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21 Things You Should Never Do In Your Thirties

by Rachel Citron Published on March 11, 2015

Put an end to adolescence. You're all grown up now.

1. Shop At Forever 21

You've loved it for so long you've forgotten who it's for - you - but the you of 10 years ago. This version of you had no money, no ability to dress for the weather, and no idea who you actually wanted to attract (hello, "walks of shame").


2. Use Abrevs Instead Of Actual Words

It's been the 'ushe' in other words, "usual", for years and let's face it, you enjoyed it. We all did. Chopping up words until they didn't make a bit of sense. This may have been "adorbs" at 25 (or maybe it was grating and irritating, who's to say) but now that you want to be taken seriously, as an actual adult, you'll need to use actual words to get there.


3. Brag About High School

In the wise words of Tony Soprano, a father figure whose advice continues to inspire (when he wasn't choking colleagues or banging pros): "'remember when' is the lousiest form of conversation". Sure it's great to reminisce, and occasionally we're compelled to look back (FB timelines have rendered a complete break impossible), but there are limits. Your thirties are for those big life changes, reaping the career rewards from all those thankless years of hard work. You were a beer pong champion in high school, impressive, but reliving that tired territory gets you nowhere. Your recent exploits should be more than enough to amuse the crowd.


4. Eat Shwarma On The Subway

Okay, frankly, you should never be eating on the subway, ever. Yet somehow it used to be less shame-inducing. In any event, licking grease off your fingers and picking assorted condiments out of your hair is unacceptable. Let's call it a day and say the scarfing of chicken fingers and other humiliating forms of finger food are over.


5. Mock The Girls On 16 & Pregnant

Admittedly, this was never exactly a classy form of entertainment, yet reality shows based on teenagers' stunningly bad choices was a guilty pleasure and a self-esteem boost. No more. If we should feel anything for these girls, it's sympathy. The fact that we made it out of our teen years without getting knocked up has ceased to be a reason to rest on our laurels. Come on ladies, we can do better. Like, mocking the maniacal momagers on 'Dance Moms.' They're actually old enough to know better.


6. Stay Silent

'Leaning in' has finally become part of the working woman's vernacular. While unequal pay and seemingly endless amounts of disadvantages continue to thwart the efforts of women everywhere, we must do our part. Being a boss is never the same as being a bitch (not automatically anyway).


7. Fight On Social Media

If Amber and Khloe have taught us anything, it is this: no one wants to be Amber and Khloe. Fighting with your friends, coworkers, hell, even acquaintances is bad enough, and, if there is to be justice in the world, sometimes a woman needs to get her wave on. That being said: one does not need to make catty remarks on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or anywhere other than directly to the offender's face. Your "some people don't know when to give up" comment on your foe's FB pic with her ex may have struck you as veiled nastiness but let's be real: you're not fooling anyone. Plus, you're airing your dirty laundry in public. Leave the fighting to the professionals: like Kanye and Tay Swift.


8. Broadcast Inane Political Views

"Oh, your status says Obama sucks - that totally changes my entire outlook." Said no one, ever. An in-depth discussion on the importance of same-sex marriage legislation, a spirited commentary on immigration, etc., these conversations are essential for some of us, and you're well within your rights to initiate such a conversation with anyone who will listen. This, however, does not entitle you to randomly bash a candidate or a political party without context. The adage: "if you don't have something smart to say, don't say anything at all" comes to mind.

Ignore at your peril - just don't be surprised when your friends list thins and you are left with a regular stream of people unfollowing you.


9. Behave Like A Princess

Disney be damned, we were not and never will be princesses. And that lovely 'never never land' where you genuinely believed someone else would change your sheets and pay off your credit card has been reclaimed by its rightful owners (fairies, mermaids, Peter Pan and other equally absurd flights of fancy). The easy breezy life where you blew your paycheck on a stack of glittery Wolford tights and wrote it off as a 'learning moment' has withered on the vine. Yes, you will now be judged for buying new bras instead of washing yours. Time to take responsibility for the self-care and maintenance you managed to successfully avoid. Granted this may be tough at first, and anticipate some backsliding (one can only walk by Intermix so many times whilst shielding her eyes), but the future you will thank you for turning in your tiara.


10. Start Getting Tattoos

You're already tatted out and itching to get your 8th permanent mark behind your left ear. Go for it! You have already expressed, physically, that tattoos are important to you. And, most significantly, you began your ink odyssey when you were young enough to truly enjoy and make the most of your total lack of restraint. No one wants to see a 30-something strolling into the tattoo parlor ready to 'try something new'. You are now a fully-fledged adult and if you've made it this far without one, there is no compelling reason to start.


11. Use Botox For Preventive Purposes

Frankly, this one is just cray. You should not be the only lady at brunch who can express facial outrage after being overcharged for a mimosa. Too many fresh-faced thirty year olds have started Botox injections - just in the "problem areas" of course. Wherever those are. Truth: You start too early and you're gonna have face freeze and that look just ain't hot.


