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Remember when you were a child and everyone over the age of 30 seemed SO OLD?
And then you start creeping closer to that big milestone, wondering where the time went and how you managed to transform into an adult human whilst still feeling like a helpless toddler.
Whether you like it or not, entering the third decade of your life is a big deal. You go through significant changes, both emotionally and physically; some pleasant, some not so pleasant.
So, if you’re approaching the big 3-0 mark, here are few things you should expect.
Your body changes
You’ll suddenly start looking at parts of your body, realising that they are THIRTY YEARS OLD and noticing that they don’t look entirely identical to the way they did in your early twenties. Weight is harder to keep off in your thirties and muscle is much harder to gain. In fact, you start losing muscle mass at a rate of around 3-8% after you turn 30.
You get wrinkles
As the cell renewal process slows down, your skin won’t have the fullness and plumpness that it once did – you may even start to notice the beginnings of crows feet and frown lines.
Your hair gets weird
It’s a sad fact but 40% of all men suffer hair loss by the time they hit 35. And whilst the hair disappears from your head, it reappears in peculiar areas, such as your nose, your ears and your face. And unfortunately, the ladies don’t escape this phenomenon as that once smooth upper lips starts becoming a little bit fuzzier.
Your sex drive peaks
Entering your thirties isn’t bad news at all, as for many people their sex drive will peak in their thirties; specifically for women who tend to have more sexual thoughts and fantasies during this age.
More frequent trips to the doctor
When you reach your thirties, your risk of cancer heart disease and chronic pain increases which may result in a few more frequent trips to the doctor; whether that’s just for check ups or booking an appointment because you’ve googled an ailment and convinced yourself you have 24 hours to live.
Your friends start getting divorced
In your twenties your started to panic as it seemed like everyone around you was getting married, shacking up and having kids; causing you to have an existential crisis. But the real sign of entering your thirties is seeing those same friends get divorced, perhaps even married for the second time. And, when you start to wander into your late thirties, you may even find that someone you went to school with has become a grandparent.
Questions about your romantic life will change
Instead of asking casual and innocent questions about who you’re seeing, friends and family member will start to show genuine concern about your single status and may even try to set you up with an array of, what they believe to be, suitable potential suitors.
Having a baby is not as easy as it used to be
Of course, it is by no means impossible to have a baby once you hit 30 (in fact, the average age of a first time mum in Ireland is 29.8 years old), but there are slight changes to your fertility, particularly for women, whose chance of conceiving each month drops to around 20%.
Hangovers are absolute hell
Remember when you used to be able to party all night, drink downright irresponsible levels of alcohol and go to work the next day? Yep. Those days are gone. Hangovers in your thirties are a living hell that feel like they might never end. Functioning the day after drinking simply isn’t an option and when planning a night out, you now need the buffer of an extra day to recover.
You have to start thinking about ‘old people things’
Words like ‘pension’, ‘savings’, ‘investment’ and ‘life insurance’ become your actual reality and you need to start making plans for the future. Research carried out by Bank of Ireland in 2013, however, found that 50% of people aged 30-45 had not yet started saving for retirement.
You won’t be able to eat like you used to
In your twenties, you would have thought nothing of having a bowl of Coco Pops or a family bag of Doritos for your dinner but as you get older, your body just can’t hack junk food the way you used to because the risk of heartburn and indigestion is too much of a threat.
The way you think about your parents changes
As you start to reach the age your parents were when you were young, you start to think about and appreciate them more. You also might start to panic a little as you realise how different your life is from theirs when they were your age.
You start lying about your age
Even though you know that 30 is relatively young, you’ll find yourself telling mistruths about your age. A lot of the time, you’ll just genuinely forget that you’re not in your twenties anymore.
You need to pee more
It’s thought that around 25-45% of women over the age of 30 will suffer bladder problems and often this means needing to use the bathroom a lot more frequently or having very embarrassing little accidents when you cough, laugh or sneeze.
You know yourself better
Your brain changes in your thirties. The cerebellum; a part of the brain connected to how we think, doesn’t stop developing until into our twenties. As we enter our thirties and the cerebellum stops developing, our personalities sharpen and we become a lot less anxious and agreeable, compared to how we were in our twenties.
