21 Things That Completely Change From Your 20’s To Your 30’s

There’s a big difference being in your 20’s and 30’s. For one, your 20’s is pretty much easy sailing for a while, until you get to that point where life hits you in the face and everything seems to get “serious.”
As you get older, things change–inevitably–but, not just the big things. The small things change, too.

21. Stress:

20’s:

You stress about a lot of things, but you usually get over it in a matter of hours after. You’re not sincerely worried about your life because you have so much time left to do everything you need–what’s the rush?

30’s:

You feel as though your biological clock is ticking faster every single day. Your stress keeps you up at night, gives you hives, and makes you actually sick half the time. You wear worry like you wear your underwear.

 

20. Caring:

20’s:

You are constantly having FOMO and feeling inadequate if people leave you out of things. You need social validation from, well, everyone. People get under your skin more often than you’d like, but, you keep caring what everyone else thinks.

30’s:

You could not give less of a f**k even if you tried.

19. Injuries and Getting Sick:

20’s:

You’re indistructable–nothing can stop you. A little cold will not keep you in on a weekend. If you fall, you get right back up because you can not miss a beat. You only go to the doctor when your parents force you.

30’s:

Sleeping on the wrong side of the bed makes you feel like you need a trip to the hospital. You call your doctor about anything you find “off” or weird. You WebMD every single symptom known to mankind.

18. Talking on the Phone:

20’s:

You’d spend all night up talking to someone you like on the phone, having hour-long conversations because you can and think it’s adorable to spend the night discussing absolute nonsense with them. You text all day long, without any breaks, wanting someone to be available to you at all times.

30’s:

You frequently forget to bring your phone charger with you places and your phone usually dies. Or, you leave it in the other room when you get home. You don’t want to be bothered, by anyone, and you’re always forgetting to answer texts and calls.

17. Dating:

20’s:

Dating in your 20’s is filled with Tinder apps, drunken hookups at the bar, and playing the field. You’ll go on a first date with just about anyone–who doesn’t love a free dinner? And, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with sleeping with them on the first date. We’re young! We’re wild! We’re free!

30’s:

You take dating way more seriously because….well…you’re 30 and time is ticking. You want to find someone to settle down with, adopt a dog with–maybe have a kid with. Tinder is a no-go anymore, you’re switching it up to Match and eHarmony because you want someone serious, not a dick pic.

16. Food Shopping:

20’s:

You don’t have your student loans kicking in just yet (or, maybe you do), but you don’t care as much about paying them off yet. You grocery shop, when you have to, but you hardly ever get things you can actually cook for the week. Healthy? Yeah, right, bring on the Cheetos. And, as always, Seamless, Grub Hub, Postmates all day, every day.

30’s:

As you get older, the bills start racking up. You’re going to go food shopping and look for sales–even if it means getting store-brand ingredients. Also, Seamless is just not in the cards (most nights). You have to learn how to cook–and, meal prep the sh*t out of your groceries. Who can afford a $15 salad for lunch every day? Not us.

15. Getting Gifts on Holidays:

20’s:

Who doesn’t love going home for the holidays to see your parents giving you endless things you asked for and made a list of? Name brands, name brands, name brands. You can’t wait to take Snapchats of all the things your family and friends got you because pics or it didn’t happen.

30’s:

Getting nothing is absolutely incredible, you have no room in your tiny apartment to fit any more junk. And, when your parents get you socks and gloves, it’s like a true blessing in disguise.

14. Hangovers:

20’s:

You can drink as much as you want the night before as long as you grab a water bottle and some Advil on the way home. Your 20-something body is still ready to bounce right back the next morning after a nice shower and some breakfast.

30’s:

There is no hope for us at this point. Heavy drinking means you’ll feel that hangover pain for at least 2-3 business days. You can’t eat, you vomit-burp, and you curse whoever made you believe your body can still handle chugging beers.

13. Confidence:

20’s:

Your 20’s tend to be filled with self-doubt and questioning. You rely on a lot of different people for validation and always worry about what people will think of you. It’s normal, it’s life. You still want to dress great no matter where you are going–even down to the bodega to grab a gallon of milk, just because you never know who you’ll run into.

30’s:

You build a shield of “I don’t give a f**k” against the world. You’ll throw the trash out with no bra on, walk the dog in Crocs, and forget to shave your legs for a week without thinking twice. No one can break you–you are who you are and there’s no turning back now.

12. Friday Nights Out:

20’s:

Going out on a Friday night is a mix of clubbing, bar hopping, and Ubers home at 3-4 A.M. You pregame at someone’s apartment and see where the night goes. Usually, you’ll grab a brand new outfit for the occasion and spend an hour primping your hair and makeup. Of course, you spent the last 20 minutes before heading out the door taking selfies.

30’s:

A fun night out for you at this point is grabbing a nice dinner with some friends at a restaurant where you may have 1-3 drinks. Depending on how crazy your work week was, maybe you’ll go to a wine bar after for another glass or two. You’re usually home by midnight or 1 A.M.

11. Hygiene:

20’s:

If you brush your teeth in the morning, that’s doing a lot for you. You don’t own any floss, you have the cheap shampoo your parents used to buy when you were young, and you have no idea what it means to truly exfoliate.

