Birthday Wisdom: Twenties vs Thirties

I love birthdays. I love spoiling my friends and calling my family to sing and I love celebrating.

In recent years I’ve seen friends refuse to celebrate their birthday or stop adding years to their age or just letting the date pass without telling anyone. Maybe its my Peter Pan-esque refusal to actually mature as the years pass, but I think I’ll always love to celebrate birthdays.

Last year’s Birthday Wisdom post shared some of the important life lessons that I’d learned over the course of a trying, but ultimately amazing, year. This year I wanted to do something a bit more fun and share why I wholeheartedly believe that your thirties can be even better than your twenties!


In your 20’s sleep is incidental. You never plan around it and it doesn’t really take up much of your day. I regularly subsisted on 3-4 hours a night throughout college. Too much else going on to bother!

In your 30’s sleep becomes not only an important requirement, but something you look forward to eagerly. And the bonus of actually getting sleep is better skin, more productivity, ability to sustain a healthy weight, increased focus, better memory…

Birthday Wisdom Twenties versus thirties


In my 20’s I could drink as much as I wanted. Yes, there were hangovers, but by the time the sun was setting I was usually ready for round two. And on a related note, every single social occasion revolved around booze. All of them.

Towards my late 20’s/early 30’s my ability to process alcohol began diminishing rapidly. A few glasses of wine could lead to three days of headaches, nausea, and general misery. These days I only indulge a few times a year and only for great Scotch or quality vino. Now instead of “grabbing drinks” I cook for my friends, or we plan hiking adventures, or other fun, active evenings that don’t leave me groaning & miserable at my desk the next day.


My sole form of exercise in college after an injury ended by diving career was walking around campus. I never stepped foot in the gym and refused to work out with my friends. I was the definition of “skinny fat” for most of college. I may have been able to squeeze into my jeans, but I was unhealthy and always sick.

I fell in love with nutrition, fitness, and cooking in my mid 20’s and as a result I’m fitter, healthier, and in better shape at 31 than I was at 21. Not only do I have actual muscles now, but I also have an immune system! 🙂


I had no beauty routine in my 20’s. Honestly, if you’d asked me that question, I would have just shot you a look of confusion. Soap on the face & make-up for nights out – That’s it.

Learning to embrace skin care products, and more importantly sunscreen, has meant that my skin actually looks healthier & younger now that it did when I was staying out too late & drinking too much in my 20’s.

Birthday Wisdom Twenties Versus Thirties


I was a vegetarian in my 20’s but that meant pizza, Chinese food, and late-night trips to whatever was open, not vegetables. I ate whatever I wanted. Drank whatever I wanted. I got sick multiples times each semester, had constant headaches & stomach aches, and suffered severe eczema.

After a gluten-intolerance diagnosis in my late 20’s I learned how to cook and discovered the wonderful wide world of food, nutrition, and healthy living. These days I rarely get sick and I’ve learned the importance of listening to my body, which means that I feel great on a daily basis.

My 20’s were fun, there’s no denying that. I made lifelong friends, had a wonderful time in college, and have amazing memories of my time at Berkeley. But now that I’m in my 30’s I know who I am, what I deserve, and how to get what I want out of life – And that’s worth much more than being able to pull an all-nighter!

Do YOU like to celebrate your birthday?


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One Response to Birthday Wisdom: Twenties vs Thirties

  1. Great post! And yes, I agree with many of these points. I love birthdays for both me and for others. Mine is two days before Christmas, and my family has always been good about celebrating my special day with non-Christmas wrapping paper and festivities. 🙂 Happy Birthday to you!

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