30’s the new 20

It seems so many people fear turning 30; feel that they haven’t accomplished everything they wanted by the time they reach that benchmark. But if this is the overwhelming sentiment then maybe we need to start reevaluating what is expected of a 30 year old.

50 or 60 years ago the average worker was not expected to have a masters degree let alone a doctorate. Now it’s almost required. When I was looking for jobs a while back I can’t tell you the number of unpaid internships that require a masters degree. In addition, people no longer stay at a company for 30 years and move up the corporate ladder. Nowadays people move laterally not vertically, therefore our job titles don’t always demonstrate our experience.

50 or 60 years ago, people graduated from school with no debt and many of jobs available. Now students graduate with $100,000-$200,000 in student loans. According to CreditCard.com, the average college grad has $20,000 in credit card debt. The idea of owning a house with a picket fence, let alone supporting 2.5 children seems impossible.

What I see as a positive shift is more people in their 20s are seeing the world, taking gap years, pursuing their interests, and trying many different jobs – It’s all very HeSo! The 20s have become a decade of self-exploration and development, whereas it used to be the years when you start laying down roots, and “making something of yourself.”

Our life expectancy has increased, and we’re aging better, and doing more in our old age. 50’s the new 40 and 40’s the new 30. We would all be better off if we just accepted that 30’s the new 20. Us youngings need to stop holding ourselves up to imaginary expectations for an arbitrary benchmark.

Any thoughts on this?


    1. Thanks for the interesting article. Yes, there is the pesky issue of biology, and I can’t help but feel jealous for men who don’t have that clock ticking in the back of their head. Mike would tell me I’m being incredibly sexist, but I do think it’s harder for women (who want to have kids) to make decisions that will delay or even end the possibility of having kids.


    1. I would like to hear more stories about people graduating from college in their 60s or becoming an artist after they retire. I would like to celebrate persistence and risk taking rather than (what seems like ) pure luck. I think the media focuses on success and youth too much, so us young folks feel like we’re unsuccessful if we don’t invent something like facebook, or have a number one hit song by the time we’re 22.


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