Getting older is confusing and scary. Being a twentysomething is fun and exciting, but it's also a time filled with a lot of uncertainty. You're really figuring out who you are and what you want in life. TBH, it can feel pretty overwhelming.
Thankfully, the women of Reddit stepped up to share their best advice. Here are 17 important life tips women over 30 think you should know:
1. "Take your time to figure things out. Nothing in this life is ever guaranteed. I turned 33 today, and I thought by now I’d be married, have a couple of kids, and have a career. But in reality, I’m engaged to an amazing man, we’re waiting to undergo IVF, and I'm in a job I don’t necessarily hate or love, but it pays well. Stress from it doesn't follow me home. I’ve actually grown into myself, and I’m happy for things to pad out as they need to. Being in my 30s, I don’t feel that clock ticking. As my Glaswegian granny would say, 'What’s for you won’t go by you.' There’s no timeframe on that."
2. "Your 30s are much better than your 20s. You'll learn so much about yourself and feel more confident. I felt like I was running out of time in my 20s. Now I say, 'If this is 30s, I cannot wait for my 40s!' Time really does make things better."
3. "It's perfectly fine to be 'mediocre.' You don't have to be the best at everything. You don't even have to take that promotion if you're content with what you're doing and the amount of work responsibilities you have now."
4. "Through my 20s, I worked my 'passion' job, but I was broke all the time, and the more passion I poured in, the less I felt passionate about it. Finally, I quit and got a job that requires no passion. Now, I have money, and I have the passion and energy for other things! Sometimes, passion jobs are overrated."
5. "Be open to the fact that flexibility is key and oftentimes vital. Life is always changing. You could have a career now, and in two years, no longer have that career. You could be in a relationship or marriage, and that can come to an end. Just focus on right now and what makes you happy. You can still prepare for the future and make plans, but change will happen."
6. "Figure out what in your life is a dream vs. an assumption. Have you always dreamt of marriage and children, or is it just something you assumed would happen for you along the way? Have you always dreamt of a prestigious career, or do you just assume you have to be a 'career woman'? Have you always dreamt of travel, or do you just want the cool Instagram pics because that's what everyone else seems to have, and you assume you should do it, too? Figure out what YOUR dreams are, not the dreams of others."
7. "I was in this situation. I'm now in my 50s and still haven't found my 'calling.' :D I have accepted that I just don't have one. There is nothing that I am passionate about enough to drive me to invest my life in it. And that's OK. Living a good life with kindness, respect, and love is all I need to do. I'm watching my young adult son struggling with the whole 'find your passion and follow it' thing. Not everyone has a passion or a calling, and that's OK. Don't be hard on yourself; life is hard enough. Just be the best you."
8. "I've seen people in theirs 30s, 40s, 50s+ losing their jobs, getting divorced, losing their homes, having all kinds of major life changes. Even if someone seems like they have it all figured out and are living a comfy, happy life in their 20s or at any age, it can all change at any time. Just live your life. It's OK if you haven't reached whatever milestone you think you're supposed to achieve by X age."
9. "You don't have to have it all figured out. I got divorced at 39 after being married for 20 years with two kids, a house, etc. I met the love of my life at 40; here we are two years later, so in love and looking forward to life together. We both completely started our lives over after 40. Neither of us feel old; age is just a number."
10. "Stop burning away today worrying about tomorrow, and enjoy and live your life now. You have so much time. Life is not a race; it's a journey. Spend your time on the journey rather than the end. We all get to the end eventually."
11. "Be strong, but not stupid. Strong is finishing your shift when you're in pain because you are 100% sure you can take it easy tomorrow and recover just fine. Stupid is when you can't walk right from the moment you wake up and go to work anyway."
12. "Dedicate yourself to trying to be happy exactly where you are in life. The grass is not always greener on the other side. I look at life as a marathon, not a sprint. Invest time into yourself and become your best you. This will serve you as you move through your career choices and relationships. You are better off single than in a bad partnership, you are better off seeking your next career move than being stuck in a path that you hate. Put things into perspective; the world is your oyster."
13. "I just turned 30. I feel younger than ever. Life’s just starting! I’m doing many things for the first time and loving it. There is no 'late.' It happens when it happens."
14. "Even though you're an adult, remember to always keep the child you were nearby. I’m 58 and still geek out about holidays, really good reads, animals, Star Wars, Marvel, etc. It keeps life rich!"
15. "Can you imagine just giving up and lying down because you feel like you have to live your whole life and have it figured out by a certain age? I'm serious, picture a 30-year-old woman just lying down in the street and going, 'It's all over...I'm 30 now...time to die.' Lmao, it's ridiculous, right? But we are fed this garbage idea that we all have to have everything figured out. Like, hell no! Life is a journey, and it doesn't stop until it stops! So, forget timelines, because it's all made up anyway. Try different things you're interested in, and follow your bliss, because life is for living, and it's not supposed to be this perfect little thing all wrapped up in a bow."
16. "I wish I’d been more appreciative of my younger body and not just called myself fat and been done with it. What I wouldn’t give to have that ‘fat’ body now. Trust me when I say, your body is beautiful, and you will look back and wish you’d had more confidence in yourself."
17. And finally, "You need to prioritize the things you want in life to make them happen. If you want to get married and have a family, you need to prioritize that. You need to change the way you date; you need to be upfront and honest with new partners about your expectations. You need to seek out partners who want the same things you do. However, children and marriage aren't what every woman wants. If you want a certain career, you need to prioritize that. Get the education you need to make that happen, switch jobs, and take risks if you have the education already but are stuck at a job where you’re not advancing. There are time limits on some things in life.
"I use to worry a lot. I felt like I was running out of time. At 28 years old, I realized what I did want: I wanted a house, I wanted a husband, and I wanted to be a mother. I stopped dating just to date. I passed on guys who seemed great but weren’t on the same five-year plan as I was. I’m now 32 and have a wonderful partner, we have a beautiful house, and we’re expecting our first son.
"I have friends who took different routes. They focused on their career. They got their master's online after skirting by on their bachelor's. They’re now making 100k+, they live in beautiful luxury apartments, they have their dream dog, and they’re happy.
"The first step is figuring out where you want to be in five years. Some things do have time limits. And even the things that don’t necessarily have time limits, well, wasted time is wasted time. Only you are in charge of your own happiness; it won't just happen. You have to make it happen."
Now, it's your turn. Women over 30 on BuzzFeed, what advice do you wish you could share with your younger self? Tell us about it in the comments below or via this anonymous form.
Note: Submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.