Nine Life Lessons You Learn by 30

A proper quarterlife crisis involves a certain amount of disillusionment, ennui, boredom, fear, anxiety, and growing pains. But those terrifying sounding emotions are the ones that get all the press—how about giving that “growing” some props for once?   Sure you’re in that weird nebulous post-adolescent pre-total-grownuphood other-space of life where you don’t quite have it together (or at least don’t feel like you do), but if you take a hard look at your life, there are at least a few things that you’ve probably figured out by now.
You Know What Friendship Is
Dating "Bad Boys" Just Isn't Worth It
Jagermeister Tastes Awful
Sunscreen Is Important
You Don't Know Everything
You Can’t Pull Off Every Trend
Living with Five Roommates Is Terrible
Your Degree is Meaningless
Everyone Compromises
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You Know What Friendship Is

In high school or college, friendship was mostly a matter of geography—who you had classes with or who lived down the hall or joined the same club. Out in the real world for a while, you’ve learned that real friendship is made of tougher and—and dare we say it—better stuff. (Although just wait until you’re in your thirties and everyone’s getting married and having kids…that’s when the real test comes.)

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Dating "Bad Boys" Just Isn't Worth It

All those hours you fretted about your major and wondering if it was marketable enough, if your GPA was high enough, and if your extracurriculars were impressive enough…and now you know that most employers just want to see that you’ve completed something. Who cares if it’s a degree in drama or basket-weaving or P.E.? Nobody cares about the particulars of what you did in college, only that you went and finished.

Jagermeister Tastes Awful

It’s a fact. You’ll wonder how you ever could have ingested that inky black licorice swill voluntarily.

Sunscreen Is Important

Right around age 25, you start to be able to tell who wears sunscreen and who’s a sun-worshipper—the sunscreeners still have dewy, youthful skin, while the tanners have the beginnings of crows-feet and brown spots. Which group do you want to be in?

You Don't Know Everything

Ever heard that saying, “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.” College makes you feel like you’ve got it all figured out, and that blinds you to the truth—which is that you know so little, you can’t even comprehend how little you know. Luckily, the real world is quite handy at disabusing you of the notion that you’re a twenty-two-year-old font of wisdom. At work, in relationships… the more experience you get, the more you realize how much more you still have to learn. This never stops.

You Can’t Pull Off Every Trend

Skinny jeans, thigh-high boots, hippie headbands, crop tops—you can’t win ‘em all. You’ve learned which ones work and that it’s okay to abstain from the ones that don’t.

Living with Five Roommates Is Terrible

It isn’t one totally awesome continuous bohemian girl-power slumber party estrofest. It’s just a pain in the ass. You’ve resolved that you’ll share your next apartment with only one other roommate and one dishwasher.

Your Degree is Meaningless

All those hours you fretted about your major and wondering if it was marketable enough, if your GPA was high enough, and if your extracurriculars were impressive enough…and now you know that most employers just want to see that you’ve completed something. Who cares if it’s a degree in drama or basket-weaving or P.E.? Nobody cares about the particulars of what you did in college, only that you went and finished.

Everyone Compromises

So you thought you’d be the lone she-wolf individualist who forged her own trail and never lowered her standards? You thought you’d ride the powerful wave of your idealism into a job where you’d change the world and find glory, all while carving out a perfect family life, because surely those older women and their talks of “work-life balance” didn’t apply to you. You were different, you were better. Or so you thought. Sometimes you have to take a job because you need health insurance. Sometimes you make the sensible, safe decision instead of the one that you’re passionate about. Sometimes you make allowances in your righteous ideology to account for the fact that quite often, life is just about getting through the day. Congratulations—you’re human.

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