30’s:

You wish you took better care of your teeth and your skin when you were younger, but you make up for lost times now. You do research online for the best toothpaste to protect your teeth and keep them pearly white, you buy shampoo that will make sure you stop losing hair in the shower, and you get anti-wrinkle cream because…it’s time.

10. Saving Money:

20’s:

You’re too young to think about buying a house, investing in stocks, mortgages, anything too “adult-like.” Sure, you don’t make a ton of money but you have just enough to shop and pay your bills. Saving? Why should we, life hasn’t hit us yet.

30’s:

Everything is too real right now. You have to think about having kids, getting married (affording a wedding) and having kids. How can have a family if we can barely make ends meet right now? Half of our paychecks goes right into the saving’s account.

9. Birthdays:

20’s:

Birthdays are important–we need to celebrate at least 2-3x. And, we have an outfit planned for a week or two in advance. You post a picture for each celebration on social media. You get angry when your friends forget to post 3 paragraphs and photos on Instagram about you.

30’s:

You hardly realize your birthday is coming up and you really care less to plan a huge celebration inviting the entire world. You’ll celebrate with a few close friends, if any, over a dinner if you’re in the mood.

8. Friendships:

20’s:

The more, the merrier. You want to be friends with everyone and anyone, especially when it comes to social media. All you care about it leaving comments on everyone’s pictures so they can return the favor. You make plans almost every weekend to go out because social butterflies are beautiful.

30’s:

Your circle gets smaller because you cut a lot of people out of your life. Getting older means a smaller tolerance for bullsh*t and you really have less time for drama. Once you screw us over, we’re kind of over the games.

7. Sunscreen:

20’s:

You don’t think as much about reapplying because you are dying to get that summer glow–even if it means getting a few sunburns here and there. You’ll even venture into a tanning bed for that “base” before vacation.

30’s:

You never go outside without it. You take skin cancer very seriously and don’t want to have to take a trip to the doctor to check out any moles and spots. Plus, you do not want to deal with the pain of a sunscreen, especially when you have a dress code at work.

6. Your Parents:

20’s:

In your 20’s, you probably still live with your parents or are the verge of moving out. You don’t truly love spending time with them–unless you have to–and you definitely screen their calls from time to time. Of course, you love them, but you don’t consider them your go-to peeps.

30’s:

You take a break from your work day to call your mom to check up on her. You want to ask your dad about finances and fantasy football when your company ropes you into joining their league. They end up being your go-to confidants. You also start realizing you will be taking care of them, sooner than you think.

5. Shopping:

20’s:

In your 20’s, you’ll buy things you can wear for specific occasions and places–and, if you truly love something and it doesn’t fit, you’ll buy it anyway. Why not, right? Super high heels you can’t walk in but are so cute? Buy. A shirt that your bra hangs out completely? Buy. The super short skirt you can only wear when you’re being ballsy? BUY.

30’s:

You buy things that are practical. You need to get something you can wear both to work and out for the night. You don’t want to buy anything that doesn’t fit or will not fit in a few months. Comfort over everything.

4. Social Media:

20’s:

You have to post a selfie every time you’re going out. You also go to specific places just to tag yourself there and catch a good picture there. Angles are everything. You have 10 photo editing apps and you need to ask your group chat if the photo is okay before posting. And, if you get less than 100 likes, you’ll delete it “by accident.”

30’s:

You use social media to stay up on the news and actual things going on in the world. You hardly every post selfies, or care who likes your statuses or tweets. You follow less of your friends and more publications and famous people because it’s more important to #StayWoke than #StayRelevent.

3. Kids:

20’s:

You may have baby cousins, or nieces and nephews, that are cute–but you can’t picture yourself ever holding a baby for too long. Kids are not in your eyesight and your friends are not responsible enough to even fathom having children when they get blackout before 11 P.M. on Thirsty Thursdays.

30’s:

Everyone is talking about having kids–how many, when, where. You’re getting more invitations to baby shows and having to spend more money on expensive registry gifts. You also realize that you hate a lot of people and you hate kids.

2. Cleaning:

20’s:

You pick the clothes up off your floor and make your bed, and consider it Spring Cleaning. You hardly ever dust down your TV and you have an entire collection of water bottles next to your bed. Your trash can is overflowing with junk and–you’ll “get around to it.”

30’s:

You have a Swiffer wet jet and Swiffer sweeper for dust and washing the floors. And, you just got a dust buster. You windex the table down when you’re done eating and always was your dishes after cooking. You have no time for mess.

1. Going on Vacation:

20’s:

You want to go somewhere on a beach where you can relax and take a lot of bikini photos. You don’t care how much it costs as long as you have WiFi on the resort. Somewhere that looks pretty in photos is a must. And, you’ll only stay in a hotel.

30’s:

You’re open to seeing the world and want to actually see places. You don’t mind staying in a hostel or taking cheap trains and airfare because the cheaper a vacation is for you, the more often you can go on them. You spend more time exploring than you do on your phone.

Written by Lex Gabrielle

A writer and teacher from New York City who fully supports messy buns and 3+ cups of coffee a day.