion on the matter is that you should aim for having a healthy sense of self, a few really good books, some kind of experience in the online dating world (it’s just so cool and weird), and a credit card with a bunch of plane ticket purchases on it. Also, you should have a really good plan for paying off that card.

4. Habits are habits are habits. You can always make or break them – and you should, no matter how old you are. If you wasted your twenties doing what you always do and not learning how to build your own computer or light a one-match fire, have no fear. There’s still time to get going.

5. Look out and up. Make sure you’re good in your own mind and body, and then turn your focus away from yourself. You can be a force for positive change in the world no matter how old you are, but if you spend too much time reading about yourself on buzzfeed, you’ll have a hard time ever being happy. That said, this buzzfeed list shows a bunch of pugs wearing Halloween costumes. So, that’s cool.

6. You know. I mean, you just know. Your intuition has been lurking around in your gut for years, but once your metabolism slows down, you’ll finally start to notice it. Say hello to it. Nurture it. Listen to it. It’ll be your best friend, especially when its alternately advising you to stay home, turn off your phone, and get some sleep, or to get your butt out of your sweatpants and go to a dance party.