With age comes infinite wisdom, and as a result, the things you thought were absolute truths in your 20s turn out to be a load of B.S. by the time you reach your 30s.
Appropriately, a recent thread in AskReddit posed the question, “What’s okay to believe in your 20s, but just dies off in your 30s?” Unsurprisingly, the responses got very real, very fast; and the entire thread was definitive proof that no one ever really has any idea what they’re doing, no matter their age.
Here are just a few lessons redditors believed when they were in their 20s, but had completely shaken off by the time they hit the big 3-0.
1. Your “real life” will start next year … or maybe the year after that. Surprise! No matter your age, this is your real life — and it’s up to you to make the most of it while you can.
2. Happiness is only achieved by accomplishing all your hopes and dreams. When you’re younger, it’s easy to imagine the endless world of possibilities ahead of you, and it’s even easier to associate all those possibilities with happiness. But as redditor EaterOfPenguins explains, sometimes the opposite of the “adventurous, crazy life” you’d envisioned is actually much better.
“So far, I’ve found that I’m happy every single day,” they wrote. “Way more than college. I still have goals and plans, sure, but the best part of every day is spending time at home with my little family.”
3. One day, you’re going to feel old. “I just assumed that with age came acceptance of my dreary fate,” littlecatfeet wrote. “Hasn’t happened yet. I’ve got a great marriage, a solid and rising career, two wonderful kids and a house. And every evening, as the kids build Legos and I look out the window and into the glow of the porch light, I still feel like I’m waiting for my mom and dad to come home and take care of me.”
4. You can go without sleep. As you get older, all-nighters become a lot harder to pull off, which is basically your body’s way of telling you that you desperately need sleep.
5. You’re definitely going to change the world. While it’s certainly not impossible, the older you get, the more you begin to realize that not everyone is going to change the world in a huge way — and that’s totally OK. You don’t have to make a big difference to make a difference.
6. “Your favorite band is going to last forever and never put out a bad album.” This one from stanleymodest speaks to literally every human ever.
7. There’s an age where you magically become an “adult.” Adulthood is a journey, not a destination, and everyone defines it differently.
8. You have all the time in the world. Not to get cheesy, but we’re never guaranteed tomorrow — so don’t use time as an excuse to put off all the things you should have done today. (As a procrastinator, this one’s tricky for me personally.)
9. All friendships are forever. You start to really learn this in your 20s, but some friends are only meant to be a part of your life for a little while. And that’s totally OK! Be grateful that they were in your life at all, and embrace that time you do have together.
10. Hard work will always pay off. Unfortunately, as much as we all wish it were true, hard work isn’t the only factor that comes into play when trying to achieve our goals in life. Luck is certainly a big part of it, and connections are another.
This shouldn’t keep your from trying your best, however — instead, try to use it as a means of remembering that it isn’t always your fault if the things you want don’t come to you.
11. You’ll figure out your life soon. Does anyone ever really have things figured out? Because I’d like to meet them if so. A lot of redditors seemed to agree that with age, you only end up with different problems that you can’t solve.
12. Making money is more important than having a healthy work-life balance. When you’re young, you might equate financial security with adulthood, and while that’s certainly part of it, neglecting the rest of your life in order to achieve it ultimately might not be worth it.
13. You don’t need sunscreen. Please, for the love of all that is good, wear sunscreen every day! Even if you don’t think you need it.
14. You’re always going to want to go out and party. Nope. Naps forever.