Thought Catalog
February 24, 2014

25 Things You Should Do Before Turning 30

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What is the issue?
Even though Aaliyah (RIP) was all “Age ain’t nutin but a numba,” each and every one of us thinks turning 30 the worst. Even if you say you don’t care about hitting 30, there’s some part of you that’s all, “Well shit.” People always have ideas about things you should accomplish or do by the time you hit 30. I went over to AskReddit to see what everyone thinks people should do or have done by the time they are nearly half dead. Looks like people want to make a lot of money and have plenty of sex.

1. Start Saving Money

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Shutterstock

I started saving when I was 24. I was making $40k/year at the time. I started off by putting just enough into my 401k plan to get the maximum my company would match which at the time was 6%. After that, every time I got a raise, I would increase my contribution by 1/2 of whatever it was (so if I got a 6% raise, I’d increase my 401k contribution by 3% of my salary). My goal was to get it so 20% of my salary was going toward my 401k (so it was like 1 day per week of my earnings was my savings, and I lived on the rest). I switched jobs in September of last year, and stopped contributing to that 401k which was at 20.5% of my salary (vanguard wouldn’t let me do anything but whole percentage points, and my company match was 4.5% by this time). My 401k is worth about $10k more today than it was the last time I put money in (so I made $10k just on market gains in 5 months). I can tell you from experience that is a very satisfying thing to see.

2. Like, Really Start Saving

Don’t wait until you’re close to 30 either. I started contributing to my 401k at 27 and I’m barely into 5 digits. If I had started back at 22 when I should have, I’d be closer to six digits now, economy crash notwithstanding. Start saving for retirement NOW. Social Security ain’t gonna be enough.

3. Don’t Give A Shit About Turning 30

Not give a fuck about turning 30. Seriously. I spent a fair amount of time in my teens and twenties worrying about what I was supposed to accomplish and what timeline I should be focused on. To be honest, it was all bullshit. Lots of the suggestions here are good ones, but honestly, some of them might not apply to you and your life. Things I’m personally glad I did before I turned 30? Lived on my own is the biggest one, followed by engaging in a few relationships and getting my first “real” job. I think, in general, the twenties are about gaining life experience, whatever that means for you. I’m 34 now. The 30’s are the shit. Don’t try to put yourself on a timeline.

4. Be On Your Own

Peel yourself from the care of your parents.

5. Climb Out Of Your Box

Do something that scares the shit out of you.

6. Travel, travel, travel!

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Shutterstock<

Also, keep traveling after 30. Don’t assume that it’s some magic number and now you need to ‘settle down’. It’s a trap!

7. This Is Sad Kind Of

Get their heart broken. It teaches you more about yourself than anything else I can think of.

8. Take Care Of Your Health

quit smoking!

9. Do What U Want With U R Body Before It’s Too Late

Do something crazy with your body before it starts falling apart. It all goes downhill, no matter how heavy or unattractive or weak you feel now, aging is hell! I did a lot of fun things when I was younger, but now that I’m in my thirties I don’t have the same energy, the fuck-it fearless youthful attitude, nor the body I once had. Sure 35 isn’t that old, but already there’s a difference- and it’s not like I’m going to feel younger ten years from now!

10. All Of This Very Important Stuff

1. If possible pay off all debt and work on creating decent credit. Make sure you are financially independent and responsible.
2. Make yourself interesting. Develop hobbies, passions. Take up piano if you ever wanted to. Learn wilderness survival skills. Build a house. Whatever.
3. Be cool with yourself and who you are. If there’s anything you believe is a character flaw in yourself, work on it.
4. Sleep with a guy/girl out of your “league”. Leagues are all BS. Guess how you figure that out? Yup, sleep with a total babe.
5. Have a 2 year and then 5 year plan. The older you get, the faster time appears to pass. Don’t sit around and say you have time to do it, do it now.
6. Get down to your comfortable ideal weight. Your metabolism, if it hasn’t already, will likely turn to shit. Eat well, exercise daily and don’t forget to stretch.
7. If you haven’t done much already, travel. Being on the other side of the world affords you a perspective you can’t get in your backyard. That’s just the truth of the matter.
8. Keep your friends. Make time for them, they will in turn do the same for you.
9. Never say you are too old for anything unless it’s a guy/girl under 18.
10. Be cool with yourself! Yup I said it again. 30’s are all about confidence and maturity. Settle into who you are. Be comfortable with who you are. We get one life, make it a good one.

