30 Things I Learned By Turning 30

Aamir Hafiz
6 min readJun 28, 2020

What we can all learn from getting older

Photo by Alex Harvey 🤙🏻 on Unsplash

It seems like yesterday I was a kid. Cliche, I know. Fact, yes it is. I bet if you’re around 30 you can easily point out similarities to your parents and also describe how you’re different from them. I know I can. People say the older you get the more you resemble your parents. I never believed that until my siblings started pointing out similarities between me and my dad (yikes), but the more I thought about it the more I realise they were right. So in saying that, let me introduce what I’ve learned by the age of 30, maybe you will relate to these things or maybe you will scoff at them, regardless, I present to you in no particular order:

  1. You get slower. In most things. Waking up in the morning to making breakfast, unless you have work early in the morning of course! This perceived slowness is minute but I notice it already.
  2. More aches and pains. Where the hell did they come from? I swear my diet is the same, okay my stress levels tend to be higher but I sneakily blame everybody else for that.
  3. When I’m out for a long day, say, hill climbing, brisk walks, running etc., I come home exhausted and just want to go to sleep. But then I need to get changed first, have a meal, tidy the house etc. It gets frustrating. I wonder why my energy has been zapped so much. Is it the loss of electrolytes? I haven’t ran a marathon but it sure feels like I’m 60, not 30.
  4. Grey hair. Yep. That one. Though my hair looks good so far (check my profile picture), i do see sprinkles of silvery-grey distributed throughout my temples. It’s not much but it’s there. Friends have noticed but say it suits me. Who knows.
  5. Thinning hair, receding hairline. Yes, had to put this separate to number 4 above. Some will get grey hair and receding hairline separately. For me, hardly anything had receded but I do notice a slight thinning of my hair. Watch out dudes, your hair is one of the first things to give off your age. Keep it conditioned!
  6. Back pain. Again, similar to number 2. Though the pain is specifically the low back. Now I will admit I’ve had back pain for years now. It was caused by a mixture of weightlifting constantly and little rest and also too much sitting. Sitting is a big back breaker, but unavoidable. All we do is sit, most jobs require sitting (sigh).
  7. Schedules. Yes, schedules and more schedules. Appointments etc. Before, I could remember what I needed to do for the days ahead, now I refer to my trusty Google calendar to remind me! Get ready for this one, your life will become like a lego block; the more you add the more you need to be careful that too much doesn’t topple it all over!
  8. Reading. I thought after I graduated I wouldn’t read so much. We were fed these lies. All lies. Reading never stops but in fact tends to increase since you have more time now. Reading is especially important if your job requires constant updating of knowledge. I know mines does.
  9. Spell-checks. Hey, you may have spotted a grammatical error right now, but I ain’t perfect. I used to be great at spelling bees but as time went on and as more vocabulary was added to my dictionary, I started forgetting how to spell the basics sometimes. I really hate that.
  10. Confidence. I was a nervous wreck as a kid. Partly why I liked studying psychology because they had the best answers. Still do. But as you get older you get more comfortable with yourself and your identity. Others will notice and respect you for it.
  11. Crystallised intelligence. A form of intelligence gathered by years of study and practice. You’ve earned it when you hit 30 and beyond. Naming this place and that place, knowing a bit about everything. Life’s good.
  12. You realise the younger generation looks up to you though that notion has somewhat skewed over the years. Wasn’t it better when you asked your older sibling and they had the answer? Now you just google it, convenient yet boring.
  13. You are starting to make it in your chosen career. You have enough job experiences. Keep it up. It only gets better.
  14. The money’s coming in. Well not all, but some of it. Your focus is on bigger things, forget the new airpods or the new iphone. It’s all about soaking up those experiences now.
  15. Your taste for brands changes. Usually the 30s is all about knowing yourself and dressing accordingly. You forego the hype beast brands and transfer to understated clothing. You dont follow the crowd you rebel without a cause you.
  16. Diet, diet, diet. This was big for me. My diet changed drastically from 25 onwards partly due to a family inherited acid reflux issue. Not fun. I’ve had to leave the super spicy foods and over indulging. Farewell to eating whatever I wanted. Hello structured eating.
  17. Slower metabolism. Now usually people’s metabolism slows before 25, however mines has kept going though it’s definitely harder to stay lean. The body don’t shed fat like it used to.
  18. A more structured lifestyle. Less chaos and drama. I like that.
  19. More meaningful relationships. You get to abandon those that don’t serve you (positively) and befriend those that create meaning and happiness in your life. After all, true societal circles are finite, so choose your friends wisely.
  20. You get closer to your parents. I used to be so distanced with them as a teenager but now they are my social support.
  21. Your own house! Well, if you have enough for a deposit and mortgage. More millennials are staying with their families however that should not discourage you to save and cut spending where necessary.
  22. You value your belongings more. You hold on to that favourite sweater longer, you stop buying new smartphones each year, in general, you take care of things, as if all of them are sentimental.
  23. Perhaps birthdays are less meaningful; you would rather not focus on your age right about now! I stopped celebrating birthdays when I was 12 but hey, your mileage may vary.
  24. Time! It’s still difficult for me to be 100% productive but I’m working on it. Being 30 means you value time more and try to streamline your life’s chaos.
  25. You need eye-glasses. Yep, that one too. My eyes have steadily grown weaker over the years and I can feel each year things get ever more blurry. I’ve even walked by people I knew, why? Because my glasses are for driving and computer use, but I’m half-way in psychedelic land when I don’t wear them outside now.
  26. I enjoy reading and writing which is why I have passion for medium. I’ve always wrote fictional stories as a child but never got in to serious writing. I guess now may be the time to access that hidden talent of mines.
  27. The media is crazy, in fact most people are crazy. I used to rely on adults teaching me, now I rely on myself. The more I live the more I see the reality of people. In one sense it’s good, in another, it feels like you woke up in to a horror movie.
  28. I have become a minimalist. Again, it’s a philosophy I adhered to when I was a child as I hated too much objects in the house but now, everything I own is something I think I will hold on to for a while. I tend to wear mostly the same clothes (yes I have multiples of the same tees).
  29. You start focusing on a future where you have your own partner and children. Marriage becomes an important topic. It’s a big decision. Think before you dip your toes in to it.
  30. You have the belief everything will turn out for the best. After all, your life experiences have taught you how to problem solve and have integrity.

“You can’t go back and change the beginning, but you can start where you are and change the ending” — C.S. Lewis

So there you have it, 30 things most people are likely to encounter by the age of 30. If your list is different, what is it? What have you learned by reaching 30? Comment down below. Until next time!