From “age is nothing but a number” to “I’m almost 30”, we all went from carefree indifference to panicked thoughts of how turning 30 is the worst. Even if you say you don’t care about hitting 30, there’s some part of you that thinks otherwise. Surviving is vital in your 20s and shaping a career and figuring out what exactly you want to take the centre stage. The post 30 phase seems to be more difficult as one has to grow more responsible and take life a little more seriously. While life lessons keep coming in any time and from anywhere, there is no other “wake up” call as efficient as your 30th birthday.
Life is to be enjoyed to the fullest, no matter the age. But a few wise lessons can help make it a little better and stable. Here are 10 things every about-to-be 30-year-old should know with real-life advice from real women.
10 Lessons To Learn Before You Turn 30
1. Start Saving Money
20s are spent enjoying the first job, the first paycheck with parties, outings and a little indulgence. While all this is essential, now’s the time to start saving your hard-earned money. If marriage is on your mind, start saving for the wedding, honeymoon and your future together. And if you plan on launching your own startup, there’s nothing better than building a safety money net or funding your venture with capital. Also, since many private companies don’t offer pensions, it’s wise to invest and save for retirement. Investing your money can be an overwhelming idea, but it’s the only way to create wealth from your savings. Here are top alternative investment options to help you kick start your savings and here is a guide on investing through SIPs.
TC46’s 29-year-old founder Akshita Gupta puts forth a crucial point, “When you are financially independent, there are a lot of decisions you can take without needing outside validation. This stands true for women.”
“Start saving for your retirement. Remember, most of us love our private jobs but we won’t be getting pensions, so savings are an integral part of your life. And lastly, live your life the way you want to!”, says Shilpa Vermani, a 37-year-old Test Specialist at Coforge.
2. Live In A New Place
Move and live in a city other than the one you grew up in. After turning 30, you are too tied down to pick up everything and move somewhere new. Everyone should do it for at least a year, and the chances that you will do it after 30 are pretty slim. And if you live with your family, living on your own before you get married or live in with a partner is a must. It gives you some much-needed independence and the chance to get to know yourself better.
“It’s a dream of mine to move into my own place and it’s taking over all other thoughts. Having resided with my parents and brother for almost 30 years, I now want to live on my own. I yearn for the day I can sit braless in my living room and sleep without clothes. I can’t wait to be able to have my partner over any time and enjoy some true quality time!”, says Srushti, the author of this article, who turns 30 in 5 short months.
3. Take Care Of Your Body
The chance to develop good eating and exercise habits is here and you must seize it. The human body seems indestructible when you are young, but reality sets in the older you get. Remember the good old days of hangover-free weekends after a night of drinking? And now, sneezing the wrong way can hurt! You start to gain weight in places you didn’t know you could. And it seems to be more difficult to adopt good habits later in life. So start exercising, join a gym or simply learn which yoga asanas are great for beginners here.
And the focus is no longer just physical. It is vital to take care of your mental health as well. There are plenty of issues that can plague you like anxiety, depression, insomnia and more. And while exercising regularly and eating healthy does help, so does therapy and counselling.
4. Focus On Living A Fuller Life
TC46’s very own Yashna Kapasi, who recently turned 29, shared some wisdom, “I am definitely feeling nervous about turning 30. You are expected to know certain things, do certain things and be certain things. Even though the world now has a refreshing outlook, with the “who cares?” attitude, I am still worried about disappointing some people and myself. So before I turn 30, I would like to do those things and be those things, I don’t have too much time especially with the pandemic ruining everyone’s bucket lists.
Some of the things on my bucket list of 20s would be – learning how to sew, going for a solo trip, bungee jumping, learning to skydive, colouring my hair blue and purple, free-diving with whales, learning to scuba dive, finish reading all the books I own, learning to file my taxes, finish watching all the ‘big-deal’ movies, and so much more!
Well, I have done some, and some are going to be carried forward to my bucket list of 30s, which I look forward to ticking them off.
With this pandemic, a lot of things have changed, a lot of perspectives gained, people are realising there is a lot to life than just studying, working and getting married. People have realised they want to live, do what they love, because life is too darn short. And bucket lists are going to be left halfway. And I used to fear not completing them too. But now I don’t anymore. I want to step into my 30s leaving my regrets behind. I want to try and do as much as I can but not feeling guilty, in case it doesn’t happen. I want to focus on living a fuller life than a hurried one.”
