They say people with older parents are more likely to be attracted to an older mate. I haven’t looked for a mate yet, but in the friend scene I have definitely found myself attracted to the generation above me. Most of my friends are around their mid-thirties. I just seem to get along with that age really well. Fortunately, I have found this to be a very positive experience for me, so here is my big 10 list of why twenty-somethings should hang out with thirty-somethings.
1. Learn From the Master
As a twenty-something, it is important to know that you haven’t mastered anything yet. You may be on track to that one thing, but most likely you aren’t there yet. You may be like the majority of our generation and have no clue what you want to do, so you are busy exploring and floating, trying on what fits and what doesn’t.
The good thing about friends in their thirties is that they have had time to master whatever it is they are going to master. Their career is set, their salary is pretty well set, and so are their habits. While mingling with your thirty, flirty and thriving friends, check out their list. Does their career interest you? Could you see yourself walking a similar path? If yes, open your mind and learn. If no, open your mind and learn.
2. Let Them Spoil You
The good thing about thirty-something’s is that they should most definitely be making more money than you. While you are secretly living off of ramen noodles so you can afford that fab pedicure twice a month, take it as a compliment that an older male friend is willing to take you out to dinner or pay for a movie or a shot or two.
3. Learn, Learn, Learn
Your twenties are for learning and exploring and building the foundation for the rest of your life to grow on. People older than you just know stuff. They’ve already explored and seen and done, and if you take the time to listen to them you can learn an incredible amount of information about cars, food, the earth, different cultures–whatever. Just think how much knowledge you’ll have at the end of your deuce decade, now see that they already have that.
4. Save Money on Handymen
Another great reason to keep an older (male friend in particular), around is that they know how to fix broken doorknobs, bait mice traps, and change your oil–and for free of course! When you’re on your own it is pertinent that you have male friends with skills like these you can count on. Of course, a homemade dinner isn’t a bad gesture of gratitude for you to reciprocate afterward.
5. Experience New Music
I grew up listening to 60’s and 70’s classic rock, because of the age of my parents. In middle school and high school I mostly listened to what my friends listened too. The rap and the pop and the country music that was always mainstream. Since college I have found myself expanding my music genres. I now listen to a lot of Fleetwood Mac, some Tom Waits, DirtyHeads and even Otis Redding. I have older friends to thank for introducing me to this stuff.
Sometimes I think I’m pretty cultured in music, then I hang around my older friends and hear them talk about a lot of 80’s hip-hop and rock and find myself intrigued, asking questions, and creating new Pandora stations once I get home. There is always a new type of music to be found when you hang out with a crowd from another decade.
6. Learn From Their Mistakes
My thirty-something friends are quick to tell you that they aren’t perfect and never have been. At the same time their thirties have given them a more settled stage in life, which means their twenties were as wild as they should be and therefore they have plenty of lessons learned the hard way that they are more than willing to pass on to me before I even think about making the same mistake.
7. Get Advice–and Believe it!
Thirty-something friends are perfect for asking advice. They aren’t your parents and they aren’t out of touch. They are a simple step ahead of you, so they can give great advice on financial questions, dating, big purchases and so on. Always go to older friends before making a big decision.
8. For Darn Sure: TRAVEL WITH THEM
I have been blessed with the opportunity to travel with my older buddies. I find that this is the best way to travel. Thirties have the travel scene figured out. They know how to do it well and on a budget, without cheapening the experience any. If you get the chance to travel with these comrades, do it!!
9. Better Yourself
While people your age can be fun, they can also commonly be found doing kegstands and wasting hundreds of dollars on shots and strippers. Don’t get me wrong, this is fun at times, but every night gets to be a little much. Thirties are past this stage and can sit down and genuinely enjoy the flavor of a beer over the amount available. Drinking is more of a social scene and less of a contest to find a mate, chug a pitcher or shake dat a**. I think by sipping with the more experienced you can gain a lot of respect in many different circles.
10. Give Yourself Some Guidance
As you enjoy the deuce decade–drinking with friends, singing loudly Iggy Azalea lyrics and feeling happy, free, confused and lonely at the same time, make it a point to check out the generation ahead of you. What works for them, what doesn’t? Are there patterns you want to follow, or perhaps stay away from? Is that where you want to be in 10 years? Take these friends as a glimpse into your future, then plan accordingly. It is a blessing to have older friends.
And one other thing, don’t neglect people your age either. It’s nice to still have friends who have no reason to judge you for staying out all night and doing ridiculous things with no excuse. Live it up with the best of them all baby–you’re only young once!