11. Life Is About Experiments

Try something very unconventional… experiment with life and with yourself. You should be at the age where you can break with tradition while being mature enough to deal with the results. This includes sexual curiosity as well and life-style curiosity. Really discover more about yourself without fearing judgment.

12. Try Living In A Brand New Place

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Shutterstock

Live in a city other than the one you grew up in. Basically, after 30 you are too tied down to pick up and move somewhere else. Everyone should do it for at least a year, and the chances that you will do it after 30 are pretty slim.

13. 30 Is Totally Overrated, Actually

Nothing changes at 30, some people are married with a family in their early to mid twenties, some aren’t. 30 isn’t some magical cut off age where you are stuck and cannot do anything about it.

14. Take Care Of Your Body

Develop good eating and exercise habits. The human body seems indestructible when you are young, but reality sets in the older you get. You start to gain weight. Hangovers are AWFUL. And it seems to be more difficult to adopt good habits later in life. Join a gym and eat a salad once in a while. You’ll be thankful you did.

15. Go On An Adventure

When I was 28 I quit my job in IT, sold all my stuff, and bought a one way ticket to Thailand. Spent the next 2 years backpacking around the world. Turned 30 while hiking in the Himalayas in Nepal. Met my future wife in Guatemala Best thing I ever did.
Go see the world, worry about money later.

16. All Of These Things

Get drunk. Get stoned. Get high as balls on ecstasy and acid. Don‘t end up dependent on any of those things. Figure out that you can have even more fun without any of those things. Fall in love. Have your heart broken. Get over it. Find someone else. Live with a person you love and learn to share your life with someone for a while. Fuck like bunnies and figure out how to keep the peace. Figure out how to stay friends when it ends. Travel. Live with nobody looking after you but yourself. Live somewhere where you don’t know anyone, and make friends with strangers. Do things that scare you. Sky dive, rock climb, learn to handle snakes. Figure out that your phobias aren’t that big a deal. Take some kind of fight sports class. One where you hit people and get hit. Something where you learn to fall, and keep going. Real fighting sucks – learn to give it the respect it deserves, without being scared of it. Get a job. Work at it. Love it or hate it. Do it anyway. Use the money for an adventure. Look after something, or someone. Get a dog or a cat or a goldfish, or just “adopt” a friend who needs some help. Learn the hard way that you can’t fix everything, and but experience how good it feels to make a difference to a living thing – sometimes they won’t appreciate it, but you’ll still feel something important.

17. Take Risks!

Have sex in a public place.

18. Think Hard About Whether Or Not You Want Little Ones

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Shutterstock

Consider whether they want kids!! Womens egg quality and number deteriorate rapidly in their thirtys and theres a misconception that artificial reproduction will save them. It wont always and leads to a lot of disappointment. Not saying you have to have kids before 30 but its worth noting your already past the peak…

19. Make Time For Stuff You Love

Learn to put in the time. Whatever it is. Whether it’s a relationship, a hobby, a passion, or a career. Learn to put in the time. I’m not yet 30 (5 months!) but I can tell you that putting in the time is about the best thing I’ve learned so far. Learning to apply yourself to something and working through the kinks and the failures and the small and large victories is what pays off in the end. And mind you – that end is a very distant thing, it’s the big end – way down the line. But there are a lot of little milestones along the way. And you know what? No one here or anywhere is going to tell you the “one thing” or the “right way”.

20. Be Yourself

Figure out who the @#$% you are.

21. Become An Actor!

Give community theater a shot. If you’ve ever been dumped, you’ve faced rejection harsher than not getting a call back from an audition. I’ve met some really interesting people (more good than bad) in theater.

22. This

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Shutterstock

I’ll tell you what I’d do. Two chicks at the same time.

23. And This

Two girls at the same time…

24. And This

Two chicks at the same time, man.

25. And This

A threesome.

There are people older than 30 who have threesomes, so just calm down everyone. TC mark