Does anyone actually believe that 30 isn’t old?
I tell myself OFTEN that 40 year olds and 50 and 60 and 70 year olds look at 30 year olds and say, “they’re so young! They have so much life ahead of them!”
BUT the truth is, our 20s are over. If you’re in your 20s and worried about wasting your 20s – you should be worried!
You’re different when you’re 30. So much about being 30 is better than being 20. But the natural field of opportunity is narrowing. Which is a good thing as well as a bad thing. But don’t be fooled – 30 is old! Something WAS lost when your 20s ended.
But reading this essay written by a 22-year old Yale student (who died in a car crash a few days after she wrote it) served as a REALLY good reminder for me that even though you feel old (and you are), all is not lost.
Is the sense of opportunity as sparkly and amazing and exciting as it was when you were 22? Probably not. But it’s still there. According to this 22 year old, it can be hard to see the sparkle at 22 – but it’s still there. So by extrapolation, it’s still there in your 30s (just getting even harder to see).
Read this excerpt:
We’re so young. We’re so young. We’re twenty-two years old. We have so much time. There’s this sentiment I sometimes sense, creeping in our collective conscious as we lay alone after a party, or pack up our books when we give in and go out – that it is somehow too late. That others are somehow ahead. More accomplished, more specialized. More on the path to somehow saving the world, somehow creating or inventing or improving. That it’s too late now to BEGIN a beginning and we must settle for continuance, for commencement.
When we came to Yale, there was this sense of possibility. This immense and indefinable potential energy – and it’s easy to feel like that’s slipped away. We never had to choose and suddenly we’ve had to. Some of us have focused ourselves. Some of us know exactly what we want and are on the path to get it; already going to med school, working at the perfect NGO, doing research. To you I say both congratulations and you suck.
For most of us, however, we’re somewhat lost in this sea of liberal arts. Not quite sure what road we’re on and whether we should have taken it. If only I had majored in biology…if only I’d gotten involved in journalism as a freshman…if only I’d thought to apply for this or for that…
What we have to remember is that we can still do anything. We can change our minds. We can start over. Get a post-bac or try writing for the first time. The notion that it’s too late to do anything is comical. It’s hilarious. We’re graduating college. We’re so young. We can’t, we MUST not lose this sense of possibility because in the end, it’s all we have.