6 Ways Your World Changes When You Begrudgingly Enter Your 30s

Do you remember "the good old days?"

It was the time in life when everyone was carefree and nothing really mattered.

But, getting older happens to all of us, no matter how hard we try to avoid it.

Like a rite of passage we didn’t necessarily sign up for, that pivotal transition from a 20-something to a 30-something sometimes feels more like a punch in the gut.

You go from having a killer social life and an incredible metabolism to working for the man.

For many people, life changes drastically. But as a 30-something, the most important thing I've learned is to laugh at yourself.

Here are a few hilarities you can look forward to:

1. Coffee Habits

20s: The 20s version of "I need coffee" is cute, really.

"Gosh, I’m so sleepy, and it’s just past lunch. I think I want a Starbucks."

I liked to change it up by adding flavors, sweeteners and creams.

It wasn’t a requirement.

I considered coffee a 4 pm treat to top off the day. Ain’t that sweet?

30s: Once the morning punches you in the face, it’s like an IV bag of coffee is needed.

It’s not a fun little treat anymore.

Those mornings I don’t have coffee, I’m desperately searching my cabinets for just one little K-cup.

Maybe one rolled away, or maybe I still have that crappy starter box with all the different varieties I never wanted in the first place.

I still enjoy switching up creamers once in a while, but that's also just child’s play.

I’ll take it strong and black if I have to.

Mmm, coffee.

2. Gym Routines

20s: Let’s face it: We went to the gym in our cutest, tightest pants, and we had ulterior motives.

What a great place to look for dudes.

I mean, if he was into fitness, he just had to be a good catch, right?

Which guy with broad shoulders and a good sweat going wouldn’t be the soulfully intelligent man of my dreams?

So, we met our gal pals at 8 pm and worked real hard on that StairMaster.

Never mind the sidelong glances across the room to the free weights area.

30s: Gym? Who the hell has time to go to the gym?

I finally purchased a treadmill last year, just so I can run on the hamster wheel at home.

I walk in from work at 5 pm, and I have absolutely no desire to interact with any more members of the free world for the day.

Convenience trumps cute outfits.

Through the trial and error of our younger days, we figure out not all gym rats can recite Shakespeare or hold a conversation.

So, I run at home or pop in a home video.

You mean there’s a 25-minute video in existence that’s going to give me the same bod I used to work three hours on? Sold.

Minutes later, I’m wiping the liquid awesome off the floor and high-fiving Shaun T. through my TV.

Not only did he kick my ass, but I’ve also got dinner done in the crockpot in the next room.


3. Hangovers

20s: They were a badge of honor, remember?

You walked in to a Friday morning lecture with a ball cap and sunglasses on.

At least one friend would high-five you on the way to your seat.

You had another amazing Thirsty Thursday, and you really didn’t feel that bad.

You just had a slight headache and were a little thirsty.

It was all totally worth it because you rocked it with your gal pals until 2 am.

30s: Hangovers become a scarlet letter.

How flipping embarrassing. What the heck just happened?

Why do I feel like a train has run over my face?

I’m nauseated, my head is pounding and it’s going to take three days to recover.

Never again.

4. Skin Care

20s: Some of us thought tanning was a good idea.

The darker the tan, the thinner the thighs, right?

We all drank that Kool-Aid at some point, and we hit the ultraviolet rays one too many times.

"I just need a little pre-tan so I don’t burn on spring break. It keeps my skin from breaking out!"

30s: I’m wondering why no one told me I looked like a Dorito with super white teeth back then.

Not to mention, why did no one warn me about all the harmful effects?

I don’t tan anymore for lots of reasons. But really, shouldn’t cancer be enough of one?

Not only do I not tan, but I also spend a small fortune on skincare to reverse those super awesome signs of aging.

We go from being 22 and buying monthly “bronze goddess” packages to being 33 and spending a week’s pay on top-of-the-line beauty products that claim to make me look 10 years younger, minus the tan.

Oh, the irony.

5. 9 pm

20s: This was the witching hour.

Meet your girls for dinner, load up on something carby to negate the effects of too much alcohol and then, party.

30s: Carbs are now the devil. I get excited for 9 pm for a different reason.

The house is quiet. I can put on my ugliest, fuzzy pants and hit the sack.

Huzzah. It’s like winning the 30-something lottery every night.

6. Friends

20s: You had tons of them. There were 500 people in your cell phone contacts, and they were all “good people” you’d meet for lunch or a movie any time.

You saw them a lot, too. Everybody hung out at the same haunts.

You ate together in the commons between classes. You were meeting new people all the time.

The more the merrier was your motto.

30s: Who has time to make friends? Unless they’re longtime BFFs, the only new people you meet are at work.

You’re down to three, and they all have nicknames that pop up on your contacts list that are related to some inside joke.

It's quality versus quantity.

Nowadays, free time is the most important form of currency you possess.

You don’t want to waste it on people who aren’t "your people.”

Adulting is hard.

We eventually have to come to terms with the fact every decade ends.

Every bit of fun you had in your 20s will soon be a memory.

More importantly, though, when the battle cry sounds and you are forced to cross the picket line into that third decade, remember to take all of your crazy, fun-loving personality with you.

Everything we do in this life is a choice.

We can either choose to laugh at ourselves and be happy, or we can choose to take everything too seriously.

I choose to enjoy the now and to look back on the good times with a smirk and an eyebrow raise.

Would you do it all over again?

Hell yes, you would.