12. Have Friends With Benefits

You've heard that story about the guy and girl who were like, really amazing friends, started hooking up and it was so fun that after it ran its course neither one was left with even a hint of ill will? Yeah, so has everyone. These mythical beings who have incredible sex, then stop but stay close are just what they seem: too good to be true. Friends with benefits was fun, as long as the friend wasn't actually a close friend and you never actually had feelings for him. But hitting the casual sex jackpot does not a relationship make. Your 30's are a time to deepen commitments, not throw them around like confetti.


13. Advertise Your Debauchery On Social Media

This one should be obvious, and can serve as an addendum to not fighting on social media. There are already approximately two million (and we're low-balling it here) photos featuring your sauced twenty-something self. May they remind you of all those glorious evenings you'll never remember. A photo of the gals looking chic at cocktail hour, a wine-happy day in the park - these are adult moments that include alcohol, but are not defined by it (and its excessive consumption). Keep your sloshed interpretation of winter cheer at Santacon to yourself. Close the door on this hideous chapter, you're done.


14. Sleep In Your Make-Up

This is almost always the result of poor choices made throughout the evening, choices that render you unconscious, or at the very least immobile, the moment your head hits the bed. Aside from reevaluating these choices, which naturally you should do, now's the time to adjust the baseline of standards you set for yourself. New mantra: no matter how wasted you are you WILL: brush your teeth, wash your face, and get out of 'night on the town' ensemble (or at least take off the shoes).


15. Commit Because It's Time

Far too many of us are faced with this dilemma: seriously commit to a deeply flawed relationship just because we've invested so much time in it or cut ties and start anew? Facing the world alone is scary, especially after you've been spoiled by the intimacy of a long-lasting relationship and the comfort it affords. But, when push comes to shove, you are far more committed to the comfort of having a partner than you are to the actual individual you're with. The moment you start to refer to your relationship as an "investment," it's time to get out.


16. Wait For The Doctor To Call You

Health is wealth. While there are so many wonderful things to plan for that will improve exponentially after 30 (marriage, career, kids), we also need to acknowledge and plan for the things that won't improve after 30. Your parents will no longer chase you when they receive your dental reminder in the mail. In fact, your parents will no longer know your dentist or receive any of his/her mail. Don't slouch on proper health care just because you don't like doctors or whittling away the hours reading trashed magazines in over-crowded waiting rooms. Yes, you are not alone in these feelings, but none of these annoyances provide a legitimate excuse to not take care of yourself.


17. Bring Your Phone To Bed

Our life-long love affair with our phones notwithstanding, your phone has no business in your bed. Whether you are neglecting your partner or yourself, you are the one who is being cheated. The process of going to bed is a tricky business and with longer work hours, crazy commutes, we get less sleep now than ever. Our time for rest is too important to waste texting and posting cat photos. You're older now, use your time wisely.


18. Sleep Through The Weekend

And speaking of using your time wisely, there is always too much of a good thing. Sleep is marvelous, as is binging on Netflix, but when we spend entire weekends under the covers, we are depriving ourselves of spending time with our friends, family, and boyfriend. Do not yield to temptation, force yourself outside. You won't be sorry.


19. Leave The Fundamentals For Your Forties

The horror stories are out there, ad infinitum. Strong, intelligent, career-focused women spend their 30s climbing the corporate ladder. Then 40 hits and they realize their clock is 'tick tick ticking' and that window of time for marriage and kids is shrinking by the minute. Being an older mom can be immensely fulfilling, if that's what you want. Regardless, you are far too sharp to 'forget' you need to start preparing for motherhood.


20. Limit Your Reading To Books You Read In High School And College

Excited about the long-awaited follow-up to Harper Lee's 'To Kill A Mockingbird'? So are we. This is not a suggestion to toss aside the classics you read in your youth - F. Scott Fitzgerald is always worth a reread. But just as your worldview has expanded since you were 18, so should your reading material. With the multitudes of great reads on the shelves or on your kindle, finding a new book to fall in love with is both easy and invaluable.


21. Refuse To Know What's Going On In The World

There is absolutely no reason with today's plethora of platforms to be completely and utterly disengaged from what's going on in the world. Perusing Jaden Smith's incomprehensible tweets may be a fun use of your time, but so is reading up on what's happening outside Hollywood. You will not drain that deep well of pop culture knowledge by reading The New York Times. You will be able to hold your own in conversations that are not about North West -- and why she cries at fashion shows (hint: she's a toddler). Hold your head up high and just remember that being purposefully ignorant isn't cute or funny...it's gross.


What are you guilty of doing in your thirties? Tweet us @wewomenUSA!

This article was written by Rachel Citron. Follow her on Twitter @rachelecitron.

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