Things You Outgrow at 30

Things You Outgrow at 30

Millennials share things you outgrow at 30 and how they're changing



Let’s face it—our chronic jokes about back pain are more than half-meant. As Millennials who are approaching or are in our 30s, we’ve “found” ourselves (sort of), had our fair share of questionable relationships, and decided we never want to do that “one thing” again.


Whether you enjoyed your 20s or would rather not reminisce them through an Instagram #throwback, there are some universal early-twenties experiences we’d all rather not revisit. We asked a few Millennials to share what turning 30 means to them.


@mattychymbor Welcome to your 30s. Please enjoy your complimentary 3 day hangover. Curfew is 10pm. • • • • • • • #aging #funny #lol #memes #reels #30thbirthday #hangover #30 #comedy ♬ original sound – Matty Chymbor


Is 30 the new 20?

I’m no stranger to the fear of turning 30. I had quite the disdain for the idea until I turned 25, and my personal “Millennial-hood” began to make a 180. Most of my 30-fearing peers experienced strict upbringings, perhaps explaining the desire to remain in their 20s.


Still, some expressed the opposite sentiment—they can’t wait to turn 30 because of childhood pressures they’d rather not have to relive. Dyanne, a writer, tells us the number one thing she’s ready to leave behind is “Achieving. [I’m done] seeing life as a series of milestones and needing to be excellent in things I don’t really care about.” 


Thanks to the concept of 30 under 30, most Millennials think they must adhere to milestones set by their peers, parents and society. By now, we should be married with children, own property, drive at least one vehicle and have a flowering career. Apparently. 


According to Stephen, the concept of a dream job threw him for a loop in his twenties. Thankfully, he’s outgrown its clutches. He tells us, “Right now, my job is a means to provide for myself and my family, and that’s okay! While my career teaches me many life lessons, I find fulfillment in many other aspects of my life, like investing in my relationships with loved ones and creating memories with them.”


Comparison could be the death of us

Contrary to popular belief, the only race we’re running is the one against ourselves. Fresh Doctor of Medicine graduate Enzo tells us, “While it’s fine to be good at things and to compete, sometimes it can get unhealthy. You [want] to be better than everyone or prove you’re more dominant. From one-upping people to belittling them, a lot can happen if you let it swallow you up. You end up becoming unpleasant to be around and no fun at all. Just do your own thing, enjoy your progress, enjoy your friends’ progress and keep working to improve for you.”


Growing up in an academically charged Asian environment, Filipino Millennials are no strangers to seemingly impossible standards. Regardless of upbringing or educational attainment, we all share one thing: the unfaltering desire to be the best at something. Anything. 


Writer Reina says, “I no longer believe in Magis (doing more for Christ and others) or in doing more, being more. It's exhausting, and even when people acknowledge that you can do more and be more, chances are they will just give you more work or take advantage of your capabilities. I'm learning to say no more often at this age.”



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Gradually drifting friend groups

British psychologist and anthropologist Robin Dunbar says the average adult can cognitively maintain 150 connections at once. Now, that may seem overwhelming, especially to the overworked Millennial, but it includes an inner circle of only five close friends, followed by larger, more casual circles. 


As we age, so do our friendships and the value within them. Future surgeon Enzo says, “People live and do their own thing. That also means people grow apart. This isn’t to say leaving friends you don’t see is okay. I’ve learned not to stress too much about fitting in or having to see friends all the time. I’ve accepted that sometimes you’ll drift apart and not see people as much. Sometimes you’ll also be able to pick up from where you left off, and things’ll feel like it was the same since you last saw each other. You don’t have to see everyone, try to please them or stay close to everyone. You spread yourself too thin and just stress yourself out unnecessarily.”


Friendships shouldn’t breed competition. As someone chronically in long-term relationships, I can no longer count the times I’ve been asked about marriage (which isn’t a current priority) and children (which I do not want). With these loaded questions and subtle contention, we develop certain responses to unwanted pressures that make being almost 30 insufferable. 


Musician Francis tells us, “For me, it's the idea that I must follow timelines established and followed by most other people. Everybody grows at their own pace and deals with problems the same way. Just because certain socially-prescribed timelines work for many people doesn't mean they work for everyone.”


@itsamymillie Big fan of the 30 club. It’s fun over here. 🔥 #lifelessons #lifeadvice #inspiration #selfworth #relationshipadvice #amymillie ♬ Boy's a Liar Pt. 2 – PinkPantheress & Ice Spice


So is turning 30 even a big deal?

Everyone experiences their turning-30 crisis to unpredictable degrees. Some are married (some with children). Some are spearheading their envisioned careers. Some are still finding their way.


Perhaps 30 feels like a big deal because of how we survived our twenties. We were surviving college, hightailing it in and out of career opportunities, trying on different friendship hats, dyeing our hair, getting our first tattoos, falling in love (and falling out of it), experiencing loss, and coming out on the other side mostly unscathed.


As I approach 30, I’m happy to find relief from the initial panic I felt years ago. I’ve learned not to fear age. I’ve learned to let things be. I’ve earned my place in 30. Hopefully, you feel the same way.



Words Zoe Isabel Alcazaren

Art Matthew Ian Fetalver

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