Who on Earth thought it was a good idea to proliferate the idea that everything in your life magically falls into place when you turn 30? We’re still trying to figure that out, but when we locate this ill-informed individual, we plan to sit them down and have a serious talk about a lot of the things people tell you to expect when you turn 30 that simply aren’t true.
Yes, you’ll become noticeably irritated with those annoying, know-it-all kids (and “kid” will come to mean anyone under 30, obviously). Also, you’ll be more likely to call it a night earlier than you used to in your 20s, more affected by what you do or don’t eat, and you’ll definitely experience a moment where you’re suddenly aghast at the fact that you graduated high school well over a decade ago (OMG, where has the time gone?!).
Because we don’t want some of those life-altering expectations we hear about all the time to set you up for disappointment, here are some rather surprising things that *don’t* happen when you hit the big three-oh.
1You don’t just magically get your shit together.
We hate to break it to you, but all that idealistic talk about how turning 30 means you have life all figured out is just one big fantasy. And the idea that you’re supposed to have it all figured out is a bunch of BS pressure that you can feel free to totally ignore.
Yeah, by the time you hit 30, you most likely have a better handle on navigating life than you did as a 20-something, but it’s just unrealistic for anyone (and that includes you) to expect a person to acquire ALL of the answers and spend the rest of their time here coasting along in a perfect life that was created in a mere three decades.
2You don’t wake up the next day instantly wiser and all-knowing.
Unless you went to sleep as an oracle of your 30s, odds are that you won’t undergo some divine metamorphosis on the morning of your 30th birthday. It takes time and life experience to develop knowledge like that, and celebrating another birthday won’t magically make up for that.
3You still might not have the career of your dreams.
Despite what others may tell you about entering the third decade of your life, you may still be working on nabbing that dream job when you turn 30. You might find yourself wanting to change careers, but have no idea what you’re doing. And guess what? It is honestly okay, and you will be fine.
According to Time, there are age-specific ways to make successful career moves in your 30s, none of which involve panicking and giving up on yourself because you should’ve already landed a fabulous job by now.
Most importantly, take it easy on yourself. There’s no need to make things more tense by pressuring yourself to live up to some societal standards that basically make people feel bad about aging.
4You don’t instantly change your mind about having kids.
By this time, it seems like everyone you know is either engaged, married, pregnant, or a combination of the three. This may cause your views on parenting to shift, and it’s fine if it does or doesn’t. Regardless of how you feel, you can certainly expect others to freak out about you having kids in your 30s. Luckily, you do get better at handling external pressure and expectations about how you live your life by the time you reach 30, so you won’t sweat it. You’ll find that you’re more focused on living a fulfilling life that suits you, regardless of what your peers are doing.
5But you don’t stop caring entirely about what other people think.
We know you’ve read literally everywhere that the effs you have to give about other people’s opinions go flying out the window at light speed when you turn 30. The sobering truth is that other people’s opinions still impact you on some level, and here’s the thing: They should.
Tasha Eurich, psychologist and author of the book Insight, says that being aware of what other people think of you is an indicator of high self-awareness:
6Your body image issues don’t disappear.
Um, no. This simply does not happen, people. Even if you’ve yet to undergo physical changes associated with having kids (which does a number on your body, for real), you still don’t belong to some exclusive age group where body image issues aren’t allowed inside to party with all the other worrisome problems in your life.
If you’re still trying to pull it all together one day at a time when you’re 30, don’t stress. It just means you still have something in common with the rest of the human race.