30 is not the new 20.
It is a very real fact that emerging adulthood (18-29), are reaching “life landmarks” later than our parents and grandparents. This is scientifically proven and with common sense we see it everywhere. We marry later, 60 years ago HALF of 18-24 year olds were married; now its only 9%. Likewise with having children, mid 20th century women had their first child 20-22 years old. Today our average age for first time child-birth mothers is 26. There has been multiple studies done on why this is such a dramatic shift. Before everyone starts in on “millennial generation” or “left-wing extremism” there is some empirical evidence that proves this transition to be an understandable happening. Things like education, we are learning so much more about the world around us than we used to. Contraception and women’s rights have come leaps and bounds to where we are now; a woman has the ability to be so much more intelligent and independent than generations previous to ours. Youth movement and YOLO mentality have become mainstream causing youth and young adults to prolong long-term responsibilities to worldly experiences. All these factors play a part and personally I don’t think they’re bad occurrences; however, I will strongly warn that delaying some of life’s processes can ultimately land young adults in a hard place when they get to the age they say they’ll wait to start.
So yes, people settle down later; but that doesn’t mean your developmental habits occur later. Your 20’s are NOT developmental downtime, it’s the sweet-spot. This decade is the most transformative years you’ll encounter as a person. Physically, cognitively, behaviorally, socioeconomically, and spiritually you have reached your pinnacle. As exciting as that is, there’s also the realistic viewpoint of this too; where does one go from the top of the mountain? If we let culture and media influence that “living it up” and immediate gratification is more important and development can wait until 30’s; the importance of improvement is shut down. No one is getting to adulthood without getting through the 20’s, but if we decide to kickoff life “when were ready” or “when were financially capable” or “after I have some experience” we are going to miss the time in our lives to best run our race. 80% of life’s most defining moments happen by the age of 35. How can we justifiably start our race after our prime? It’s like training for a marathon and once were at the point of competition, we register the race for next year and go sit on the couch. We know the first 10 or so years of a career are the most impactful for retirement establishment and momentum of promotion. I look forward to retirement and nourishing grand babies, not still getting my own child through math class.
Anyway I’ve ranted, and I’ve raved. It all boils down to this; 20’s are a time that maximum potential is gifted to us. We have the best condition to accomplish our lifelong goals. We cannot put off these goals until we’re established, without starting the establishment. Here are a few things that as a salty old man of 30, I’ve learned and would suggest to anyone reading this…
DO SOMETHING TODAY THAT IS AN INVESTMENT ON WHO YOU MIGHT BE NEXT
CLAIM YOUR IDENTITY: We live in a society today that is more accepting of any lifestyle. Get comfortable with who you are, and own it. Knowing who you are and what you want will provide a direction in which to walk.
IDENTITY CAPITAL BEGETS IDENTITY CAPITAL: When you start walking and becoming more familiar with your desires, they’ll uncover for you more and more about yourself and your direction, leading you to deeper paths.
NETWORK: People disappear as you experience life. Part of starting on your own is letting go of some connections you formerly created. Change in lifestyle, career, or interest will naturally force people to drift. So make a ton of connections so when people drift and disappear, you still have a circle.
BE INTENTIONAL IN EVERY ASPECT OF YOUR LIFE: Even if you YOLO all weekend; remember Sunday to drag your butt to church and Monday get back to the grind. Start some financial planning for retirement, discover who you are, interact with people you love, love the people around you.