The way you dress starts to change
When you get into your thirties, you might feel less inclined to wear the same kind of clothes you did as a twenty-something. And this isn’t necessarily because you think you’re too old and ripped jeans are too juvenile – you’re just much more concerned about comfort and practicality and the thought of going to a bar in a pair of six inch heels just seems nonsensical.
Everything you love is old too
This will occur when you find yourself hearing a song on the radio that you haven’t heard in ages, singing along to all the words and realising that song (which you feel to be a fairly recently released tune) is over 15 years old. You’ll watch the TV shows and movies you loved as a kid and think about how old they look now, compared to how modern they seemed when you were younger.
You’ll start to like your body more
With three decades under your belt, you’ll suddenly start to like an appreciate your body more. Having everything in working order will be more important to you than ripped abs, as you realise that you’ve got the body you’ve got and there’s very little you can do to change it. Research by YouGov found that women start to feel more comfortable with their bodies after 31.
You don’t ‘hang out’ any more
Socialising is very different in your thirties and often less spontaneous. As most of your friends have grown up jobs or families, you’ll find yourself having to schedule time to see them, rather than shooting them a ‘want to hang out text’ at 9pm on a Wednesday. And when you do spend time with your friends, it will probably be for dinner, rather than drinks.
You don’t know who anyone is
When you watch TV, you don’t know who 80% of the ‘celebrities’ are. You spent a lot less time watching reality TV shows and a lot more time watching things like the news.
Your goals change
For many people, their twenties are a stressful time in terms career. Once you’ve graduated from college, the next few years can be spent frantically working towards that dream job or panicking that you’ll be stuck in your dead-end weekend job forever. When you enter your thirties, your attitude towards work shifts. You become more realistic about your prospects and calmer about the future. But that’s not to say you give up in any way – most people see their greatest success and career achievement in their thirties and according to the National Bureau of Economic Research, the average Nobel Prize winning research is done when someone is 40 years old. Your Einstein moment may still await!
You start earning more
According to analysis by Payscale.com, women in their thirties will see a peak in their pay at the age of 39. Men’s salaries, however, will continue to increase until the age of 48.
You might still live with your parents for a little while
At your age, your parents may have been already settled down with house and a couple of kids under their belt, but reality in 2017 might be very different for you, as research has found that over 40% of those aged 30-33 are still financially dependent on their parents and 20% of those still live with their mum and dad.
If you smoke, you’re more likely to quit
Around 19% of people in Ireland currently smoke daily and around 33% of those are aged 25-34. However, along those who are 35 and over, there are more ex-smokers than smokers.
Your periods will be kind of ok
Periods are never really ok. Despite going through the cycle every single month of your life, you never quite get used to them. However, in your thirties, your periods are likely to easy up slightly as you’re your hormones get into a semi predictable pattern. During your thirties, your cycle will probably be at its most regular and symptoms such as cramping may ease up quite a bit.
People in their twenties are annoying
Once you’re confidently into your thirties and feeling like a somewhat responsible adult, people in their twenties will start to annoy you and you’ll wonder if you and your friends were that irritating when you were that age.
Your friends are fewer but better
When you and your friends get older and start settling down and focusing more on romantic relationships and careers, friendship become less of a priority. So you might find that the long list of friends you had in your twenties starts to dwindle as people no longer have the time to go out. The upside of this, however, is that you end up with better quality friendships that revolve around spending one on one time together, rather than going out drinking in a large groups.
You might be able to buy a house
As a twenty-something in Ireland, the thought of one day owning a home probably seemed like somewhat of a distant pipedream but as you enter into your thirties, becoming a first-time buyer could be a reality – as research from the Real Estate Alliance shows that the average age of a first time home owner in Ireland is 34. Despressingly thought, that’s compared to 29 in 2006.
You can’t stay up late and you can’t sleep in
In your twenties, especially after a night out, it’s pretty easy to wake up on a Saturday at 4pm and realise you have done nothing and will do nothing with your entire day. When you get older, this just become less of a physical possibility. You’ll find yourself tucked up at 10pm and completely alert and functioning by 7am – especially if you have kids. In that case, 7am will seem like a glorious lie in.
You’ll probably be happier than you’ve ever been
Whilst you might have to go some unpleasant physical changes in your thirties, it’s all part of the rollercoaster of life and aging. And it’s all worth it, as a study carried out in 2012 among British people over 40, found that they weren’t truly happy until the age of 33 and true contentment hits at the age of 38.
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