November sees me mark the big, dreaded three-oh. Not that there is anything at all wrong with being 30, but my 21st birthday seems like it wasn’t that long ago. Perhaps my pending birthday is just a reminder of how fast the last nine years has gone by? I feel like I’m WAY into adulthood by now and I’m becoming more ageist towards myself as I approach the next decade – for example, I won’t go to certain places and I find that I won’t wear or say certain things anymore.
Apparently I need not worry, because 30 is the new 21; according to a study that was recently conducted in Melbourne. It’s hard to determine how many people were actually surveyed, but the article HERE states that the study “followed all the babies born in two Melbourne suburbs in 1990”. A mere 38% of these people felt that they had reached maturity. So what about the other 62%? Well, 13% were adamant they had not yet reached adult-hood and the remaining 49% were unsure. So, do we officially become adults on that milestone 21st birthday? Or should we give ourselves another nine years of growth, learning and experiences before people treat us like we should know better?
When I was 21, I thought I knew it all and definitely felt like an adult. I would very easily get offended if I thought people were taking the mickey out of me, or not taking me seriously. It’s not until now that I realise just how naïve and immature I still was at that age- that is not at all to say that 21 year olds aren’t mature, but I wanted so desperately to be “older” and I found myself doing adult things as a result (like starting this business) – even though I probably wasn’t ready for them yet. But really, when are we ready? Are we meant to act a certain way and do certain things depending on our age?
It seems that some people think so. I went to buy some tea at T2 the other day and got chatting to a super lovely girl that worked there. She asked how old I was and when I replied with my age, she said “29?! I’ve never met anyone that’s 29, you guys are like unicorns!”. Initially I wasn’t sure how to take it, but she proceeded to explain how she was 25 and didn’t know where she would be or how she should act when she gets to 29. She said “What do 29 year olds do?” I found I didn’t really have an answer for her, so I replied “they buy tea”. I really don’t know what I’m meant to be doing now or what the rules are, if any.
Above all, I think it’s fair to say that times have changed and they will continue to do so. What our parents did at our age would have been completely different. My parents got married young, bought a house, had me, and never travelled pre-kids. Now, it seems that we do things in the reverse and are doing them about a decade later. When I was 21 I travelled, spent way too much money on frivolous things, was out five nights out of seven…On the whole, I was definitely more concerned with partying and having a good time than I was with responsibility and to a degree, perhaps I still am. Could it be that nowadays, our 20s are just one long (but darn fun) procrastination into real, responsible adult-hood?
If that’s the case, then that’s good for me. It means I’ve got three good, solid months left of tearing it up before everyone starts to take me too seriously.