How To Make The Most Of Your 30s, Because It’s Too Great Of A Decade To Waste

As much as I feared my 30s, turning 30 was a relief. It was finally nice to get over that hill and slide into a new decade that definitely had more promise than the last one. My 20s were a hot mess, but alcohol and poor choices tend to create such messes. However, my 30s were the time in my life that I wasn’t going to so royally messed up. I wasn’t going to half ass them, but instead really make them count. If you didn’t make the most of your 20s, then it’s time to step it up a notch. Here’s how to make this amazing decade count.

  1. Get off your ass and see the world. By the time you reach your 30s, there’s a good chance you can finally afford to the see the world a little bit, so make sure you do that. Even if you have no one to travel with, take the risk to go alone. There’s a great big world out there and you should check it out.
  2. Open a retirement account. Not to be a killjoy, but you’re not getting any younger! When you hit 30, it’s time to accept that you won’t be young forever, and that you need to prepare for the future. If your company doesn’t offer a 401k, then open up a retirement account on your own.
  3. Become friends with your parents. After years of butting heads with your parents, your 30s is the decade when you finally get to know them as not just mom and dad, but your friends, too.
  4. Focus on your career. We spend a good chunk of our 20s from jumping from job to job, trying to figure out what’s the right fit, which makes your 30s the time to finally find out what suits you and focus on it. You no longer have a job; you have a career.
  5. Wear mini-skirts and bikinis. Why? Because fashion magazines will be telling you that by the time you’re 35, you’re too old for such things. Screw ‘em.
  6. Go makeup-free more often. Even if the thought of leaving your apartment without mascara puts your head into a tailspin of OMGs, give it a try. Your skin isn’t going to be this beautiful and wrinkle-free forever, so show it off.
  7. Learn to cut your losses. In a relationships that sucks? Ditch it. Have a job that totally blows? Bail. Just realized your BFF is actually a backstabbing jerk? Walk away. Your 30s is the time in your life where you quit trying to fix things that are clearly broken, and move on to things that aren’t.
  8. Appreciate where you are in life. The 30s are great for self-reflection because not only have you come so far, but you also have so far to go. It’s a time to really appreciate the ups and downs of your teens and 20s that got you to this spot, and get excited for what’s next.
  9. Put yourself first. This one takes a while to realize just how important it is, so when you do, don’t let go. There’s nothing even remotely selfish about putting yourself first  it’s called self-preservation.
  10. Quit apologizing. Women apologize way too much, so once you reach your 30s promise yourself that your days of apologies are long gone. Unless you accidentally knock someone over with your giant bag of Jimmy Choo heels or step on the toe of little kid who tried to cut you in a line at the ice cream stand, you have nothing to apologize for, so quit it.
Amanda Chatel is a sexual health, mental health, and wellness journalist with more than a decade of experience. Her work has been featured in Shape, Glamour, SELF, Harper's Bazaar, The Atlantic, Forbes, Elle, Mic, Men's Health and Bustle, where she was a lifestyle writer for seven years. In 2019, The League included Amanda in their "15 Inspirational Feminists Every Single Person Should Follow on Twitter" list.

Amanda has a bachelor's degree in English and master's degree in Creative Writing from the University of New Hampshire. She divides her time between NYC, Paris, and Barcelona.

You can follow her on Instagram @la_chatel or on Twitter @angrychatel.