5. Go On Adventures
Whether it’s travelling the world post-pandemic or diving head-first into a sport, adventures can mean different things to different people. The key is to challenge yourself to a new experience and incorporate change that can bring you joy. 37-year-old Komal Bakhru, a freelance content writer, says, “Frankly, I enjoyed even my 30th birthday like every day and I still enjoy it. Completing twenties and reaching thirties was only a difference in number. Only my age was increasing. The change in me was not because of my age but out of circumstances. I made a bucket list on the very special day – planning solo trips, managing expenses carefully, getting more and more positivity in life, doing something for stray dogs, enhancing my personality, working hard to be more successful, earning more money, losing pounds, cutting off carbs and sugar, tea and coffee. I am still the same. Still trying to make changes, wherever required.”
6. Take Up A Hobby
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that a person with a hobby is most likely to spend their time wisely. Whether you have been wanting to learn how to paint for years or into a new trend of DIY jewellery-making, there’s nothing you can’t pick up at 30. Have a guitar sitting in a corner gathering dust or a pair of ghungroos that are keen to fill up the room with their melody? Join an online class! Learn calligraphy, photography, poker, candle-making or whatever your heart desires. A hobby helps you get in sync with your mind, body and soul, and helps ease the anxiety that comes along with the 30s.
7. Stop With The ‘Log Kya Kahenge’
Growing in Indian society and culture can condition you to think about other people and their opinions rather than what makes you happy. Women, especially, are prone to taking into consideration 100 things before they think about themselves. With weird expectations, limitations and rules being pushed onto women, 30s teach you to stop listening to anyone and everyone and to just follow your heart.
Akshita shares, “Society has a ton of preconceived notions, especially about women turning 30. For instance, “you need to be married by 30”, “you need to be a mother” and more. You can reach great heights of success, achieve your dreams and goals and you will still find someone to tell you what you should have done.”
8. Set Up Boundaries
“Indians, more often than not, are forced to respect people because of their age, stature, place in society and more. Many times, this and a ton of other influences erase your personal boundaries and people can become invasive. With this, some relationships, not just romantic ones but also family and friends, end up becoming toxic. If it is toxic, let it go as it’s vital to set up boundaries.”, says Akshita.
30 is the age most people find themselves, learn their own traits and things that work for them. This is also the time when you realise who supports you in which way, whose advice is worth listening to and figure out the toxic people in your life.
9. Be At Peace With Yourself
There is no rulebook for life, despite what society tells you. The pressure to do certain things at a certain age or achieve gender-specific goals is not at all valid. There is no competition in life and you will learn this at 30. Everyone has their own way of life, a unique destination they want to reach and battles they are fighting. Just try to be the best version of yourself.
Akshita explains, “For me, life has just started. I made the best of my 20s by experimenting with life, figuring out who I am and what I want the direction of life to be. And a great lesson I have learnt is to be comfortable with myself. I have seen friends take the “married at 25, baby at 28” route, making me wonder about where I am headed. But now I know that we all have our unique lives to lead. My advice would be to forget the past. Life is a string of mistakes and experiences so don’t regret anything. There are a lot of things that lay ahead of you.”
10. Experiment With Life
Try something unconventional, experiment with life and with yourself. You are at the age where you can break with tradition while being mature enough to deal with the results. Whether it’s sexual curiosity or lifestyle curiosity, go ahead with the idea. Really discover more about yourself without fearing judgment. Always wanted to travel alone but didn’t have the guts? Do your research, plan the trip and go! Want to experience a threesome? Communicate, adopt emotional and sexual safety and enjoy! Thinking about changing your entire wardrobe? Visit the Red Dot Shop here and shop till you drop.
Most importantly, don’t make turning 30 a huge deal. You have spent enough time in your teens and 20s worrying about what you were supposed to accomplish and what timeline you should be focused on. Or do, and throw yourself a super-duper awesome 30th birthday party and have a blast. Life keeps changing and it’s up to you how to make the best of it!