The Non-Traditional: The 20’s versus the 30’s

Ashley Haberman

When in your twenties the thought of turning thirty can be a frightening and boring with the encroaching idea of entering the unknown world of getting older (and more responsible). Once you’re at this stage in your life, the lingering memories of the past lived twenties are fun to reminisce in, but a relief to be done with.

In those early years, experimenting and new experiences become almost everyone’s “firsts” or staples. When thirty hit, I was happy my twenties were done and relieved I had found myself through all of it, which lead to successfully making it to the other side.


The growth and transformations made through-out the twenties are not always sunshine and rainbows. Break-ups were one thing I found to be one of the worst, especially if you hang around the same crew of people or go to the same shows, mingling with an ex is never pleasant. After breaking hearts (Yes, in my mind I was only the breaker and never the broken) and traveling the world solo, I now find it hard to not want to be friends (or at least acquaintances) with ex’s. I have found that the older you get, the easier it is to cope with and heal from break ups. It becomes less complicated and easier to be more logical and understanding of the situation while respecting each other on a more caring level.

Friendships and social life also change from your twenties to your thirties, but all for the better. By the time I hit thirty, I no longer lived in the same town as my best friends, but that has never changed our friendship. The years of the twenties are when you find those life-long besties that no matter how long you go without seeing each other, or how far away you live from them, when your together, it’s like no time has passed at all.

Traveling is another thing I have found to change with getting older. While backpacking through SE Asia for two months, I stayed in places where the toilet was a dug up hole in the ground and electricity was run from a generator that turned off at dusk. Now that I am complaining–these places and experiences are unforgettable treasures that I feel grateful to have, but that being said, my travel priorities have since matured. Still traveling on a budget, shortening trips to be able to travel more luxuriously (Air bnb’s versus hostels and not having to skip meals to save money) has proven so far to be worth it after traveling in multiple countries for months at a time.

Everything that happens in your twenties is meaningful and necessary to prepare you for the rest of your life. The most important thing, in my opinion, is the bridge from the late twenties into the early thirties when you finally get to realize that you’ve made it and found yourself in full form on the other side.

Collegian writer Ashley Haberman can be reached at Leave a comment!