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What Do We Really Want Before Turning 30

Updated: Mar 5, 2019

by Rachel Yeoh




30 - A daunting figure that exudes responsibility. A rude reminder to get our act together, - ASAP!


When we were reaching our twenties, it felt like the completion of our metamorphosis into a butterfly (think freedom and stepping out into the real world) –now with the coming 3-0, the questions looms,


‘Now what?’

But not to worry, society has a way of getting their expectations into our heads. Here’s a standard checklist for those ushering their impending 30’s:

1. Buy a house/property

2. Get married and start a family

3. Climb the career ladder

4. Make more money


We tend to want to live up to what the society expects of us because we want to be accepted and known to be doing the “right” things. Hence, we also think we need to tick off this checklist for ourselves too.


But let’s pause for a second and ask ourselves, what do we really want for ourselves before hitting 30?


Here are ideas of what is affirmative of what we really want but might not know:

1. Close friends, not only connections


At this point, who we know and who we are seen with is not as important anymore. After fumbling through the masses of acquaintances and I-thought-you-were-the-one’s, the time is nigh for us to keep your close friends a priority. If they have been with us through the volatile twenties, chances are, they are going to stick around for some time. Think about those who cheered us on during our first job interview, wing-manned us, slept over when we cried over a broken heart and reprimanded us when we make stupid decisions.


Of course, connections give us opportunities but close friends are those who will indirectly equip you to grow to take on life’s challenges head on. Motivational speaker Jim Rohn once said, “You’re the average of five people you spend most time with.”


So choose your close friends wisely.


2. Own your dreams, not property

Life and growing up has a way of making us feel jaded. We work hard to satisfy what the society expects of us – like owning a home.


But at this day and age, is it really necessary?


Thousands of Ringgits are being set aside from our pay each month to service our housing loan, yet the mounting debt seems unfazed by your efforts. What if we invested this money to build our dreams instead, making it a reality?


It can be a dream of running a food truck business, to do art, to manage an animal shelter, to pursue higher education and anything we want to achieve, basically. Owning your dream will give us much more satisfaction than owning a physical home whilst we slave our way through life to pay off the debt. After all, owning a home can be put on hold, the time to work for our dreams is now.


Who knows? Maybe this is the best time to take risks and do the things you’ve always wanted or learn before settling down.


3. Listen to yourself, not social acceptance


With the boom and infiltrating surge of social media, the effort to resist comparing can prove to be unbearable. And with so many friends and influencers showing off their best life, it’s difficult to look at ourselves and be happy with who we really are. Social media dictates social acceptance and expectations.


However, we don’t need all of that before we hit 30. It is time we take a good look at ourselves and evaluate the essence of who we are.


Are we a reflection of our surroundings? Are we comfortable in our own skin?

Strip off our relations, our status, our belongings and ask ‘Who am I’? No matter the answer, let us take time to build ourselves – to rid the bad and cultivate the good, to love ourselves and our physical flaws. Social acceptance changes – like fashion, but self-love brings about self-esteem, moving you to care for your physical, mental and emotional well-being.


And that is what really matters.


4. Build habits, not motivation spurts


We love motivational stories. It presents us with possibilities that our goals can be realised. Think ‘The Biggest Loser’, ‘Extreme Makeover’ and ‘Project Runway’. However, do you know what happens after the show is over? Motivational spurts get us started but it is cultivated habits that carry us through life. Our twenties are probably filled with motivational spurts – but just like a long term investment plan, cultivating good habits and values will bring consistent personal growth.


Rome was not built in a day, and so is exceptional character that will bring us far in life.


In a nutshell, despite society expectations, it is a better idea to focus within ourselves than driving a flashy car and securing a home before the third decade of our lives come knocking on the door. If we are not ready to get married, just relax and think about what matters more.

If we are not ready to have children, don’t. If we are unhappy with our job, make plans to leave. If we are depressed, don’t be ashamed to seek help.


I guess this is what we call maturity before thirty.



You may also find Rachel on Instagram.

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