Growing up sort of sucks, and turning 30 can be a little scary. Don't get me wrong — there are many fun aspects of getting older, like hitting 21 and getting intoxicated legally, being financially stable enough to buy a car, or to rent an apartment and live blissfully alone. You get to have a real job that offers real health benefits, and you get to cash in on those benefits with as many basic check up appointments that insurance will cover. These are all loads of fun, and major life milestones that you will always remember.
Then there are the downsides. Getting older means being closer to death. It means losing loved ones. It means health concerns, bigger and bigger bills to pay, and it means that everything will inevitably get more complicated. Hitting the big 3-0 is usually the age when everyone feels like they've finally reached adulthood. It's closer to being considered "middle-aged" than your tween years, and you will most likely need to start making some major life changes. Supplements will be bought, fiber levels will be measured and consumed, and annual screenings for terrifying diseases will start to become a thing. And that's not even the worst of it. Here are all the scary truths you learn when you turn 30. Maybe don't read this on your birthday, unless you prefer to celebrate like Debbie Downer.
1. Life is short
This has always been true, but now this sentiment will actually mean something. You will gain perspective on this more often than you'd like, through health scares, frightening close calls, and deaths of people you know and love. Now is the time to live everyday to the fullest, because once 40 comes around, it's all downhill.
2. Soda is kind of evil
When we were kids, it was the only thing we needed to make a sleepover fun. Then in college, it was all we needed to make bottom-shelf booze taste less disgusting. Now it's something we should maybe only have once a week, because there is no nutritional value and it somehow has the ability to unclog a sink, so it's probably not good for our bodies.
3. Exercise can save your life
It NEEDS to become part of your everyday routine. You can't skip those runs and sit on your bum all day and expect to remain completely healthy. Exercise can add years to your life if you do it regularly. So as much as it sucks, find a sweat-inducing activity that doesn't make you hate the world, and do it everyday.
4. Taxes are sh**ty
Most twenty-somethings spend that decade struggling and barely making ends meet. That means that tax time for them means a check and some spending money for furniture upgrades at IKEA. Your 30s are for becoming the BOSS that you are, so you're probably making more money. At a certain point, you will make so much money that you actually owe taxes. This will suck, and you'll start to understand why your parents complain about them so often.
5. Voting matters
Because taxes are implemented and controlled by our government, the people we vote into office actually matter. They can make changes for the better or for the worse. Now is the time to really start paying attention to political agendas.
6. Friendships are harder than they appear on TV
The older we get, the busier we get. It's hard to maintain friendships once our careers, marriages, and future babies take center stage. It takes work to remain connected to your BFFs, because they probably don't live across the hall like in Friends.
7. Sleep is a luxury
Work will push you to your limit, babies will keep you up at night, and stress will make you crazy. A lack of sleep ruins your life and leads to bad decisions, but as you get older, you'll see how hard it is to log those right hours every night.
8. Coworkers can be shady
When everyone at work you bond with is at the bottom, it's easy to stay loyal friends. But the harder you work, the higher you climb the ladder of success, and the more people will turn on you. When you have to learn the hard way, it's utterly devastating, but it happens all the time.
9. People expect you to be wise
Your age alone will make the kiddos around you think you know what you're doing. If you appear at all put together, they assume you've got it all figured out. They will want you to teach them things, and you will be terrified that they'll figure out that you're still secretly a hot mess who eats mac and cheese for breakfast.