I think that by now most of us have seen the video circulating on social media about two sets of girls getting ready to go out and then in da club. It’s a hysterically accurate portrayal of differences between 20 and 30 year olds. Now that I am almost half a year into my 30s (wait! when did that happen?!?!), there’s no doubting that not only a number separates us.
Here are the ten ways I am different now than in my 20s:
1. Drinking- Confession: I didn’t get drunk for the first time until I was 19 1/2. While most of my friends were experiencing alcohol in high school, I decided to wait until college. And I waited until my first semester was almost finished. So I was late to the game. But boy did I make up for it in the following years! My best friend S and I would go out with our fake IDs Thursday, Friday and Saturday and depending on the week, even a Wednesday. I had a part-time job and a full-time school load but drinking never got in the way. I didn’t drink for pleasure. It was simply to get drunk. We drank a lot….and really horrible things. Vanilla vodka and diet coke. Midori sours. Kalimotxos (even though I still love one every now and then). Rum and pineapple juice. Anything to not taste the alcohol. Wine was out of the question. But now I love having a glass of wine every night and I like the taste. It’s not about getting drunk anymore. It’s about relaxing and having a good time with friends.
2. Hangovers- Drinking, of course, leads to the morning after. When I was in my early 20s, I would get a hangover every once in a while. But I would have the greasiest hamburger or Jack in the Box tacos and a huge, ice cold coke and it was magically gone. My friends, who were some years older than me, warned me about hangovers after turning 24. They were right but nothing compared to a hangover at 30. Instead of lasting merely a morning, they last all weekend. Drinking now leads to a careful examination of the next day’s activities. If I have even one class the next day, I’m sticking to my one (maybe 2) glass of wine.
3. Friends- When I was in my early 20s, I was trying to figure out who I was and my place in this world. Coming from a small town where I had had the same friends my entire life, I wanted to branch out. I made friends with anyone and everyone. People from college, work, a night out, friends of friends…I wanted to meet them all. Most of them weren’t the most meaningful friendships however it didn’t matter. But now I am happy to have a handful of close friends that have been there for me. And i don’t want anymore. Of course I’m still interested in meeting new people but I now know who my true friends are.
4. Coffee- I had my first cup of coffee during my first year in Spain. A hot cafe con leche one rainy morning before Spanish class. The jolt of caffeine it gave me was strong and enough to last me the 4 hours. After that, I became accustomed to the Spanish cafe con leche or in the States a latte. I wanted to taste the coffee as least as possible. And I could drink a cup of joe right before going to bed and sleep like a baby. Nowadays my tastes have evolved and a shot of espresso is all I need. And absolutely no later than 4:00 pm.
5. Relationships with my family- When I was in my early 20s, I still wasn’t too keen on my sisters. They had been around my entire life and I was eager to get away from them. Mostly they annoyed me and our relationship was strictly “as needed.” Somewhere in the last couple years I have actually started to like the women they have become. The annoyances are fewer and fewer and now are more reserved for special occasions. We can all get together for Christmas or family gatherings and laugh and have a good time.
6. Traveling- Since I got my first taste of traveling almost 10 years ago, I’ve been hooked. There is not a single place in this world that I don’t want to see. However my traveling style has, without a doubt, changed. Before it was seeing as many places as quickly and cheaply as possible. Now it’s all about the experience. I want to really get to know a place, understand it as well as possible. And no more hostels and fast food. If I don’t have the money to stay in a decent hotel and enough money to enjoy my time, I’ll stay home and save more until I can.
7. Partying- I suppose this goes along with drinking but I’ve noticed a big change in my partying style. I was never a huge partier, staying up until 6:00 in the morning every change I got. Which is not to say that I haven’t had my fair share of wild and crazy nights but it’s become much tamer. In fact, the last couple weekends have been hanging out with friends, playing cards or games until the wee hours of the morning. And I’ve had a blast. No need to go out in the rain and pay for overpriced drinks when I can stay at home (or a friend’s place) and enjoy myself just as much. However, I will say that I think all 20 year olds should be out partying as much as possible. Do it while you’re young and get it out of your system. Because once you get into your 30s, those wild and crazy nights are few and far between.
8. Shopping- I’ll admit that I’ve never been a big shopper. I see it as a necessary evil. But I do realize now that I buy even fewer things than I did a decade ago. Before it was all about buying cute cheap clothes that were in style. Now I look for clothes that are classic and well-made. I don’t mind paying a bit more for something I can wear for years because it will never go out of style. And instead of buying whatever is cool at the moment, I look for things that I really like and want to wear over and over again, even if it means paying a bit more.
9. Starting a family- If you asked me 10 years ago (hell, even 5 years ago) if I’d ever get married or have kids, my answer was a firm “NO!” I was certain that I was never going to get married or have little monsters of my own. I loved my nephew and he was enough to fill the maternal instincts I had (or lacked). Plus, a weekend with him was the best birth control ever invented. But now thoughts of having little ones creep in every once in a while. I’m still not 100% convinced but I know that the hubby wants a family of his own and realize that it will (more than likely) happen. It’s also weird to see that lots of my friends are starting or have already started a family and that I am, in fact, old enough to start one also (even though I don’t always feel like it). Maybe it’s all a part of growing up.
10. ????– I’m not sure. I mean, I’m only half a year into my 30s and seeing all the changes I have made in the last 10 years, I can’t even imagine the ones I’ll make in the next decade. Perhaps in 10 years I’ll even have a blog post about the differences between your 30s and 40s!
If you’re in your 30s, what changes have you experienced? If you’re in your 20s, what changes are you looking forward to seeing as the years pass? Let me know in the comments!